Today’s Toronto Star article; Peril lurks deep, by Donna Laporte, suggests tightening some rules that run condo boards and rings alarm bells about the plight of some older condo buildings in the GTA.

Suggestions include:

  • Licensing property managers.
  • Hiring paid professionals to sit on the board of directors and make good business decisions.
  • End discretion for how much is contributed to a reserve fund for future repairs. The norm is 10 per cent. Many say it’s not enough.
  • Sanction condo boards and property managers who do not comply with the Condo Act.
  • Charge each unit $1 a month to fund an ombudsman’s office to oversee condo corporations. It would ensure an annual filing by all corporations to include audited financial statements, the status of maintenance, the status of the reserve fund and filing of a changes in management companies.
  • Step up enforcement by municipalities to ensure buildings converted to condos are up to snuff.
  • Step up enforcement of municipal work orders.

In my opinion, the building residents who are professionals like accountants, engineers etc. should also come forward, get elected to sit on the condo boards, which can result in better accountabilty and management.

Condos are becoming more and more popular these days, reasons: affordabilty, demography, social trends, sense of security, amenities and ease of living. Assuming that your condominium owners’ association is operating as it should, the condominium will be well maintained, and its value should remain high over time.

When looking for condos, it makes sense to work with a real estate professional who is knowledgeable about neighhbourhoods and condos in your area of choice. A good Realtor will not only keep you away from bad lemons but also put you in touch with condo lawyers to guide you about the condominium’s documents, reserve funds, engineering and financial reports.