All residents of a condominium community have been made aware of the important-yet-somewhat-mysterious “condo board.” That’s the body which must approve certain requests, can raise fees or expenses, and may even levy fines or other penalties.
But you might be wondering: What exactly does the condo board do? Who works for this group? And can I become a part of it?
A Condo Board Primer
A condominium association board is made up of a relatively small group of people who volunteer their time to oversee the management and well-being of a condo community. They perform a wide range of functions ranging from making financial decisions to allocating physical resources to setting condo policies. As a rule, members spend an average of 15 to 20 hours each month carrying out their condo board duties.
Though every organization differs, condo boards usually have a president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer.
Why (Not) To Join a Condo Board
There are quite a few advantages to being a part of your condo board. First and foremost, it gives you an avenue to use your energies and talents to make a difference in your condo community and the lives of your fellow residents. In addition, it allows you to provide a voice for a group who may be underserved in your condo community, and it also helps you protect your condo’s property value (especially if you have financial experience).
However, there are also several counterproductive reasons for joining a condo board, such as: to enjoy certain perks or privileges, to receive gifts or other consideration from residents or outside interests, to secure a services contract for your company (or that of a friend or relative) which seeks to do business with the condo board or property owner, to be able to break community rules or do what you want without seeking board approval, to wield your power against residents you don’t like.
Get Started Immediately
If you’re thinking that you might be an asset to the condo board, you can begin laying the groundwork for a seat immediately. Start by attending all public meetings or gatherings held by the condo board (or even ask to sit in on the private ones) and don’t hesitate to provide input where appropriate. You can also ask to serve on a board committee that is dedicated to a specific task, like landscaping, entertainment, or code enforcement.
Search for Knowledge
Begin making preparations for an election campaign. Educate yourself by reading the minutes of each meeting for the past several months or few years and examine the condo association’s financial statements.
Next, get out and walk around the property regularly to see what areas can be improved. This will also make you more familiar to other residents and staff. Reach out to a former or retiring condo board member to learn more about the dynamics of the board.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
Once the board announces an opening, you’ll need to assemble a “resume” that outlines your qualifications for the position, details your relevant skills and outlines your goals for the group and the condo community itself.
Finally, if you don’t make it to the condo board on your first try, stay persistent. These groups are always looking for people with a strong work ethic and commitment to helping the community.