While most strata corporations are not self-managed and a professional management company is hired to help guide strata councils, legislation such as the prevalent Strata Property Act gives absolute power to the owners and council to make final decisions on strata matters. The intent of the Strata Property Act is to empower owners in their strata communities to establish procedures that will serve the best interest of their strata corporation.
Owners in multimillion dollar strata corporations are relying on the strong and trustworthy leadership of their duly elected strata council. Read on to discover how you can fulfill these expectations and become a more effective council member for your community.
- Stay Open to Advice - In many cases volunteer homeowner councils are finding themselves overwhelmed with a mindset that is not in synch with the expectations of the provincial legislature. The unknowns, the lack of knowledge and unrealistic expectations will frustrate many councils. Ideally, councils would work closely with their management companies, service providers and legal counsels, heeding their advice and guidance. These professionals are here to give you the most reliable information and insights possible, so staying open to their advice will ensure that you’re equipped to make the best decisions possible.
- Learn Constantly - Councils who are actively involved and serious about learning will do well in serving their communities. In self-managed strata corporations the council is allowed to look after their own accounting, bylaw enforcement, council meetings, contracts, etc. While the advice of professionals is an immensely helpful tool, building your own background on council procedure and community management will help you ask those professionals the right questions, develop your own perspectives on different issues and generally allow you to be more effective in your role as a council member.
- Hire a Qualified Management Company – The council’s job is much easier in strata corporations where the owners decided to hire a management company to help with governance instead of going it alone. Management companies have well-trained, licensed strata manager professionals to provide guidance and to complete most of the action items on the council’s behalf while the council still ultimately leads the community. The council and management company work together harmoniously in the best interest of the strata corporation while respecting the governing laws and due processes.
Extending a hand into the air at an annual general meeting to stand for council nomination and election should never be taken lightly as serving as a council member is not meant to be prestigious. But if you decide to take on the responsibility, make an effort to consider professional advice, sign up for upcoming events and training opportunities and select a management company wisely to enhance the quality of life in your community.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As one of the founding members of the Associa British Columbia New Construction Team, Laszlo continues to pilot projects, enhance systems and workflow processes to better serve clients. He specializes in all areas of transitioning new developments from Developer to Homeowners, including forward planning, consulting, budget planning, warranty consultation and the operation of phased, sectioned and airspace parcel developments. Laszlo’s main focus is to deliver best practices and services to Associa clients. These efforts include client appreciation seminars on various topics, including warranties; client retention strategies, as well as training, mentoring and evaluating Strata manager teams.