Property Management Firm vs Self-Management: CONDOS
Property Management Firm Managed or Self-Managed Condominiums?
In our Southern Georgian Bay area, we find that most condominium corporations hire a property management company to handle the day-to-day operations and with the guidance of the board of directors. They look after such things as looking after snow and garbage removal; collecting special fees and monthly condo fees; maintaining common areas; paying the bills for the common areas; maintaining HVAC systems or other building systems where applicable.
Recently we ran across a condominium corporation which is self-managed. The board of directors (often with the help of residents/owners who volunteer) carry out the day-to-day operation of the corporation.
Although this form of management can save money and perhaps develop a greater sense of control for the owners, there can be challenges, such as finding volunteers with financial or legal knowledge; finding volunteers who can carry out maintenance, or even finding volunteers who have the time to devote to these tasks. As with any volunteer driven organization, continuity (turnover) can be an issue, as well as developing a proper set of checks and balances to make sure work is being done and that the requirements of the condominium Act are all being adhered to.
CMHC has this advice about this topic: “When considering the purchase of a particular condominium, ensure that you are comfortable with its management, whether the condo contracts out this responsibility or takes it upon itself. There may be implications for both your condo fees and any obligations you may have toward the building’s operation and maintenance. They also caution, “Self-managed condominiums can work well, but it’s important to have strong support from a lawyer and an accountant who are experienced in condominium operations.”