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May 14, 2014 Jonathan H. Fine

How to be a Great Condominium Property Manager

The following list is meant to be an overview to help get you set-up as a property manager at your first condominium corporation. This list is not meant to be all encompassing, but rather is meant to get you pointed in the right direction. A prudent manager will be continually asking questions, attending courses and gathering further information to both improve his/her professionalism and to provide the highest quality service to his/ her clients.

As a condominium property manager, you should:

  • review the condominium corporation’s condominium documents
    • make note of whether there are any special condominium documents such as a standard unit by-law, mediation/arbitration by-law, etc.
  • review and familiarize yourself with the Condominium Act, 1998
  • open two separate bank accounts for the condominium corporation
    • a general operating account in which common expenses are deposited
    • a reserve fund account in which reserve funds are deposited
      • both of these accounts should be labelled ‘trust accounts’
      • you should never mix funds between condominium corporations, or with your own funds
  • obtain accounting software to keep track of revenue and expenses
  • put procedures in place so that financial information will be reasonably current. Ideally, all transactions should be inputted within 24 hours, if not, on a real-time basis
    • have an up-to-date list of all procedures, digital and hard copies are recommended
  • meet with the condominium corporation’s lawyers and discuss history and past issues that have arisen within the condominium
    • encourage the board of directors to take the advice of the condominium corporation’s lawyers
  • discuss and implement a procedure for collecting arrears, including the timing of instructing the condominium corporation’s lawyers for lien purposes
  • discuss and implement a procedure for the drafting, review, and execution of status certificates
  • put together a maintenance schedule by creating a calendar and note dates for when things need to be done and how often they need to be done each year
    • have reliable contacts to handle emergency situations, complaints, repairs, etc.
  • maintain the property by investigating and resolving complaints, inspecting and completing repairs, and contracting for maintenance services
  • draft a disaster plan (see our article entitled “Is Your Condominium Corporation Prepared If Disaster Strikes?”)
  • familiarize yourself with the condominium corporation’s current contracts and keep track of all dates pertaining to expiry, renewal, etc.
  • be a good record keeper
    • you are expected to keep files and copies of all meeting minutes, invoices, legal documents, etc.
  • check Tarion deadlines (for new condominiums)
  • set up appropriate meeting procedures and reporting procedures regarding timelines and protocols with the board of directors, including the preparation of notices calling the meetings, agendas and minutes
  • discuss with the board of directors their expectations as to the Property Manager’s duties and delegation of roles
  • familiarize yourself with your own management contract in order to ensure you are doing what is expected of you
  • shadow a senior property manager for a day
  • remember why you took the job—to be involved with people
    • connect with staff, board of directors and unit owners
      •  ie. host a meet and greet by holding a community BBQ
Jonathan H. Fine

Jonathan H. Fine Partner

B.Sc., J.D., F.C.C.I.
905.760.1800 x226

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