What does an administrator cost? 

Once the judge decides to appoint an administrator, the judge then needs to determine who will be chosen.

Who will pay?
The owners will pay. They put themselves into this mess so they need to pay to get themselves out and they will find that when democracy gets sick, the price of the cure is not cheap.

At first, judges tended to appoint lawyers as administrators but they now tend to select experienced condominium managers  or consultants for this position.

Most often the applicant's lawyer will have picked a candidate and has an affidavit stating the candidate is willing to assume the position and stating his qualifications and his hourly fee and whether he'll charge expenses.

The respondent(s) may not like the applicant's choice for an administrator and will suggest an equally qualified candidate and will submit an affidavit from their preferred candidate.

There are several reasons why the respondent's may not want the applicant's choice. If they are the owners, they may feel that the proposed administrator has too close of a relationship with the corporation's lawyer or property management company.

They may feel that the proposed candidate is too expensive and they found a qualified candidate who will charge more reasonable fees or they may believe that they need an administrator who has certain skills or experience that the applicant's candidate does not have.

In early 2010, the two sides at a Toronto condominium, MTCC #710 suggested different candidates for the administrator's position. Along with different strengths and skills, there were big differences in their costs.
Armand Conant $350 an hour
Andrew Wallace $150 an hour
Harold Cipin $125 an hour
Jim Bezemer $100 an hour
Jim Bezemer was appointed as administrator.

Other administrators
Andrew Atrens charged YCC #42 $100 an hour when he was their administrator for the six years from 2006 to 2012. Other candidates applying for an administrator position in 2014, have quoted hourly rates of $80, $110 and $125 an hour.

What to consider
On top of their hourly fees, the condo corporation will be paying the administrator's expenses plus HST and disbursements.

Find out where the candidates live and where their office is. Ask if they will be charging travelling costs. If one lives 100 kilometres away and you are paying for him to drive to your condo and also to the property management office and then back home, he may be making more money driving his car than working on your behalf.

Ask if the candidates are willing to chair the meetings of owners. If so, that could save you the cost of paying for a lawyer to chair those meetings.

Track record
Several established administrators have a track record and it is important for the owners to check the proposed administrator's references and check up on their performance at other condo corporations both as a property manager and as court-appointed administrator.

Some candidates have a proven track record of delivering positive results to the corporations that they have managed. However, a few others have not been always successful and their performance may be less impressive than what may be expected. For instance:
At one condo, three years after one administrator took over, the property values dropped to half of what they were when he was first appointed.
One administrator let the utility bills go into arrears for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The owners were unaware that they were owning thousands every month in late payments. He left that mess for the new board to work out.
One administrator could not keep his costs within the annual budgets of $100,000. This is for a job that thousands of board of directors in Ontario do for free. In six years, he charged the condo corporation approximately $500,000 in fees.
One administrator gave an un-tendered contract to a company owned by a close relative.
Another administrator insisted that all owners had to bring their concerns to the property manager. If an owner wants to talk to him, he charges his hourly rate of $125 an hour.

Most administrators are property managers so check on the properties that they manage and ask if you can tour the properties and see their financial statements. You also want to tour the buildings where they were administrators. Ask the owners if they think the administrator was effective when working in their building.

If those properties are in good shape then there is hope this candidate may be able to do the same for your building.

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