Decide—sell or fight

If you have done all I have suggested, aside from the directors, you probably know as much about the condo corporation as anyone living in your condominium.

You may have learnt that the condo is being poorly managed and the majority of the board members are entrenched and intend to remain in power.

The reserve fund may be empty, there's annual operating deficits, the building is visually starting to deteriorate and the the cockroaches and the mould have taken over.

Yet the majority of owners are determined to keep the fees low. Therefore there is little hope that the corporation can be turned around.

Maybe the condo is in good shape and the finances are in good order. The problem is a noisy neighbour, water leaks in your unit, cigarette smoke entering your unit, dogs barking or other issues that effect mainly just you.

It is time for you to make a decision:
cut your loses and sell.
ignore what you have learnt and put up with it all.
challenge the board.

My best advice is for you to sell your unit and get out while your home still maintains its value. If this board remains in place, you will never be happy.

If you fight the board you will have to put in a tremendous amount of time, energy, stress, lost sleep and money into a battle you may not win.

Suffer in silence
A second option is for you to ignore the problem. Let someone else figure out what is going on and fight the board. There are a lot of silent and isolated owners who are afraid to challenge their board.

I know one ex-board member who plans his annual vacation so he will be out of town when his condo's Annual General Meetings are held. It gives him an excuse not to attend.

However, this is a poor long-term choice as the corporation will find itself in serious financial difficulties at some point down the road and your financial well-being will be at serious risk.

Wait for government intervention
There are some owners who know their board is either incompetent or are deliberately fleecing them. They grumble and complain to no end yet they do nothing to oppose the board. They will not actively help an owner who wants to try to kick the rascals out of office.

Instead they whine that all resistance is hopeless and that we have to wait for the government to recognize our plight and change the Condominium Act so owners will have a tribunal, a cheap and informal way to seek redress from an unjust board.

They will get their tribunal but I think these people will end up deeply disappointed as the tribunal will not solve many of these disputes.

Prepare for Doomsday
“The famine shall consume the land.
—Genesis 41:30
If you are going to stay in a doomed condo, and you are on a fixed income, start putting a $200 or more away each month in a separate savings account. Don’t touch that Doomsday Fund because you will need it when the higher condo fees and special assessments appear. Appear they will.

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