Why cheat?
There are a variety of reasons for cheating. It depends on the persons involved and it differs depending on the directors, the property management and the candidates.

First of all, it's very effective.

Cheaters win and there are so many ways condo elections are rigged, it can be very difficult for a small group of owners to remove an entrenched board.

Besides, the majority of owners don't catch on that the elections were rigged and even if they did, many wouldn't care.

Money and jobs
Usually it is all about money.

Property management is a precarious business and a contract can be lost whenever a challenger wins a seat on the board.

Sometimes new directors have grudges against the management. Perhaps they suspect or they discovered fraud. The manager or district manager may be overbearing or it could be as simple as a personality conflict but if the majority on the board changes, the management company knows they may be replaced.

The directors and/or manager may be receiving kickbacks or personal favours from the contractors. Someone's relatives have contracts working for the corporation.

Perhaps a couple of directors are stealing. It happens. At one North York condo, when a new board finally got elected, they found that there was $600,000 in missing condo fees and most of the corporation records were missing.

Even if the board and the management are completely honest and ethical, it may not matter. All the contracts; management, cleaners, law firm, trades and security could be at risk if there is a change in the majority of directors. All the contractors have an interest in stability on the board.

Some people enjoy being on the board. They like being important and being in the know. Some like the flattery. They will fight to keep their positions.

Hiding the past
A couple new directors on the board may start snooping around and find things that would be best if the owners didn't know such as who the board hired to perform certain contracts, the costs of certain projects or the fact that the utility bills have not been paid in full for the last few years or that a couple of the directors have not been paying their common element fees.

An incumbent president in Toronto was not paying his common maintenance expenses. He ran to keep this from the owners and most likely to continue enjoying this "perk".

Protecting private interests
A board may have been hijacked by investors who violate the rules by renting out furnished units on Airbnb or other Internet websites. Perhaps they use their units as overcrowded rooming houses. They have a strong interest in retaining control of the board so their business interests are not threatened.

It can be the opposite where the owner-occupants want to retain control in a condo where the majority of owners are absentee landlords.

Best interests of the corporation
The present board may "know" that they are the best trained, are the most qualified and have the best interests of the owners at heart and the other candidates are less qualified and have improper motivations for wanting to gain control of the board.

So they will do what it takes to to keep "them" off the board.

At times, an honest board has good reason to fear that they may be replaced by irresponsible owners who will cut the common element fees and cancel required repairs. In these cases, they may cheat with the best of intentions. However, it is still cheating.

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