The power of the board

Board meetings are usually held monthly and in private. Unless the board grants permission, an owner is not permitted to attend the meetings. However an owner can ask to examine the minutes of previous meetings.

With the exception of the auditor, the board has the power to hire and fire any and all contractors and professionals who provide services for the corporation.

The board approves all contracts with all contractors that provide services and materials to the corporation.

The board sets the annual budget and determines the common element fees.

The board has the power to raise the common element fees (taxes) without prior notice or consultation with the owners. Likewise, the board can pass a motion to raise a special assessment. A special assessment is a one-time tax levied on the owners to raise money to pay for certain expenditures.

The owners are usually informed of the fee increases and any special assessments by regular mail.

The board has a duty to collect the monthly common expenses from the owners. When an owner is in arrears, the board needs to insure that the management company collects the arrears in time or a lien is placed on the owner’s unit.

The board can suggest amendments or additions to the corporation by-laws. The owners must ratify these changes. The board may also make additions or amendments to the corporation’s rules. Changes to these rules are mailed to the owners. Unless at least 15% of all the owners sign a requisition calling for a special meeting to discuss and vote on the changes to the rules, they are adopted.

The board is responsible to enforce the Condominium Act, the declaration, the by-laws and the rules. The board may take owners who violate the above to mediation, arbitration or court to seek compliance and the corporation’s legal costs.

In extreme cases, if there is a very unruly owner, the board may take that owner to court to obtain a peace bond or even to obtain court orders demanding that the owner vacate and sell their unit.

The board sets the agenda for the Annual General Meetings.

As you can see, the board has tremendous power, including taxation, obtaining compliance with the by-laws and rules and, in extreme cases, exile, over the residents and owners of the condominium community.

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