Why You Should Join Your Condo Association's Board
If you’ve recently purchased a condo, then you’ve likely already had at least one encounter with your building’s condo board. They probably stopped in to give you the bylaws or review your owner responsibilities and welcomed you to your new home. You should read those bylaws front to back and then join the board yourself. Here’s why:
Most people realize that Homeowner Association (HOA) boards are vital to their communities, but Condo Association (COA) boards can play an even more vital role in regard to their properties. Often, especially in states where HOA’s are more common than COA’s, people don’t really know just how much of a contribution the Condo board members make and what that commitment can mean.
Condo association boards are responsible for making pretty much every decision about your community and the buildings you live in. If it helps, you might picture them as something of a self-contained government, directing the management, maintenance, finance, and development of your building.
A good condo association can be the difference between pleasant living conditions with regular preventative maintenance and a negative experience with amenities left in disrepair. They can also directly affect your quality of life in your own home. If a pipe bursts and floods units, and the board doesn’t take immediate action, it can create a situation where units on multiple levels are affected, as a friend of mine once unfortunately discovered. A dispassionate and disconnected board is a problem for everyone living in that community.
As an owner, you have a stake in ensuring things are properly run. After all, the decisions a condo board makes, and whether or not its members are competent, directly influence your property value and living conditions. As such, it’s in your best interests to join your condo association. Professional management companies, like RealManage, can provide your community with tools and experience but it’s up to you as an owner to take a more active role.
By securing yourself a position on the board, you’ll be able to directly influence the development of your condo complex. You’ll be able to take an active role in guiding decisions that impact everything from amenities to bylaws, potentially challenging those you disagree with or those that may affect future owners.
As an example, say you purchased a condo in a building that doesn’t allow pets. As a board member, you can more easily make your voice heard as you campaign to change that bylaw. As an added bonus, you can gain valuable life experience. You can learn to be better at managing money, better at forging and managing relationships, and better at leadership.
Plus, it’s volunteer work — and that always looks good on a resume.
However, a word of caution: Joining a condo board for purely selfish reasons is a bad move. Because like it or not, it’s a lot of hard work. Depending on which position you choose, you could be signing up for a second job — and an unpaid one at that.
Instead, join your board because you want to do something good for the community. Because you want to grow, learn, and thrive as an individual. Because you care about your fellow residents and about your friends and neighbors. Protecting your investment is just an added bonus.
Guest Blogger: Ryan B. Bormaster
Ryan B. Bormaster is the managing attorney at Bormaster Law. The law firm practices in a number of areas, including real estate law.