Blocks & Lots

What does a condo board do?

A condo board is a group of residents who enforce the rules of the condo and oversee its maintenance and finances. Residents elect their neighbors to the board.

Board members typically volunteer their time. There’s usually an odd number of them, including a president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer.

Condo boards work closely with a property manager, who handles day-to-day operations and elevates major issues to the board.

Rule enforcement

Condos have lots of rules. The bylaws cover how the condo board’s members are elected and how they govern. Covenants, conditions, and restrictions concern property use restrictions. Rules and regulations cover everything in between.

One of the major responsibilities of the condo board is enforcing these rules. Boards delegate much of this responsibility day to day to property managers, but they will get involved in issues the manager cannot resolve. Condo boards can dole out fines and violations to rule breakers.

The condo board also ensures the condo remains in line with local, state, and federal laws, such as provisions banning housing discrimination. This is essential to the long-term health of the condo community and property values.

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Budget keeping and spending

The condo board manages the building’s budget, ensuring common charges cover expenses and that there’s money left over for emergencies. The board will also commission assessments for special projects.

Some of the expenses the board must consider when developing a budget are operating costs, utilities, and insurance payments.

The board also makes sure all homeowners are keeping up with their dues. The board has the power to fine or even force a foreclosure on delinquent homeowners.

Common area maintenance

Each condo unit owner is responsible for their own space. But the condo board must oversee the common spaces as well as the building’s exterior.

Board members schedule regular repairs such as roof work and regularly monitor common spaces to make sure they are in good shape. They may also develop a maintenance plan to make sure they are taking care of each common space.

Supervising ownership changes

The condo board oversees changes in ownership, though it does not have a veto over to whom owners sell their property as in a co-op. Condos usually do not require interviews, and the down payment and other financial requirements are more lenient than in co-ops.

The property manager may assist a condo board with transitions in ownership. That could involve screening potential tenants or filling out paperwork associated with the buying process.

Still, the condo board may require new buyers to fill out a package detailing the transaction and their financials. This could include landlord and personal reference letters. But a condo board cannot reject a purchase unless the building itself agrees to buy the apartment for the same or a greater price than the proposed purchase price.

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Top photo courtesy of 215 Chrystie St.

Joe Zappa