Contracts, Contracts, Contracts

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Condo Smarts is a regular read for many Property Managers and Strata Councils throughout the province.  The author, Tony Gioventu is also the Executive Director of the Condominium Home Owners Association (CHOA) of which we have been a proud member for many, many years.  He is well respected throughout the industry for his practical advice to Strata Councils on a variety of matters, including issues they might face when dealing with their Property Managers.

Tony recently wrote an article on the importance of Council members reviewing and executing contracts.  We think this is important advice.  For the most part, Property Managers will enter into day to day agreements with Contractors (for example, it is not practical to ask a Council member to sign a work order asking an electrician to come and replace a burned out ballast).  Our Property Managers will habitually ask Council members, usually the President, to sign larger agreements (once they have been reviewed and approved by Council) such as ongoing contracts and those for substantial projects.  Contract awards should also be reflected in Council meeting minutes.  This serves as demonstration that the project is both authorized by Council and that the Council is aware of the specific terms of the agreement, not just what the quotation says.  This may be seen as a nuisance by some or ‘the Property Manager’s job’, but we do this to avoid the type of scenario described in Mr. Gioventu’s excellent article.

Mr. Gioventu also makes a small comment about the importance of legal review of contracts before they are entered into.  This too is important advice, especially on larger/ongoing agreements which are binding on the Strata Corporation for lengthy periods of time and/or for large dollar amounts.  Our Property Manager’s are never a substitute for legal advice and Strata Councils should consider having contracts reviewed by qualified professionals to ensure the terms are fair and that they are consistent with what the Strata Council expects from quotations/proposals.