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Partner Post: Three Condo Association Project Red Flags

This post was republished with permission from

When you’re carrying out a major project, you’re bound to encounter issues.  Unhappy Owners, unexpected “surprises” during the project, and other challenges are to be expected.  A challenging issue is figuring out what problems are part of the normal lifecycle of a project and which ones are signs of a bad performer.   Here are three Condo Association project red flags that Boards and Management should look out for.

Repeats of the Same Mistake

Mistakes happen during a major project.  No one is perfect, and during a large project with lots of moving pieces, you’re going to have issues occur.  However, if you see the same issues happening again and again, you’ve got a Condo Association project red flag on your hands.  For example, if there is work going on inside units and you’ve told the vendor to lock the unit when finishing up, but Owners keep reporting their units are unlocked, that’s of major concern. 

Important to remedying this issue is to make sure you inform the project lead and your technical representation of the issue.  If problems still occur a week later, it means the project lead isn’t delivering the message or the project team is incompetent.  In either case, you have a Condo Association project red flag.

Poor Documentation

Proper documentation of a major project is critical for several reasons.  It ensures you are getting your money’s worth and the work is being done correctly.  Project reports should comply with any local codes and clearly capture that the work is being done.  It should include narrative that is, at a minimum, understandable by a professional in the field (i.e., another engineer), as well as pictures.  You should receive reports at regular intervals as stipulated by your contract.  Your technical representation should take the lead on this, but your Board and Management need to stay engaged as well.  If you have a building engineer, they should take a leadership role on this issue. 

If your vendor or technical representation are not providing regular reports or reports that don’t contain useful information, you have a Condo Association project red flag on your hands.  Seek to ensure that this is corrected immediately.  Without good project documentation, your Association will suffer in the long term.

Refusal to Correct Issues

Perhaps the biggest Condo Association project red flag is the refusal to correct issues that are identified.  This can present itself in two possible ways – active or passive.  Active refusal is what it sounds like – the vendor will refuse to correct the issue.  They might say it’s not in the contract, or they might view it as unnecessary.  If they start stipulating contract requirements, get your lawyers involved immediately.  If a vendor wants to go down that path, things can get ugly quickly.

The second form occurs when a vendor says they will fix the issue and then doesn’t.  They might be willfully disobeying you, they might be lazy, or they might lack the capacity to execute.  The bottom line is that you are the customer, and if they’re not fixing things, that’s a problem.

Identify and Remedy Condo Association Project Red Flags Quickly

Major projects are can be very disruptive in your community.  When identifying Condo Association project red flags, a key issue to also take into consideration is the length of the project.  If it’s a week-long project, chances are it will be over before you can address the issue.  But if you are dealing with a lengthy multi-week or multi-month project, you need to make sure you are on top of things.  Condo Association project red flags don’t fix themselves.  Make sure you’re being proactive and doing right by your Association.