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Helpful Tips In Electing Your Council

Electing capable Councils year after year is crucial for every Strata Corporation.  Most importantly, your success as a community will depend on having the right people in charge.  I have assisted the chair at many general meetings in taking ample time helping owners conduct the election of Council with due care. 

As a chairperson, first you’ll always want to organize your thoughts.  The Owners are counting on you to explain due process step by step.  You may also want to start by thanking the current Council Members, who are about to step down, for all their good work in the last fiscal year.  Projecting a positive image with pride of the current Council will set the desired tone for the election.

While there are a number of specific sections in the Strata Property Act and in your bylaws on Council election, term, duties, and roles, you want to be careful not to turn this very important part of the meeting into a long-winded, boring, “Condo 101 seminar”.  I know…, sometimes it is hard to read people, especially if it’s a larger crowd. While some people would very much prefer a long “seminar” session on the topic, citing every single related section of the Act and bylaws, this could be a turn-off for most people.

In my experience, by the end of such a meeting, the vast majority of people would just want to go home. So, you want to keep things positive, upbeat, full of energy and move towards the nominations efficiently.  However, there are a couple bylaws I would definitely want to mention, and these are:

  • 9. “Council size”

1 . Subject to subsection (2), the council must have at least 3 and not more than 7 members.”

  • 10. “Council members' terms"

1.       The term of office of a council member ends at the end of the annual general meeting at which the new council is elected.

2.      A person whose term as council member is ending is eligible for reelection.

At this time, I will also mention, if there are more than seven nominees, the Owners will have to vote for their favorites, between one and seven nominees.  Before I open the floor for nominations, I explain that people can nominate their neighbours or themselves.  I also give them a heads-up, that I will be asking them to come in front of their neighbours and say a few words explaining why they would like to serve on Council.  It's also important to hint that nominees should be motivated by a selfless desire to serve their community and should NOT be motivated by personal agendas. 

It's worth mentioning that portable skills will be an asset, but not a requirement.  Portable skills could come from many different backgrounds, such as accounting, various trades, human resources, leadership, etc. I then suggest a few preferred positive attributes Council members should possess and also a few basic requirements they should be made aware of:

  • Serving on Council will require time.  Do you have the time to serve on Council? As per the Agency Agreement, there will be a set amount of Council meetings scheduled in the coming year.  You will also be expected to work on Strata matters between meetings!
  • Do you like to solve problems or dwell on them, or even worse: create them?  Remember, as a Council member you will be busy, and it will be expected of you to solve problems and to make timely, prudent decisions!
  • Are you a team player? As a Council member you will have to collaborate and work with others.  You will also have to respect final votes and the democratic process.
  • Do you have patience, and do you enjoy interacting with people? Part of your mandate is to provide assistance to Owners on a regular basis; And just a heads up that some of those Owners could be difficult to deal with.

After you have covered the basics, you open the floor for nominations and the nominees come to the front to introduce themselves. If you have between three and seven nominees as per your specific bylaws, you can call for individual majority votes. This usually happens in a fun atmosphere, but remember there might be times, when a community is divided and then, it will be even more important to take special care with the voting process.

What happens if you do not have enough nominees?

You must remind the Owners that the Strata MUST have a Council. Explain to the owners that a court appointed administrator is very expensive!  At this time, almost always, more hands will go up for nominations.

After a successful election, congratulate and thank the new Council, asking them to remain a few extra minutes after the meeting to discuss the service roles.  It would be a good idea to present the new Council with a welcome package, which could include the following: 

  • Draft Agenda for the first Council Meeting
  • “Council’s Code of Conduct” and “Council Positions”
  • Bylaws & Rules
  • Operating Procedures template 

Finally, ask the new Council to write down their full contact information and try to set the first Council meeting date and time, if possible.  

As I mentioned in the beginning, there is a lot more to learn about this topic. If you’re thinking about serving on Council or if you are a new Council member, who is nervous about chairing your upcoming general meeting, there are additional free educational resources available to you.  You should always start by reviewing your bylaws, the Strata Property Act, and its regulations. You can also attend regular educational webinars with industry experts.  At Associa BC, we regularly hold educational webinars and you can also access our free webinar library at the following link: