“There is give and take in all strata communities. Some owners often struggle with the question, should they do more or less for their stratas.
At which point should they get involved? Understanding the very different roles and responsibilities of owners, council members, strata managers, service providers, engineers, lawyers, warranty companies, developers, etc., is key. As a homeowner, my advice would be to start with yourself. You won’t be useful to anyone, if you don’t understand your role and your own responsibilities. We often see owners trying to micromanage the council, the management company and trades, while not making an honest effort to become a useful, contributing members of their community.
Where to start your journey to become the best supporting shareholder?
- Read your disclosure statement, bylaws, meeting notices and minutes for starters.
- Attend every annual and special general meeting and occasionally, attend council meetings as an observer.
- As you may not know all the details behind council initiated projects, never assume anything, but email your strata manager and find out the answers to your questions.
- If you see service providers performing their jobs questionably, do not approach them directly as it is not your role. Contact your strata manager and advise him/her of your concerns as that is due process.
- In any form of communication, be professional and polite as correspondence will usually be saved and could “come back to bite you."
- If there are educational events available through your management company or other organizations on various strata topics, you should seriously consider attending as many as your time allows.
- If you are thinking about serving on council, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I understand the estimated amount of time I would have to dedicate to strata work as a council member?
- Do I understand there is a high expectation from council members to represent all owners and to act in the best interest of the strata corporation?
- Do I bring positive attributes to the team? Am I a problem solver or a problem creator by nature?
- Do I have useful skills?
- Do I understand what I can and what I shouldn’t expect from my management company, trades, lawyers, etc.?
Strata communities will thrive, because owners like you are making serious efforts to better yourself in order to help others as a positive influencer, committee or council member. If I could give you one good advice, it would be to set high expectations to yourself and reasonable expectations to others.”