Being an Effective Investment Owner in a Condo Association

Being an Owner in a Condo Association doesn’t necessarily mean you actually live in the property you own.  While Owners who live in a Condo Association are more likely to feel the impacts of that Association, Investment Owners also should be engaged.  After all, at the end of the day, your property is an investment – don’t neglect it.  Here are some tips to be an effective Investment Owner in a Condo Association.

Reading the Board Meeting Minutes is Even More Important

Condo Board meeting Minutes are one of the easiest ways to stay aware and involved in your Association – no matter who you are.  If you’re not actually living in the building, staying on top of your Association’s official meeting minutes becomes even more vital.  If there’s a major project either in the works or being planned, you’re less likely to know because you won’t be seeing the construction workers or flyers around the building.  Spending a few minutes a month to review the minutes is the best way to stay in touch.  

Make Sure your Lease Covers Association Rules

Make sure your lease has the right clauses in case you've inadvertently rented to Satan.
Make sure your lease has the right clauses in case you’ve inadvertently rented to Satan.

A good lease includes a clause that clearly states your Tenants will abide by all applicable Association  rules, and that any violations or fines resulting from violations will be passed on to the Tenants or be a cause for termination of the lease.  This is very important – not all Associations have the legal authorities or desire to go after misbehaving Tenants.  Instead, they may just go after the Owner, which is you.  You want to make sure you’ve got a strong lease that ensures you can rein in an unruly tenant.  

Make an Effort to Befriend Management

One of the best tricks to being an effective Investment Owner in a Condo Association is to form a relationship with Management.  While you may not physically be present, you should still build a strong relationship with the Building Manager.  Most Investment Owners are sight unseen and non-factors.  The occasional social email or call to introduce yourself and check in will set you apart from other Investment Owners in the building.  Human beings are driven by relationships; Management thinking kindly of you will inevitably pay dividends if you need to interact with them later.

Treat the Property Like You Live There

While you may not live in the property, you should vote like you do.  It might be tempting to ignore special assessments or other quality-of-life measures, but ultimately, an Association’s stability and value is based on how livable the building is.  If you want to protect your investment, don’t be penny wise and pound foolish.  Review the issues and their impacts as if you were an Owner living in the building.  It pays off in the long run

Don’t Forget to Vote!  

Uncle Sam wants you to vote for the best candidate.  For your Condo Board.
Uncle Sam wants you to vote for the best candidate. For your Condo Board.

Just because you aren’t present means you should check out.  Most Associations require Board applicants to fill out questionnaires.  Take the time to review them and see who it is you’re voting for.  While people can of course bullshit the written documents, you’ll still have far more insight to them than if you completely ignore the election process.  Stay engaged and stay aware.

Out of Sight Doesn’t Mean Out of Mind

While it may seem like a hassle, at the end of the day, staying involved is well worth the time invested.  You likely have good money sunk into your Condo, so make sure you’re watching your investment and staying aware of your Association’s goings-on.  Being an effective Investment Owner in a Condo Association protects your investment and prevents future headaches.

 


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