The monthly Condo Association meeting is one of the most important – yet ignored – aspects Condo life. Often these meetings are about as exciting as watching paint dry or grass grow. However, they also offer deep insights as to how your Association is being governed and how your money is being spent. You might learn about an impending major project or get a leg up on planning for a Special Assessment. For Owners who do show up, you have a chance to interact with and get to know your Board. While there are no dumb questions (only dumb people), if you want to get ahead, follow these tips for asking good questions at Condo Association meetings.
Don’t Bring up Maintenance Questions…
If your Condo Association has a Management team responsible for running the Association, they need to be your first stop for maintenance questions. If you notice a street light is out, or a chunk of drywall missing, email Management as soon as you see it. Don’t wait a month and then ask the Board why XYZ is broken. The Board is just going to refer you to Management, and you’re likely going to make them grumpy that you wasted time. And whatever is broken will have gone unfixed for a month.
…Unless Management is Ignoring You
The caveat to the previous tip is that if you’ve noted something broken and it hasn’t been fixed for several weeks, absolutely let the Board know. This could mean that Management is failing to do their job, or the sign of something worse. In that case, you’re actually doing a great service to the Board. Bottom line: start with Management, then ask the Board.
Do Ask About Ongoing Issues
Asking good questions at Condo Association meetings is a sign of an involved Owner. If the Board is discussing a particular major project, feel free to ask clarifying questions. Figure out if the Board has hired technical representation. Ask if they’ve peer reviewed the work. Ask them the status of reserves. These are all great questions you can ask your Board to learn more. You might even ask questions to try to get them to give you inside information.
Don’t Threaten Legal Action
Unless you enjoy hearing crickets. Any smart Board is going to refuse to engage with an Owner that is threatening a lawsuit. That’s because anything the Board says can be used against them in a court of law. As a result, discretion is the better path for most Boards. If you’re considering legal action, at least be smart enough to not threaten it to the Board outright. Ask your questions and take notes.
Questions at Condo Association Meetings Show Engagement
There are many types of Owners who show up to meetings. Don’t be a monolith. Show the Board that you’re interested in the operations of the building and want to learn more. Find out what’s going on and how your money is being spent. Maybe you’ll find you want to do more than just ask questions – and perhaps even join the Board yourself.