Your condo just held its Annual General Meeting (AGM). New directors were elected (maybe even more daunting, you were elected). Now what? There’s lots of work ahead, certainly! But where do you start. Allow us to list the first 10 things you should consider doing following the AGM:
Task #1: As mundane as this first step is, make sure you preserve the proxies, ballots, voting tally and registration sheets. These form part of the corporate records. In many case, corporations hand them to their manager (or their lawyers). The proxies and ballots must be retained for a minimum of 90 days (this must be extended to at least 6 months if an owner requests them or longer if a legal proceeding ensues).
Task #2: One of your first tasks will be to elect and appoint the various officers to the board. Unless your governing documents provide otherwise, you must elect a president amongst yourselves. You must also elect and appoint a secretary (which technically does not have to be a director of the corporation, but it usually only makes sense to appoint one of the elected directors). In many cases, you may have to elect a vice-president and a treasurer.
Task #3: You may consider signing a Director’s Code of Ethics. While this is not mandatory under the current legislation, many corporations have chosen to have their directors sign such a code of ethics. You can find CCI’s Code of Ethics here. While you can improve on this, this one will certainly do the job. Even better, consider making this mandatory and enshrine it in a by-law.
Task #4: New directors should take this opportunity to familiarize themselves with the Corporation’s governing documents, including your Declaration, By-law and Rules. If you have never read them (and many have not), now would be a good time to do it.
Task #5: If there has been a change to the composition of Board, you must file a Notice of Change with the Condo Authority of Ontario. You have 30 days to file it. This is usually done by management but directors can do it themselves (it’s done online but you need the CAO’s ID and password for the corporation). Such a notice is not required for re-elected past serving members. It is only required if there has been a change in the composition of the board. Incidentally, this filing will result in the CAO sending an email to any new director with information about how to log into the CAO’s website. This will be required to take the mandatory training (see item #7 below).
Task # 6: The Corporation also has 30 days to send an Information Certificate Update to the owners to advise of any changes to the directors or officers of the Corporation. Such a certificate is not required if past serving members were re-elected. It is only required if there has been a change in the composition of the board. This form is sent to the owners; not to the CAO. You can find this form (and all others) on the Form tab of the Condo Adviser’s website (at the top of the page) or by clicking here).
Task #7: New directors also have 6 months following their election or appointment to take the required mandatory training. It is free and can be taken online. This training consists of some 21 modules and takes between 6 to 12 hours to complete. You do not have to complete it all at once. This training will be valid for 7 years. Failure to take this training within 6 months will result in the director’s automatic disqualification. For this training to be recognized, the directors taking the training will have to log in the CAO’s website as a director of the corporation, using the login information to be provided by the CAO (see item #5). You can read more on this training here.
Task 8: If you did not do so already, at the time of your appointment/election to the Board, ensure that new directors complete a Director Disclosure Form. This Disclosure Form must be in writing, must be signed and should be held by the Corporation. You can find a blank disclosure form here.
Task 9: Find opportunities to educate yourself.
- Naturally, subscribing to the CondoAdviser.ca will ensure you get free and timely advice for all of your condominium legal needs. You can subscribe by clicking here.
- The Condo Authority of Ontario is a good source of information for owners and directors alike. The CAO is a not-for-profit organization created by the province under the Condominium Act. Its mandate is to support consumer protection for condo communities and to provide condo-related resources and services to owners, residents and directors.
- Consider joining the Community Association Institute. It’s mission is to provide education, licensing and credentialing opportunity to board members, professionals and managers. You can find more information here.
- Consider attending some of the seminars provided by the Canadian Condominium Institute. Find your local chapter and consider joining them if you are not a member already. You can find more information here. (Before anyone asks, we have listed these in alphabetical order)
- For those lucky enough to be near Ottawa, consider joining the Condo Directors Group. This association was formed by and for condo directors in 2013. It provides a forum for directors to network and learn from each other. The CDG meets 4 times a year, usually inviting industry experts. There is no cost to joining this organization. To be added to their distribution list, simply send an email to [email protected]. Incidentally, the CDG’s next meeting is this November 26, 2019. They will focus on security in condos.
Task 10: We’ve purposely left this one blank. Share your experience with us. What other tasks or steps do you recommend be taken by newly elected directors?