Your condo’s board of directors are elected officials, charged with representing your interests, while simultaneously doing what is best for the building’s corporation. But as with reps at all levels of politics, sometimes these folks push their own agendas—and sometimes, they accomplish nothing.
A competent and efficient board makes decisions regarding the condo’s budget, maintenance staff, and security, all while trying to ensure the development runs smoothly day-to-day. But don’t forget: Its members are fallible, too.
Occasionally, the board will re-write the building’s rules to suit the selfish desires of its omnipotent five-person panel, rather than representing its hundreds of residents. One board member in my own building parked his “summer car” (covered with a tarp) in the visitors section for eight months of the year, rather than paying to lease a space in the building. Just because he could.
One way to circumvent nasty scenarios is to do your homework before you buy. You could request the board’s meeting minutes before moving in, which would give you an idea of how they run the place. And find out which renos you can undertake within your own unit regardless of the tribunal’s approval. Every condominium is different, but management shouldn’t have an issue with you changing light fixtures or putting up your desired colour of window coverings without written approval. (If they do, then you’re truly living in a dictatorship.) Of course, if you’re really fed up with the condo bureaucracy, the old adage applies—if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!