Friday, March 9, 2012

Chronicles of your Condo Life

Lets Chronicle your First Year of Condo Ownership - Now you really have questions.

You made a selection a few years back that you thought would suit your lifestyle and moving into the future. You made a wise selection based on where you would be working near transit and community hubs.

The Builder /Developer has served notice that a Turn over Meeting will be held in a Hotel and or Meeting Room (unless your Rec Center is indeed able to hold all the residents) and hopefully the majority of residents will attend. An invitation was made by the Management Company / Builder / Developer for residents to put their names forward for positions on the Board. Usually 3 positions are posted.

Each person who is interested my make a verbal submission at this meeting. There is a vote held by the residents and VOILA you now have a Board of Directors.

The Board will now meet monthly to discuss the financial expenditures and operational issues of the building. You may need to have a double first maintenence fee becuase there probably isn't enough cash on hand to pay the hydro and gas bills. You condo bylaws do not permit you to pay interest on any overdue bills.

During the course of the first few meeting you will accept or adopt;
  • The Management Company
  • Security Concierge Services Alarm Systems
  • Elevator Contracts
  • Generator Contracts
  • Maintenance Agreements for all building Equipment
  • Cleaning and Service Personnel
  • Landscaping and Pest Control
  • Garbage Removal and Recycling (we pay a tipping fee)
  • Secure Legal Council for the Corporation
  • Obtain an appraisal for Insurance purposes
  • Select an Insurance Bid/ Broker
  • SEARCH Title to insure the removal of all liens
  • Contracts for Window washing
  • Bids and Tenders for Carpet Cleaning
  • Bids and Tenders for Parking Garage Sweeping
  • Review of Security Door and Camera Equipment.

Now, We need to immediately start on the Performance Audit. We have till the calendar year end from the turn over of the building to examine all the shop drawings, electrical systems, count floors and windows and verify that we received what was contracted to be built for us in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Bids are tendered for an Engineering Firm to review this on out behalf and produce a performance Audit. This PA entails meeting with residents in a Town Hall environment and producing a questionairre that is circulated to the building residence. This question form asks about draft leaks, windows and exterior wall finishes and insulation looking for commonality of construction shortfalls or errors. Individual test holes, drilling and samples of concrete are compiled.

The Performance Audit is used to file a claim against the builder and Tarion Home Warranty program for items that may / should be warranty claims with the builder. Having finished the Perfomance Audit the same firm of engineers selected by the Board will calculate a replacement cost table of average costs using 40 year averages. This Reserve Fund Study makes calculations of what is required for the long term repair and upkeep of the building. A complete table of annual contributions is over the replacement cost of individual components. Under the Condo Act (1998) adoption of the Reserve Fund study is mandatory unless the Board can produce another engineering report for refute the findings.

The Builders (proposed Annual Operating Budget) includes only the legislated minimum contribution of 10% to the Reserve Fund that is woefully inadequate given the size and complexity of most structures built today.

Your Board is Now required to increase the contribution to Reserve as required by The Reserve Fund Cash Flow Summaries and in accordance with the Condo Act this will take place starting the next full year.

Increases of 20 - 25% in the first year are not uncommon with many buildings coming in around 58 cents per square foot as the average maintenance cost. Taller and thinner slender towers are the most efficient construction method but we seem to prefer the multi- tower construction that shares a more enhanced Recreation Center and Running Track. Multiple Tower structures with shared Recreation Centers would prove costliest. Single towers with height ( ie 30 floors+ ) and large floor plans (30 units per floor) offer economy of scale

If you have questions or comments please add them. Need to talk Call me at 647 218 2414

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