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Understanding Board Member Duties: When Condo Boards Fail

Erin Berney
Publication date:
February 26, 2021
Article Summary: 

The article discusses the duties of board members for condominium corporations in Alberta, Canada, and the legal responsibilities that come with their role. The article highlights that many condo board members are lay people with little or no specialized skills, which is why they rely on experts such as property managers and engineers to provide guidance when problems arise. The article explains that board members are fiduciaries to the corporations they serve and are legally responsible for all actions they take, including those of employees and volunteers.

The article then cites a recent case where a ground-floor unit owner in an apartment-style condominium had been living with severely leaky windows for several years, and despite some initial attempts at repairs, communication broke down between the board and the owner. The board declined further investigation and failed to take the owner's complaints seriously, which ultimately constituted conduct that unfairly disregarded the owner's interests.

The article explains that in such situations, there is a section of the Condominium Property Act known as the "improper conduct section" that provides relief for interested parties such as unit owners, and that this section may apply when a board of directors has exercised its powers and duties in a manner that is oppressive or unfairly prejudicial to the interests of a unit owner. The Court concluded that the board's failure to respond to or properly investigate the unit owner's concerns in a timely fashion, coupled with a failure to take seriously the owner's complaints of a potentially dangerous problem involving the building envelope, constituted conduct that unfairly disregarded the owner's interests.

The Court ordered the corporation to complete the final window replacement in the owner's unit and perform all necessary repairs and/or replacements of any other windows that continued to leak, and to repair all interior damage to the unit caused by the leaking windows. The article emphasizes that the duty of condominium corporations to maintain and keep the common property in a state of good and serviceable repair extends to correcting deficiencies and investigating and bringing the conclusions to a meeting of the owners, especially if it might pose a danger to the health and safety of occupants.


condo boards, board member duties, fiduciary, condominium law, property managers, engineers, condominium corporation, unit owners, improper conduct, oppressive conduct, common property, legal obligations, health and safety, fiduciary duty, fiduciary responsibilities, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench.

Source Citation: 
Erin Berney
Understanding Board Member Duties: When Condo Boards Fail
February 26, 2021
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