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A sign of healthy condo projects — cleared sidewalks

January 3rd, 2009 · 9 Comments

My last post elicited a few comments, including this interesting one from Michael Geller about the condo projects that haven’t properly cleared their sidewalks et al. (See below my intro comments.) Since the snow is now coming down even more heavily (I can’t believe it, actually), I thought I’d just continue with the snow postings.

Michael’s been talking to me for a while about this problem of condo projects without adequate money in their reserves to do proper maintenance and, in alert journalistic style, he’s raising the issue again pegged to current events. It’s a really worthwhile topic, given how much of our population lives in multi-family developers and is therefore subject to the financial/maintenance decisions of collectives.


One of my related concerns is the number of condominium projects around the city where the owners/manager/property manager have not bothered to shovel the snow in front of the building. (eg one of my own developments on Oak Street between 42 and 43.) My concern is not just the icy sidewalk; it’s the poor attitude being exhibited towards property maintenance and management.

I suspect that many of the projects where the snow has not been shoveled are also projects where the flashings are not being maintained; the drains are not being cleaned out; and other important repairs are not being properly carried out.

As if there isn’t enough misery in the city, I am saddened to report that there is a looming crisis in our city that could ultimately rival the leaky condo problems…. it is the significant number of aging condominium projects that need essential repairs, and yet the governing strata corporations do not have adequate replacement reserve funds to carry them out.

I hate to think of the full ramifications of this situation. So, if you are thinking of buying a condominium in the coming months, check out whether the owners/managers cared enough to shovel the sidewalks. If they didn’t, DON’T BUY THERE!

And if you live in a condominium, make it a new year’s resolution to find out if you are putting sufficient money away each year to pay for essential repairs over time. Unlike Ontario and some other provinces, there is no legal requirement in BC to maintain an adequate reserve. You may want to start this year, when you approve your new operating budget. And yes, you may also want to budget for next year’s snow clearing. Just in case!

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