The director of the syndicate plays a strategic role within the immovable. Usually appointed by the Meeting of the co-owners, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the syndicate. Its duties are to make decisions on the directions and priorities of the Syndicate. Such Decisions are without limitation for the purpose of the preservation of the immovable and also the management and maintenance of common portions.
Moreover, he is responsible for protecting the rights of the immovable or the syndicate. In that regard, he must ensure the respect of the declaration of co-ownership by the co-owners, the lessees and the occupants of the building. The Civil Code of Quebec and the constituting act can also impose duties, obligations and responsibilities to the director.
It is not given to everybody to be on a Board of Directors. This task requires excellent interpersonal skills and a strong sense of ethics. Above all the director must be able to put the interest of the collectivity of co-owners above individual interests. Also, it requires being able to work well with others and with courtesy. Another useful skill is empathy; being able to listen to others, respect opposing opinions and work to reach consensus. Sometimes, this means voting against ideas or positions held by other colleagues. In addition, he must be attentive to the information and opinions available, while reserving the right to draw his own conclusions.
Skills and Abilities
At present, the law imposes no skills, abilities or particular conditions to exercise the function of a co-ownership director. In theory, anybody could submit their candidacy in the General Meeting of the co-owners. However, directors must make decisions in areas that are both complex and constantly changing. Therefore, their task will be even harder if the building is dilapidated. Notwithstanding the major investments that will need to be made, construction projects will need to be implemented to carry out repair or replacement work of the common portions. For this reason, it is essential that the director be somewhat knowledgeable in law, accounting and construction techniques.
Although there is no “official course” that exists for directors, the Regroupement des Gestionnaires et Copropriétaires du Québec (RGCQ), Québec Managers and Co-owners Association, offers several training sessions. Regardless of their experience level, anybody can benefit from them! For example, the ABC de l’admistrateur 1 (ABC of the Director) offered in partnership with the law firm de Grandpré Joli-Coeur, allows in a one-day session to learn the basics of co-ownership management. This course will allow new directors to be ready at the get go. For those wanting a little bit more, the QCMA (RGCQ) offers a program of professional courses in co-ownership management at the ESG UQAM. This course, which consists of four 30-hour modules, covers the legal, technical, financial and human relationship components of the co-ownership.
To answers more specific needs and to stay up-to- date, nearly thirty other training activities are available each year in Quebec. Those activities cover a wide variety of subjects. Without a doubt, development of abilities and skills are essential for the good management of a co-ownership. This will help directors in charge, who, more often than not, have no experience in this complex field. They will then be able to fulfil their legal obligations without being afraid of seeing their civil responsibility engaged.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW! The declaration of co-ownership can stipulate that a candidate for the Board of Directors has certain qualifications, like a degree or experience in management.
WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND! The task of director of co-ownership requires a lot of availability, superior listening skills and great communication skills.
WARNING! The choice of directors is essential for the good management of the co-ownership. Directors that are either dishonest, incompetent or both are the biggest threats to a syndicate of co-ownership.
CONSULT THE PUBLICATION: Administrateur de condo, Tout ce qu'il faut savoir (Condo Director, All you need to know)