With upkeep and mortgage payments, even the occasional renovation, owning your own co-op or condo can be work enough on its own. Now imagine being responsible for 10 units, or 50, even 200. That daunting task is up to each building’s board of directors and managing agent. Together, they form the team that makes sure each co-op and condo community runs smoothly and efficiently, making them a welcoming and safe place for shareholders and unit owners to live and play.
Dividing up those expansive duties can be a challenge. Who is responsible for what? Who defers to whom on important decisions? And perhaps most importantly of all, how can you tell when the other half of your team is doing a good job or not? Achieving a comfortable, effective balance of duties between board members and managing agents will go a long way toward ensuring that a building will operate smoothly and that no important task or duty will fall through the proverbial cracks.
“This is a team relationship,” says Stuart Dix, who with his wife Judy co-owns Just Management in Forest Hills, Queens. “In my experience, management works on behalf of the board and that’s it. But it’s still a team effort.”
Even on the best of teams, each member must know what the other is responsible for. A quarterback may call the play, but the receiver has to know where to run. So, too, should there be a clear delineation of duty within a co-op or condo’s management and board.
For the most part, boards members are elected to uphold and maintain their co-op or condos’ governing documents. They accept a fiduciary responsibility for the building and agree to act for the best interests of each member of that community. To do that, each and every member must be familiar with and understand the bylaws, house rules and any other items of governance relating to their building. They also should be familiar with local, state and federal laws pertaining to the operation of co-ops and condos within their community.