Seminar helps strata owners sort out management issues

Should condo owners manage their own buildings?

It’s a frequent topic of discussion among the many condo owners in Victoria, and one the non-profit Vancouver Island Strata Owners Association can help with.

The association will host the seminar Nuts and Bolts of Strata Management, on May 1.

Malcolm Read, president of Bickerton Court Strata Council, will present the pros and cons of self-management and Harvey Williams, past president of VISOA, will discuss the advantages and pitfalls of property managers.

“Some stratas hire a management company for the day-to-day affairs of their corporations,” said VISOA vice-president Sandy Wagner, “and pay according to the services required.”

Other stratas opt for self-management, usually guided by an efficient council and an organized and committed group of volunteer owners.

“The owners don’t necessarily do the actual work but they are willing to track the condition of the maintenance, work with consultants and contractors to prioritize maintenance, gather information about quotes, services and warrantees, make recommendations to council, supervise the work and keep records of maintenance,” she said.

Self-management can be troublesome, though, she added, if owners “fly by the seat of their pants, lurch from crisis to special levy, always choose the lowest bid and generally live in a state of crisis management and disrepair.”

Nuts and Bolts of Strata Management runs on May 1 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Best Western’s Westerly Hotel, 1590 Cliffe., in Courtenay. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m.

For more details call toll-free 1-877-338-4762, e-mail info@visoa.bc.ca or visit www.visoa.bc.ca.