INSIDE INSIDER CORRUPTION

How Insiders Get Started Pocketing Your Condo Fees Legally

By adding insider board members, having an insider condo lawyer, changing of bylaws with little time to review bylaws, all for one vote, upcharges & friendly persuasion.

 (1) Adding Insider Board Members:


See Who The Insiders Are:  Names of Service Alberta supported condo industry insiders re condo legislation. {CLICK HERE}

There will be 7 board members instead of 5. If all 5 board members are in attendance, it is not too bad but if board members are absent it is too huge of a responsibility to leave to 3 or 4 people. We are a multimillion dollar corporation and 7 opinions and ideas would certainly help with the decision-making.

If you see this written anywhere - newsletter, notice to condo owners, posted on bulletin board, beware.

Ask your Board this.
 

WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?
Since day one this condo complex has had a 5 member board with good reason. Over the years we have come to the conclusion that 5 members are sufficient over 6 or 7, with more than 5 being absolutely unnecessary for a 100-300 condo complex. And, as your  present board knows, along with everyone else, 5 members is the maximum that you can handle and/or is required.

Responsibility and Decision-making to run your multi million dollar corporation has been accomplished effectively and efficiently, with the 5 person board, since 2000. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

Some board members are maybe holding too many inside jobs that they rightly should not be holding. A problem? yes I’m afraid so.
 

If you were thinking of having outsiders on the board (although not illegal) the following is how it ALWAYS starts and ends, starting with conflicts of interest and ending in a horror memory for the owner residences.
NEVER let any outsiders such as Condo Management Co. personnel., Condo Lawyers, Condo Contractors personnel, Condo Insurance Co’s personnel, etc. be allowed to run to become a board member. Like I said above, it starts with a conflict of interest and quickly accelerates.

Do not allow anyone to persuade you in switching from 5 to 7 members in this matter.
 

All Condo Boards should only allow owner residents with 1 year residency to be voted to the board. This is presently in place in other condo complexes with great success. Some complexes also demand a police clearance. It has been said insiders have bought condos just to be voted to the board, some have actually moved in for a month or two to make it look good.
 

One example Only: Having the board president associated with the property management company, it does present a potential conflict situation. The board president cannot vote or participate (or even be in the room) when an issue arises with respect to the property management company. If the president participates, stays in the room, or votes on an issue relating to the property management company, the whole voting process could be called into question.

Like I mentioned above, a horror memory in the making with many more horror story endings. Just imagine the ‘conflict of interest’ scenario in any member position. A true no-no if there ever was one.

(2) Having An Insider As Your Board Lawyer:

You will notice an increase in all sorts of legal letters. You will also notice a strong desire to change/amend Bylaws & Policies. All written in Legal writing.

Have any changes, when necessary, written in plain english, saves you money & only has one clear meaning, not 2 or 3 meanings like in lawyer lingo, dependent on how it's being read.

Save a lot of money, hire a condo lawyer only when needed.

(3) Changing Of Bylaws With Little Time To Review Said Bylaws:

Before any money is spent on bylaw revisions,  demand the board explain to all owner residents, with a detailed report of all the bylaw changes/additions/deletions that they have planned. You want to know what’s going on. You would like to think that all items mentioned in any detailed report are truly transparent, as you do not need to be kept in the dark regarding these important matters.


Anticipate that all the above, and what the costs are, will be shown and hashed out by the board and the  condo owners, way before any draft copy for the owners is supplied. No, you do not need or want a lawyer involved in the hashing and what the costs are. It’s time to start saving some money. Lawyers fees in changing, adding, rewriting, amending bylaws are out of this world, you will be shocked.

A reminder to your Board of Directors:
The Board represents owner residents and are accountable to the owner residents. The Board does not represent themselves, management or lawyers.

When the time comes to review said changes the owner residents, want & need a minimum, 30 days for reviewing.
 

Currently, condo boards/managers are not required to give condo owners advance notice of bylaw changes where the 75% vote approval is required.

That means condo owners might have a very short period of time to review, clarify, questions and/or discuss proposed condo bylaw changes. Who is telling who what to do here?
 

Condo Owners if this happens, DEMAND and I mean DEMAND, copies of proposed bylaw changes/amendments and advance notice of motions be distributed to all owners thirty (30) days before the vote deadline.
 

This gives condo owners time to read, reflect, initiate discussion, ask questions, clarify, confirm and receive answers on legislation that will affect their property values, quality of condominium ownership and life, and financial stability.
 

Also, for the meeting to be held on a Wednesday evening, not on a long weekend or a regular weekend, not on a numbered day. On a Wednesday. Wed. is the best day for a full turnout. When voting on bylaws, a full turnout is crucial to achieve the results you want & need.

(4) The 'ALL FOR ONE VOTE' :

Never ever agree to bundled “one vote for all” vote processes applied to bylaw changes, additions or deletions. Condo bylaws being grouped together in one large package and owners being given only ONE vote to either vote for ALL the bylaws or vote AGAINST ALL the bylaws is unacceptable. DEMAND all bylaw changes, additions, and deletions be individually described in point form, in all condo bylaw revision packages, with 75% ownership vote agreement in place.
 

This idea lessens the potential of condo owners being overwhelmed by the complexity and length of legally written, large amounts of bylaw correspondence. Bylaws are intended to protect and maintain owner property values; quality of life; financial stability; and owner’s rights.

They must be abundantly clear and can only be made that way by individual attention. If they insist on pushing the “one vote for all”, vote ‘AGAINST ALL’ bylaws.
 

You can always set up another meeting with another vote, a meeting that is fair to the owner residents, with each individual bylaw described and written in layman language (plain english), leaving no doubt as to the clear meaning of each individual bylaw. Be sure to vote on each individual bylaw.

Let them know that you want all our future bylaws to be written in plain english, that way there is only one true meaning per bylaw, whereas legally written bylaws can have 2 or 3 different meanings, dependent on how it’s being read and explained. Being written in plain english also saves you big time money.
 

ANOTHER ALSO: WHY ARE THEY REVISING THE BYLAWS NOW WHEN THE REGULATIONS THAT SUPPORT THE ALBERTA CONDOMINIUM PROPERTY AMENDMENT ACT 2014 HAVE NOT BEEN PROCLAIMED – THAT MEANS THEY ARE NOT LAW YET.
 

SAME GOES FOR MARIJUANA, NOT LAW YET.
 

(5) CONDO MANAGERS 'PREFERRED SUPPLIER' LIST:

FEES/COMMISSIONS/UPCHARGE DISCLOSURE:

This loophole enables condo management companies to ask suppliers to pay them a certain amount should the supplier wish to be on their “Preferred Supplier” list (or a similar name).  

This means that if a condo owner needs a job done, if the condo management company refers a “Preferred Supplier” to do the job, the owner could, unknowingly, be billed for the job itself AND the “Preferred Supplier” fee the supplier is required to pay the management company. Anywhere from 15-25%.

 How you can put a stop to this action.

Demand that all condo owner invoices be itemized to identify the product and/or service cost, the taxes, and any extra fees/commissions – all as separate line items.

This idea clearly identifies to condo owners and condo boards what the actual product, service or repair cost is AND what additional fees, commissions, kick-backs, or upcharges are added to the invoice.

The upcharge can be anywhere from 15% to 25%.

This is only one of their MONEY MAKERS and is a well known fact. Insiders work together. They all have a private group of contractors that take turns putting in the winning bid. That way they keep it, as the saying goes, in the family.

On a lot of the maintenance & repair jobs Management won't even ask for bids, they just hire their preferred supplier.

Also called Kickbacks, Consulting Fees, Admin Fees, Gravy, Hush Money, Sweetener & so on.

If you see the same contractors at your complex to do work you actually don't see being completed or never ever started you better be making a few enquiries. They can be called in and just play with some piping or fool around with the old wiring to look like their working. All in all, it's costing you money and lot's of it, continually.

(6) Friendly Persuasion:


Whatever you do, if something doesn't look right or feel right, do not go along with it. And do not let any friendly persuasion change your mind. Do what's right for you and your owner resident neighbor.

AFTERTHOUGHT:
For most of us that live in a condo complex the largest purchase in our lives is our condo. Let's all show some true grit and smarts when it comes to protecting our property.

Do not be afraid to speak out, that is our right, as there is a lot at stake for us all. Do not let the insiders out wit us at this critical time  of decisions that must be made. Hanging in the balance is the right to control  your own money, brought about by your monthly condo fees,  Remember, it is your money that keeps the million dollar (corporation) condo complex afloat, safe & sound. You pay the insiders for work performed, they do not pay you, therefore YOU ARE THE BOSS.  keep it like that.

To get around all this corruption all you really need is a respected & reliable Chartered Accountant, and a Condo Lawyer when needed. Aquire quotes from the accountants & lawyers.


THAT's THE WAY I SEE IT

See Who The Insiders Are:  Names of Service Alberta supported condo industry insiders re condo legislation.
{CLICK HERE}

CONDO ACT SHORTCOMINGS AND LOOPHOLES



All indications are that Service Alberta will proclaim, very soon, the Alberta Condominium Property Amendment Act, 2014.

This Act does not protect consumers, those of us who have purchased Alberta condominiums. We see this Act as incomplete, punishing, and costly legislation for Alberta condominium owners.

More to come soon in regards to shortcomings and loopholes that could negatively affect our property values, quality of life, health and wellness, and financial stability.


Gov't corruption & abuse towards all Alberta condo owners.

 

Welcome to sierraswatchdog.com.....
 

Our ambition is to put a stop to the endless punishment that can and is forced upon condo owners in Alberta by unscrupulous Managers, Presidents of Boards, Lawyers, etc.

The Alberta Condo Act/Bill 9 has brought nothing but corruption & abuse towards all Alberta Condo Owners. The Bill itself, initiated and entrenched by the insider groups and the Gov't., leaves no recourse for condo owners.

The insider groups and lobbyists, in this matter, have been protected by the Alberta Government since 2009, far too long. How were they able to keep this buttoned up from the opposition Government, the correct police authorities, whistle-blowers or even the general public, go figure. No criticism has ever been broadcasted aloud in regards to this broad scale injustice, I wonder why. This is nothing more than a legal technique to disassociate oneself from any crime.

Not one condo owner was then, or ever has been, invited to participate in the initiation of Condo Act/Bill 9 or any revisions since.
 

This extreme injustice has to end. 


How was this ever allowed to happen. The condo owners pay everything and anything that has a cost to it and is associated with the Condo Industry. This whole scenario should be reversed. Like I mean we pay them, they work for us, we don't work for them, they don't pay us. Why are we even letting those insiders dictate what we do or don't do.

******* SOLUTION, fire them, replace management with a good registered licensed and regulated certified charter accounting firm, replace the lawyer with a qualified licensed collection agency, hire a lawyer on the rare occasion you may need one, a new board or perhaps the same board is voted in by owners with new orders - to post all projects, old or new, repairs or replaced along with the 3 quotes, to the bulletin board.
 

Board meetings open for up to 5 - 10 condo owners if any wish to attend. Same routine goes for the hiring of all service staff, pay attention to your job description set up by the owners or your out. Total transparency and full communication for everybody.

 This would be a start to correct the many ‘abuses of power’ and ‘leverage’ provided by these insiders to the power hungry board members against the owners.
 

The rest will fall into place. If the board needs help in any tough matters, just ask the owners, they will be glad to help. A lot of professional people retire to age restricted condo complexes, just ask around, they'll jump at the chance to help. After all it's their home too.

Sounds like it's worth a try.

For a real break down and some unbelievable information on what's happening to condo owners in Alberta go here: {CLICK HERE} 


Watchdog - THAT's THE WAY I SEE IT

M. MacDonald - my website disclaimer on bottom of every page at www.sierraswatchdog.com applies to this article/ letter/email/words/post and all my condo related work.

The above article is of my own doing & opinion. Thank you for reading said article.

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