- Posted By Scott
- Oct 02, 2016
Condominium Security for Managers and Board Members Part 3: Implementation
Welcome to the final section of our 3-part blog series on Condominium Security. Previously, we spoke about the other two topics which were Education and Integration. This blog will be discussing Implementation of the Condominium Security Solution.
There must be clarity in the implementation of security processes because of two issues:
The first is that the Condominium Corporation is governed by the Ontario Condominium Act and, as such must legally maintain 2 separate bank accounts – one to be used as an operation account and the other to be used as a Reserve Fund account. The operation account is to be used to pay for all the operational issues that are called for in the Annual Budget. The reserve fund account is used to pay for capital repair and/or replacements of the common element.
Where the Board of Directors struggle is to define what is a legitimate expense to be charged against the Reserve Fund - as compared to what must be paid from the operating account. This problem is compounded when the common element that requires replacement or repair is not specifically called for in the engineer’s study (called the RFS or Reserve Fund Study).
Happily, Boards are able to turn to legal precedents to help them make educated and proper decisions. In the case of Small vs. Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 590, an owner brought the condominium corporation to court to challenge expenses that were paid through the condominium Reserve Account. In this case, the judge ruled that the expanded security system was a legitimate reserve expense, as well as consulting fees.
This is a very interesting case and will be the sole feature of a future blog.
Once the question of funding has been settled, then the Board of Directors need to decide on how to prioritize and implement the recommendations from their security audit/assessment. A 3D Security Services audit report not only includes the vulnerabilities of the condominium, but it also provides a Risk Rating System, as well as recommendations/findings that the condominium can implement in order to mitigate the risk to a tolerable (low or green) level.
This, however, can be a daunting task as most condominiums are undertaking this process for the first time. In some cases, the recommendations can take up 3 or more pages. This is where our expertise and accreditation as Condominium Managers is essential in order to ensure that the expenses are allocated as per the Condominium Act.
In most cases, the recommendations are reviewed and those that posses the highest risks are addressed first. Once risk levels have been reduced to an accepted level, the recommendations with the biggest return on investment (ROI) are addressed secondly (costs and implementation). The security specialist from 3D Security Services will work with the Board of Directors, Property Manager, and Engineer(s) to ensure that the highest risks are mitigated in a safe and financial responsible manner.
The Security Audit from 3D is the first step to ensuring that the condominium has an Integrated Condominium Security Solution, and a plan to move forward.
Please contact us with any questions that you may have about our security audit and the processes undertaken to ensure the safety and security of your owners and residents.