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  • Hiring Maintenance Worker

    Posted by Karen on April 10, 2022 at 8:58 am

    adamskm

    We have had a maintenance man who has been paid for maintenance duties since our condo buildings were built 2008/09. He lives on site as he is also an owner. Until 2015 he submitted his hours and was paid according to the hours he said he worked per month. After 2015 he was paid a set amount per month. In this position he saw himself as the ultimate authority on anything maintenance related plumbing/ boilers/ electrical/ leaks etc. and as he was also a board member until last Oct. no one was to question what he said or did. He said this is what happens in all condo buildings. Maintenance has the final say to operations in the building in that department. We have a property manager but this person has no idea how much he works either. We have a new board and he is retiring come Oct. We want to hire a new person and are putting out an advertisement with hours and wages negotiable. The problem is we have no idea how much our previous maintenance man worked per day, week or month. During the last year,  from what I can see has not been a lot of hours. We do need someone daily to check our boilers but the rest is routine and could be done on a set day unless we have an emergency or a contractor visiting site. Other duties are seasonal and only occur a couple of times a year.  We are in a small centre compared to the big cities and do not have a property manager company here and would prefer not to deal with city companies due to the extreme distance. What do other condo associations do for maintenance when they live in a smaller center. Any help or suggestions are appreciated.

    Karen replied 8 months ago 1 Member · 0 Replies
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  • Karen

    Administrator
    April 10, 2022 at 9:02 am

    GibsonT

    For clarification: the only one that has authority to make any decisions at a condo is the board, unless they delegate that responsibility to someone else.  In my experience, delegations of authority need to be cautiously given.

    One approach might be to make an outline of the work you need and ask a number of folks to give you a proposal.  This is similar to a job description.  This way you can be clear about what you want and you can measure the performance of the contractor by comparing performance to the outline.

    There are pros and cons of contracting an owner or resident to do the work.  Sometimes a non-resident can be better.

    Cautions: always ensure that contractors have liability insurance and that they have a valid Worker’s compensation account.  Otherwise, if they make a major mistake or have an accident, the condo could be liable.

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    • Karen

      Administrator
      April 10, 2022 at 9:04 am

      adamskm

      Thank you Terry for your feedback. As always I am appreciative and find it helpful.

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      • Karen

        Administrator
        April 10, 2022 at 9:06 am

        MarkH

        Lots of red flags here! I’ll insert comments in bold/italics in the copy below.

        We have had a maintenance man who has been paid for maintenance duties since our condo buildings were built 2008/09. He lives on site as he is also an owner.

        There’s a potential for conflict of interest here. It would be wise for the board to develop rules about conflict of interest appropriate to your community. In our big-city situation, we had a similar issue. The board developed a policy (now called rules) that prohibited an owner (in this case, the spouse of the board president!) from doing paid work for the condominium.

        Until 2015 he submitted his hours and was paid according to the hours he said he worked per month. After 2015 he was paid a set amount per month. In this position he saw himself as the ultimate authority on anything maintenance related plumbing/ boilers/ electrical/ leaks etc.

        Did this person have professional or trade qualifications? If something went wrong, say a boiler explosion, who would be responsible? Probably the corporation for permitting an unqualified person to do work for which trade qualifications are required.

        and as he was also a board member until last Oct. no one was to question what he said or did. He said this is what happens in all condo buildings.

        Most emphatically NOT! This is why COFSAB was founded, to raise the level of knowledge and competence in running condominiums. As Terry noted, only the board has decision-making power and should only delegate it in exceptional circumstances, probably set out in a bylaw.

        Maintenance has the final say to operations in the building in that department.

        No – board responsibility, as noted above.

        We have a property manager but this person has no idea how much he works either.

        There will soon be new regulations from RECA – Real Estate Council of Alberta determining the qualifications for condominium property management; the PM will probably have to comply with these through education, training and exam passing.

        We have a new board and he is retiring come Oct. We want to hire a new person and are putting out an advertisement with hours and wages negotiable. The problem is we have no idea how much our previous maintenance man worked per day, week or month. During the last year, from what I can see has not been a lot of hours. We do need someone daily to check our boilers but the rest is routine and could be done on a set day unless we have an emergency or a contractor visiting site. Other duties are seasonal and only occur a couple of times a year.

        I suggest you approach a company specialising in condominium engineering matters (you can find listings on the CCI (Canadian Condominium Institute) sites, describe your problem, and have them help you set up a programme and job description that meets your requirements and capabilities. Ask three companies what they would do and how much it would cost. The lowest bidder may not be the best choice. It would cost money; in the long term, your savings could be considerable by doing needed preventive maintenance rather than dealing with emergencies. For example: when I became our board president many years ago, the competent engineering company recommended to us evaluated our heating systems (six boilers in three buildings, serving 175 units), determined that no maintenance had been done for many years, and set about flushing the systems and replacing filthy filters. Immediately, the heating system performance improved.

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