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Home COFSAB Forum Repairs and Maintenance Hiring Maintenance Worker Reply To: Hiring Maintenance Worker

  • 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.