The Importance of Proper Records (By Gerry Fanaken)

Strata councils routinely become so busy dealing with new issues, they often forget about keeping detailed and accurate records of the past. For example, minutes of meetings are a vital record of the decisions of council and the owners. They may be required by prospective purchasers, current owners or maybe even judges in courts of law. This is only one example to illustrate the importance of proper records and data maintenance.

Other examples would be depreciation reports, engineering studies, various major repairs completed, financial statements, audits and similar items. In the past, most strata councils would maintain hard paper copies of these documents and then store them away in file folders, storage boxes and file cabinets. Often it is very hard to find some historic record which suddenly becomes an urgent matter for a current issue.

Technology is certainly the answer as virtually all of this information and data can now be stored electronically and made available in mere minutes when needed. Often strata councils change and new members do not have the benefit of having easy access to important documents and records of the strata corporation. Digging through dusty old boxes stored away in the electric room or some other dark corner of the building is really no fun and indeed discourages new council members from educating themselves on the past activities of the strata corporation.

Today, just about everyone has a computer and having all the records so easily available on one’s own computer is simply “the way to go”. In the not too distant future, it will be the only way to go.

Gerry Fanaken, now retired, was a strata property manager for over thirty years and the CEO of a large strata property management company in Vancouver. He is the author of Understanding the Condominium Concept: An Insightful Guide to the Strata Property Act.