What Are Directors' Qualifications?

In a nutshellf, very few qualifications are required, except for willingness to learn and honesty.

The Condo Act of Ontario only specifies that directors have to be 18 years or older, not in bankruptcy, and do not have a lien registered against them that has not been discharged 90 days prior to the elections. The other surprising aspect is that someone with a criminal record can in theory become a director.

Raccoon Thief

However, a condo can pass a by-law that will be more specific in terms of who can be elected to the board, provided that this by-law is within the purview of the Act.  For instance, a by-law may require that:

  • all directors be owners. This makes sense because owners are more interested in a condo’s welfare than non-owners would be;
  • or  all directors be either owners or the spouse of an owner, or the adult child of an owner, or the parent of an owner (many adults buy condos for their parents or grown children);
  • all directors be residents;
  • no director shall be an employee of the corporation, such as a superintendent, a manager, a security personnel, in order to avoid conflicts of interest and problems in the line of authority;
  • no two members of a same family be on the board.

However, in deciding to restrict who can be a board member, a board should be concerned that, in so doing, there will remain a sufficient number of interested owners. For instance, if, in a condo, most owners are non-resident, the third option above may present a huge problem.

It is generally very difficult for condos to find good candidates for boards.

In fact, often there is only one candidate for each vacancy on the board. In such a case, the candidate is "acclaimed" at the AGM, not actually elected. These are elections by default! This also makes it easy for a bad board to bring in its own candidate and perpetuate itself, to owners' dismay and feelings of powerlessness.

Perhaps a more relevant question to ask is, What is a Good Board?