As a member of your community Strata Council you know that volunteering your free time is not meant to be viewed as some altruistic accomplishment, but rather, you’re there to help see positive actions take place for the betterment of your community.
However, this type of work can be readily undermined with the introduction of a few bad faith actors into the team. You know the types, the one who always wants to extend council meetings longer than necessary. Or the individual who manages to end every sentence with a backhanded compliment or snarky remark. Perhaps this individual constantly sends multiple emails a day requesting personal information or details pertaining to upcoming initiatives.
Whatever the case may be, these are all examples of Strata Council Harassment and if unchecked for too long, can begin festering from a minor headache to a real issue. Here are a few tips and tricks our Property Management Team at Bayview Strata & Rental Services recommend to spot and diffuse strata council harassment:
The ‘Debbie Downer’: This is a commonly felt interaction that I am sure many of you have encountered throughout the years. Rather than providing constructive, valuable suggestions or solutions, this strata council member will instead sit there and nit-pick at every negative thing they can think of. Our suggested solution for working with this type of individual is to be mindful of their pessimism and encourage them to participate in brainstorming corrective actions, do not invite them to continuously complain without a solution.
The ‘Nosey Nathan’: This individual is the one who can be identified easily by the number of privacy complaints they issue. To them, privacy is only an issue that affects their personal well being without concern for others. They like to leverage their position on the Strata Council as a form of authority and use this power to police and enforce rather than protect and serve. The best way to deal with a ‘Nosey Nathan’ is to follow the procedures as outlined in the bylaws. If your strata council does not have a provision for monitoring excessive violation notices we recommend you look into that!
The ‘Historical Harold’: While we believe it is important to always do your due diligence, the ‘Historical Harolds’ of the strata world take things a step further. They ask for every document pertaining to strata council meetings dating back to the inception of the committee. Make sure that you have someone specifically dedicated to accurately and efficiently documenting everything at each meeting. Strata minutes, correspondence, or other important records should be kept in a well-organized file system to not ensure the integrity of your council and the work you have done, but it also saves a significant amount of time when asked to retrieve this information.
The ‘Aggressive Andy’: The ‘Aggressive Andy’ is notorious for brigading or insulting members of the council. To them, the annual general meeting (AGM) purely exists so they can launch attacks in person regarding their displeasure with council initiatives. We recommend that you carefully document all infractions that take place. If things begin escalating to extremes you can issue a warning in the form of a violation notice, or even issue a violation fine.
Being involved in a Strata can be both rewarding and challenging at times, but it is always important to keep your eye on the prize. That being, the Strata Council exists to enrich not only your own livelihood but the entire community as a whole. When communicating with or on behalf of the Strata be mindful of the diverse community you live amongst and respect each of their communication styles at all times. If you have any questions related to setting up a Strata Council or would like to book a consultation we encourage you to click the link below or call any of our offices to get in contact with our qualified team of Property Management Professionals.