Something MIssing...?
September 2014

We had a reminder that winter isn’t far away with a brief snowfall a couple of weeks ago. Even with the early white stuff, fall is my favorite time of year and I am looking forward to the new hockey season. As the season hasn’t started yet, my team is still tied for first place!

Welcome to our September 2014 newsletter. As always, we appreciate your thoughts and comments.

Ernie Paustian
Ernie Paustian

Something missing...?

We recently provided a reserve fund study proposal for a potential new client, a developer that had just finished construction of their first commercial condominium property in Alberta.
After reviewing our proposal they had three additional requests:

  1. Would it be possible to prepare a report that didn’t include any opinion or recommendation of funding levels from the reserve planner? I was assured that their lawyer preferred to have reserve fund studies prepared in this manner.
  2. Alternatively, if an opinion was provided, could it be provided separately in a letter addressed to the Board of Directors? (As sole owner of the project, the developer comprised the Board of Directors).
  3. And last but not least, that the only funding option to be included within the report was one based solely on special assessments?

We were unable to provide an amended proposal; (1) contravenes the Condominium Property Act and the Appraisal Institute Standards of Practice, while (2) and (3) provide the probability of a misleading report which is also in violation of the AIC Standards of Practice.

While the contents of a Reserve Fund Study report are important, it’s equally important to know if something is missing…

In a previous newsletter we acknowledged requesting a fair amount of documentation when completing a Reserve Fund Study. An important part of this documentation is the Blueprints, as they are a great tool to assist in preparing the Reserve Fund Study. Quite often there is information contained within the blueprints that may not be otherwise apparent.

Occasionally, the builder doesn’t provide blueprints; quite often the prints are lost or misplaced. For newer properties the Condominium Corporation can usually acquire the blueprints from the municipality at a reasonable price. Considering how often the prints are utilized throughout the life of a property, it is quite a small investment.

Full sets of blueprints can take up a lot of expensive space within the property management office. Copying costs continue to go down, with more locations available to convert hardcopy blueprints to digital format. The digital format is much easier to share with others, back-up copies can be readily produced and digital storage requires significantly less office space.

We realize that collecting the information and documentation can be quite a time consuming process for the property manager or their assistant. Thankfully there are document management systems such as those offered by companies like PowerStrata Systems that can make the process relatively easy.

As the technology is already available, I’m hopeful to soon have a file where the property manager doesn’t cringe at the documentation request. Instead they would provide a website address with a temporary password, thereby saving the property manager’s valuable time, while easily sharing access to the specific information needed in a digital format.

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter. At Delta Appraisal, we work with Property Managers and Board Members to set realistic budgets and to prioritize maintenance and repair projects. Our functional Reserve Fund Studies are unbiased. We are not competitors in property management or maintenance.

For more information about Delta Appraisal and our easy to read Reserve Fund Studies or to request a no-cost, no-obligation proposal, please contact us.

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