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How to Fight a Bully Condo Board

If you live in a condominium, you might have encountered a bully Condo Board member before. They may be loud and overbearing, shutting down conversations at every turn, or they may be quiet, keyboard warriors with patterns of manipulative behaviour, making closed-door decisions wherever possible.   

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Meet the Bully Condo Board

In most cases, the Condo Board of Directors acts fairly in the best interest of the Condo Corporation. But every so often, a Board Member can lose their way and allow their position of power to affect their impartiality.  

They can be intrusive constantly singling out Owners they don’t like or individuals who push their own ideas without considering others' needs (such as wanting to ban all dogs). While bully Condo Boards may appear strong, stopping them is not impossible.

How to Deal with a Bully Board Member 

Not sure how to handle a bully board member? First, you need to understand what you’re dealing with.

Your Rights and Limitations

As a Condo Owner, you’re not powerless to the whims of a bully Condo Board. Both Owners and Boards each have a set of rights and responsibilities. Some of these include: 

  • An Owner’s right to raise issues to their Board in an appropriate manner. 
  • An Owner’s responsibility to abide by their Condo Corporation’s governing documents (rules, Bylaws, the Condo Act, etc.).
  • A Board’s responsibility to act honestly and in good faith. 


Understanding the Legal Framework 

Although legislation throughout Canada shares similarities, each province has its own unique Condo Act & Regulations. These provide the framework that all stakeholders must abide by; bully Condo Boards don’t get a free pass to make their own rules.   

Part of addressing a troublesome Condo Board is becoming familiar with the legislation specific to your province. These regulations outline specifically how a Board can enforce Bylaws or the steps needed to change them. The purpose of the regulations is to protect Owners and prevent bully Condo boards by providing fair and objective processes.  

LightbulbTip: With offices throughout Canada, we've developed in-depth guides to legislation for Owners, Boards, and Councils for the provinces where we offer services. You can find guides to the Ontario Condo Act, Alberta Condo Act, and the BC's Strata Property Act all on our website.  

Your Arsenal Against Condo Bullies

It’s likely you're dealing with one “bad apple” bully Condo Board member who’s deliberating undermining the efforts of an otherwise effective Condo Board. An entire Board of bullies is less common but unfortunately, it can occur.  

However, your approach should be the same whether you're faced with taking on a single person or an entire Board. Here’s how to fight a bully Condo Board or a bully Condo Board member: 

Effective Communication Strategies 

Clear communication is as vital to solving problems as an internet connection is to binge-watching Netflix. 

The Condo Property Act (or Strata Property Act in BC) outlines the due process that both parties, Owners and Boards alike, need to follow when communicating with each other. Following it is even more important when dealing with a conflict or uncomfortable situation with your Board.   

An Owner is provided with a few ways to raise their issues and concerns, including:  

  • Writing a letter or an email to the Board or Property Management Company, (no messenger pigeons or quills need apply) 
  • Requesting a meeting with the Board (and potentially calling for an Owner's’ meeting, if required)   
  • Raising the issue at an Annual General Meeting 

When dealing with a bully it might be tempting to handle fire with more fire. However, when writing any correspondence to the Condo Board, try your best to keep emotion out of it – even if the bullies aren’t. Communicating clearly and respectfully, with a touch of assertiveness, can help prevent misunderstandings and keep the situation from getting worse.

 But what if that doesn’t work?   

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Tip: Make sure you keep a copy of all correspondence between yourself and the Condominium Corporation, whether from the Board or Property Manager.  


Conflict Resolution and Mediation

In 2017, a Condo Owner in Ontario was summoned to court...over seven patio chairs. 

The Condo Bylaws stated that Owners could only have six chairs per unit. Maybe the Board thought 7 was a crowd?    

How did this situation escalate to court? Over seven patio chairs? The Condo Board completely skipped over mediation.

An effective plan for conflict resolution will always include a mediation process. This step ensures that disputes are handled constructively while maintaining harmony in the community. When all parties commit to mediation, they often resolve issues without needing further escalation. Opting for third-party mediation is a less expensive and less complicated method compared to the alternative of pursuing a case in court. 

If the entire Condo Board is acting bullyish, it might be more effective to shift gears and communicate directly with the Property Manager. A reputable Property Management company will help the whole community come together, especially in times of conflict. 

If You Can’t Fight Them... Join Them 

Perhaps the best advice on how to deal with a bully board member is simple – join them. No, no, we don’t mean to become a bully...remember what we said about not fighting fire with fire? Instead, become a Board Member! Condo Owners are encouraged to join their respective Boards and become active members of their communities.  

When it comes to a difficult Condo Board, that might be a daunting task at first. But you can grab a friend – encourage your fellow neighbours to step up with you.  If you are here reading this article, you have already mustered up the courage to figure out how best to address your Condo Board. Why not go a step or two further and use that courage to face your Condo Corporation’s challenges head-on?  

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Tip: At Tribe, we're on a mission to help prospective Board Members with our informative Condo Board (and Strata Council) Guides to Success.  We've developed these for Condo Boards in Alberta, Ontario, and Strata Councils in British Columbia, where we offer our services.  If you are reading this from outside those provinces, you will likely pick up some useful tips regardless! 

Can't Owners be Bullies Too?  

We’ve talked a lot about bullies on Condo Boards, but what about Owners? In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have bullies of any kind, but that world would also have unlimited all-you-can-eat-ice-cream buffets. Unfortunately, these personalities exist everywhere, in all kinds of situations. Condo Corporations should consider enacting anti-bullying and anti-harassment rules or Bylaws in their community. 

We always recommend obtaining legal or professional advice when considering changes to your Corporation’s Bylaws.  Just remember, it’s a two-way street. These rules will apply to everyone: including Board Members! 

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Tip: If your community doesn’t already have anti-harassment rules or Bylaws in place, the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) has provided sample rules to start the conversation  


Beyond the Battle: Building a Stronger  Community

“Fighting” a bully Condo Board isn’t necessarily about winning or proving them wrong. It is about keeping them accountable and bringing focus back to the betterment of the entire condo community in compliance with the Condo Act. 

Because once the fight with a bully is over, a better future can begin. 

[BONUS] Additional Resources 

We’ve compiled some further resources available for dispute resolution in your community: 

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