Calling all condo owners

Condos are springing up all over Whitehorse. It's happened in other cities before, and when it does, problems tend to arise. It's not easy running a condo board.

Condos are springing up all over Whitehorse.

It’s happened in other cities before, and when it does, problems tend to arise.

It’s not easy running a condo board. Disputes with developers and the city, infighting and nepotism within boards, even just keeping the books or running a meeting can be a challenge for the uninitiated.

Sonny Grey, the owner of Grey Management Services, has seen some of those problems firsthand.

His company helps manage condo boards, and he owns two condos himself. After seeing the state of things, he realized more needs to be done.

He’s now looking to start a Whitehorse condo association. On May 23, he’s holding a meeting at Yukon College to see if there’s enough public interest.

“There is a lot of isolation in those groups. Every condo board feels like the issues they face are particular to that situation, with that condo board,” he said.

“I’ve got the type of job that puts me into contact with a number of condo boards and it’s obvious to me that’s not the case, that the majority of people are facing a lot of the same issues.”

Grey hopes someone else will eventually lead the group, but he’s willing to take charge at first.

“I own condos and I manage condos,” he said. “When you see something wrong with the system, in my opinion you should do something about it, and that’s why I’m spearheading this organization.”

Grey has four main areas he wants to focus on.

The first is protection.

“Protection for condo owners versus shady developers versus the city versus corrupt condo boards – that sort of thing,” said Grey. “Both B.C. and Toronto, I think, have associations, probably because they experienced the same growth spike in condo construction as we have, and that resulted in creating associations to protect the benefits and investments of condo owners.”

The second is unity.

Having condo owners organized would, he hopes, allow them to more effectively lobby the government for changes to condo regulations. Grey compared existing laws to a dinosaur.

The third is networking.

“If you were an association and you changed something in your bylaws and it worked positively for you, you’d be able to share that information with the board,” said Grey. “Or if you have a contractor for snow removal and he was efficient and affordable, you could say, ‘Use this guy,’ because it’s really hard to find contractors out there.

“I know that B.C. even has contractors that join the association, specifically for that reason.”

Finally, Grey wants to put a big focus on the education of condo boards and its members.

Before he started managing condo boards, he went through an online course to get certified – something he said was “extremely beneficial.”

Grey is hoping to get a pretty big turnout for the meeting later this month.

“This place is just developing in leaps and bounds. It’s unbelievable,” he said. “It’s important we keep pace with it as it’s developing, and that we set up the proper legislation, the proper protections, the proper groups.”

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