For many condo associations, the board election season is approaching. If your association is welcoming new board members soon, it’s important to begin organizing your training to ensure that members are well prepared to fulfill their obligations to the community. Be sure your training includes key control policies and procedures — especially if your property uses an electronic key control system.
Key control issues that result in litigation are often due to the lack of checks and balances and employee accountability, so it’s critical that new board members follow the appropriate steps to protect keys from theft or inappropriate use. Here are three steps to set up your key control system for new board members.
Create New User Accounts
Don’t wait until a board member needs to use a key to set up their key control system user profile. Immediately after new members are elected, create new user accounts with the appropriate authorizations (more on that below). Don’t forget to disable former board members’ accounts as well. If you use a biometric fingerprint reader for login, scan each board member’s fingerprints and have them practice logging in using the reader.
Set up Checks and Balances
As a key control best practice, board members’ access privileges should be restricted to certain keys and certain purposes based on their responsibilities and powers. For example, you might set up the following parameters:
- All board members have access to keys to common areas.
- Only the board president can access the keys to the records room.
- If it’s necessary for the board to check out the key to a resident’s home, have two members remove the key and provide a checkout reason.
To keep board members accountable, you could set up key control reports to automatically be emailed to designated members of the board at predefined intervals (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.).
Train Each Board Member How to Use the Key Control System
Once a new board member is elected, they’re responsible for familiarizing themselves with the property’s declaration, bylaws and articles of incorporation and for agreeing in writing to uphold those policies. To help them follow the association’s key control policies, board members need to be familiar with how your key control system works. Walk them through procedures for checking out and returning keys, running reports and other steps required for carrying out their duties. Also take advantage of any system training your key control provider may offer.
By following these three steps to help new board members follow your key control procedures, you can help ensure that you protect your property — and your board — from liability related to misuse of keys.