Tag Archives: condominium act of ontario
Mark Weisleder – Yourhome.ca
I have received a growing number of complaints since writing about how condominium boards operate.
Inexperienced property managers who keep poor records, are delinquent in collecting common expense payments or enforcing condominium rules and procedures.
Systems falling apart because they were not maintained properly.
Budgets not being prepared in a timely fashion.
A small group of owners who fight any attempt to raise the common expenses, even if it means that systems fall into disrepair.
Unfortunately, there is very little government regulation as to who can be a condominium property manager. Yet the property manager, in most cases, has a tremendous impact not only on the condominium building being properly maintained, but on the actual resale value of the inside condominium units.
For example, if reserve funds are depleted to deal with unanticipated repairs and replacements, this will make any potential buyer wary of investing in that building.
The Condominium Act of Ontario requirements for a condominium director are that you be over 18 years of age, not be bankrupt and not be declared mentally incompetent.
That is hardly sufficient qualifications for the responsibilities of being a director who will be overseeing and approving budgets that could total millions of dollars and affect hundreds of unit owners. There are no other real educational or financial requirements.
Many condominiums look to retired accountants, who are owners, to appoint as directors. But not all buildings have these types of resource people who both live in the building and have the time to devote to being a board member.
The good news is that there are some things boards can do immediately to assist themselves.
They can join the Canadian Condominium Institute and attend educational programs that are offered during the year, to remain up to date on industry developments and obtain referrals for reputable professional managers.
There is also an interesting website called www.condoinformation.ca, which offers useful practical tips for condominium owners, such as how to deal with bicycles, bike racks and security – given that bikes are usually not permitted in the elevators, dealing with the number of pets in the building and preventing owners from endangering others by throwing things off their balconies.
Don’t just wait for the government to get involved because that may take years. Every unit owner needs to take some responsibility as to how his or her building is being run. The decisions made not only impact your rights to enjoy your common area facilities, they will also have a large impact on the resale price that you can expect to get.
For potential buyers, find out who is managing the building you are interested in. How many years have they been in business and do they manage multiple buildings or just this one?
What is the business background of the directors of the condominium corporation and how long have they been in the position?
Ask all of these questions in advance so that you are not surprised after closing.
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Renters are also subject to board rules
Marilyn Lincoln, National Post
Q. Our condo board is having a problem with the declarant (builder) who is leasing out units and is not providing the corporation with the names of the renters or any other info. These renters have not received copies of our bylaws from their landlord (declarant) and they continue to violate our rules and claim ignorance. The builder informs us he does not have to provide any information and he thinks section 83 (1) of the Condominium Act does not apply to him. Is this an error on his part?
A. The declarant, otherwise known as the builder or developer, is the owner until the date of registration of a condominium declaration and description. Following the registration, the builder must appoint the first board of directors for the corporation. Once the majority of units have been sold, the declarant must hold a turnover meeting at which the owners can elect a board of directors. Sometimes a declarant will continue to be part of the corporation long after the turnover meeting, especially if they still own some of the units. As a condo owner, he or she is entitled to rent their units. However, they are not exempt from following the Condominium Act of Ontario, which is the law.
It clearly states in section 83(1) of the act that any owner who leases a unit or renews a lease shall, within 30 days of entering into a lease or renewal, notify the corporation. The owner must provide the tenant’s name, the owner’s address, copy of the lease or a summary of it, along with a copy of the declaration, bylaws and rules of the corporation. The owner must notify the corporation in writing when the tenancy terminates. The corporation must maintain a record of all notices that it has received.
Failing to provide the above information can result in consequences. For instance, in our corporation, an owner didn’t read our rules prior to leasing his unit. He rented his condo to a family with two dogs, when our documents state only one dog per unit. Needless to say, it was a very stressful time for both the tenants and the board of directors who had to enforce the one-dog restriction. The tenants moved out within six weeks.
Owners, take note: You are responsible for your tenants, who are subject to the same rules as owners under the Condominium Act. In the above case, the writer mentions the tenants are violating the rules and claiming ignorance. The board should send a letter to the tenants and the owner indicating the oversight. If tenants refuse to follow the rules, the corporation can obtain a court order under Section 134 of the act, requiring compliance. If the tenant refuses to comply with the order, the court has the authority to terminate the lease.
Marilyn Lincoln is a condo owner, director and author of The Condominium Self Management Guide, 2nd edition.