Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Are Your Condo Documents Up To-date?
The current Ontario Condominium Act of 1998 is a distant cousin of the first Ontario Condominium Act of 1967. So what is 31 years + 15 years that the current Act has been in place? Ontario is currently operating on its second revision of the original Condo Act of 1967. Unfortunately some of the condominium corporations are trying to operate under the documentation of the 1967 Condo Act. The Condominium Act and the subsequent documents that flow from it are complicated enough. Lets add to that the complication of having documentation written 46 years ago without ever being updated to reflect the current Condo Act of 1998. Too add to the confusion - lets not follow the documentation - but just do what we think is right??? Can you see a disaster in the making? We sure can. I can just the heart beat of the litigation lawyers picking up!
Recently we had the opportunity to review a Status Certificate for a condominium corporation. On reviewing the Status Certificate documents a couple of issues surfaced.
Firstly - The By-laws call for 3 directors but 7 are listed on the Status Certificate. Are we missing a by-law changing the number of directors? Apparently not as the owners/board just decided to have more directors. It is important to note that it does not matter whether the Condominium Corporation is BOARD MANAGED or CONTRACT MANAGED as the Board is ultimately responsible. This raises the question of who are the real board of directors. Is the Directors and Officers liability insurance affected?
Secondly - One of the by-laws had not been signed or at least the copy we saw was not signed.
Thirdly - The condo documents that we saw were original from the time the condo was registered. They had never been updated. There was a Standard Unit By-law which was good.
As a unit owner or a director you must make sure that your condo documents are up to-date with the current Condo Act of 1998 ( Ontario ). It is imperative that the condo is managed according to the registered documents and not just as the owners, board or manager see fit. Enough legal cases have been lost by condos following the rules let alone not following the rules governing the condo. It may not seem important at this point in time but it can and will at some point cost not only the Board of Directors alot of money but the individual owners as well. Court cases are expensive win, loose or draw.
Property values are governed by the current real estate market and the current reputation of a condominium corporation. Rumors can and will drive prices down in a condominium not being properly managed or that is underfunded. Don’t let your largest investment loose value by not having your condominium corporation properly managed and funded.
If you are not sure give us a call and we will review your documents for you and suggest what needs updating at no cost to you. We can be reached at 519-667-1800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.