The first two years are often the most important years in the life of a condominium corporation.
Here’s a list of ten key steps to take during the corporation’s first two years:
- Arrange for the corporation’s first reserve fund study before the corporation’s first anniversary (section 94.(4) of the Condominium Act). Then prepare the corporation’s first reserve fund plan.
- Arrange for proper turnover from the Declarant (section 43 of the Condominium Act).
- If the corporation includes one or more units for residential purposes (and also in the case of common elements condominiums) arrange for the first-year performance audit and for claims to Tarion (section 44 of the Condominium Act). [NOTE: Consider a second-year update to the performance audit, to be submitted to Tarion as a second-year claim. Also consider whether or not ordinary Court claims should be launched, in addition to claims to Tarion.]
- Check for any required amendments to the Declaration, Description, By-laws and Rules.
- Takes steps to recover any first-year budget deficit from the Declarant (section 75 of the Condominium Act).
- Consider any agreements arranged by Declarant. Should steps be taken to terminate or amend any such Agreements (sections 111 to 114 of the Condominium Act)?
- Did the Declarant fulfill all of its commitments set out in the Disclosure Statement? Also consider any required claims for false or misleading disclosure.
- Has the Declarant paid all condominium fees on units owned by the Declarant (from the date of Declaration to the date of transfer)? Be sure to lien within the 90-day lien period.
- Consider any Conflict of Interest Issues – if any representative of the Declarant remains on the Board.
- Is there any need to make changes to the status certificates? Note in particular paragraph 12 of the status certificates. [Is the corporation aware of any circumstances that MAY result in an increase in common expenses?]
PIPEDA is the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. It is federal privacy legislation. PIPEDA applies to most Canadian organizations involved in commercial activities (except organizations in provinces that have their own privacy laws similar to PIPEDA).
Among other things, PIPEDA says that organizations that collect persons’ personal information cannot use or disclose that information except with consent of the person in question or as permitted by specific exceptions set out in PIPEDA. This is of interest to condominium corporations because condominium corporations gather personal information – particularly relating to owners and occupants of the units.
That said, Canada’s privacy commissioner has confirmed that condominium corporations have the right to gather and use personal information (from owners or occupants) as required to fulfill the objects and duties of the condominium corporation.
This means that condominium owners and occupants cannot object to the condominium corporation fulfilling its objects and duties (as set out in the Condominium Act or the corporation’s Declaration, By-laws or Rules), even if the condominium corporation must use or disclose the personal information of owners or occupants in doing so.
Among other things, PIPEDA also states as follows:
- Each organization must “designate an individual or individuals who are accountable for the organization’s compliance” with the principles expressed in PIPEDA. In other words, each organization is obligated to appoint a “privacy officer” who will oversee the organization’s compliance with PIPEDA. [In the case of a condominium corporation, it might often make sense for the property manager to be this “privacy officer” (assuming of course the manager agrees).]
- Each organization must “implement policies and practices to give effect to the principles” in PIPEDA. [So, condominium corporations are obligated to have “privacy policies”, (which could also be passed as Rules, if desired).]
What can we expect in the world of condominiums in 2015? It’s going to be a busy year! Here’s our list of the top six ‘new or likely’ developments in condo law in 2015.
According to the province, changes to the Condominium Act are coming “soon”. We may see them in 2015.
- The province is also exploring the idea of requiring that condominium managers be licensed, so licensing of Ontario condominium managers may also arrive in 2015.
- In keeping with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, new accessibility enhancements have been incorporated into the Ontario Building Code, effective January 1, 2015. These accessibility enhancements apply to new construction and major renovations.
- We believe that 2015 may see more “e-type” advances in condominium administration – such as increased use of electronic proxies and electronic notices.
- Effective January 1, 2015, amendments to the Smoke Free Ontario Act prohibit smoking in certain outdoor public spaces as well as on patios of restaurants and bars. This second category may affect some commercial condominiums.
- Carbon monoxide detectors will have to be in place by either April 15, 2015 or October 15, 2015 – depending on the size of the condominium. For more information, see our blog of November 6, 2014.
Take a deep breath. Here comes another year.
We wish everyone a safe, healthy and happy 2015!