Who Should Pay the Costs Incurred by the Corporation in an Application for Compliance?

One of our clients recently had issues with an owner that made an addition to the common elements without authorization from the Condominium Corporation.  In this case, the owner installed an air conditioner on the common elements.  The air conditioner was not installed in an approved location.  As a result, the Corporation tried numerous times to have the owner relocate the air conditioner without success.

Continue reading “Who Should Pay the Costs Incurred by the Corporation in an Application for Compliance?”

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Changes Are Almost Here…Important Dates To Keep In Mind

We’ve been waiting for changes to the Condominium Act, 1998 for years. Five years to be exact.  On June 8, 2012, the Ministry of Consumer Services announced that the Government was to launch a “Condo Review Consultation.   On December 3, 2015, Bill 106, Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015 received Royal Assent.  Since then, we’ve been watching and waiting as the regulations have been drafted.

After much anticipation (and trepidation) the Phase I changes are coming into force.  Here are some important dates that you need to be aware of:

November 1, 2017:

• Phase 1 of the amendments to the Condominium Act, 1998, come into force. These changes address:

Information Certificates (to be issued by condominium         corporations)

Notices from corporations to owners and mortgagees

Required Disclosure by Directors and Director Candidates

Mandatory Training for Directors

New Procedures in relation to Meetings [If you have a meeting scheduled on or after December 10, 2017 see below for requirements that apply.]

Quorum and Voting

Voting Requirements for By-laws

Record-keeping and durations

Access to records

For more details, click here for Jim Davidson’s article in Condo Contact.

• The licensing provisions of the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015 (“CMSA”) come into force.

• The Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) will begin accepting applications. Disputes about records will be the first type of dispute that can be filed with the CAT.

• The Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario is to be designated as the administrative authority for the CMSA.

November 25, 2017:

Condo Act Primer hosted by Davidson Houle Allen Condominium Law –   Join us as we complete a walk-through of the Phase I Condominium Act amendments, with ample opportunity for questions. For more details, click here.

December 10, 2017

• If you have a meeting of owners scheduled on or after December 10, 2017 (that you did not provide notice of prior to November 1, 2017) you must comply with the new procedures in relation to meetings, including the Preliminary notice requirements and new prescribed forms (expected to be available soon!) for Meeting Notices and proxies.

December 31, 2017

• All Condominium Corporations must be registered with the Condominium Authority of Ontario and fees from September 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, must be paid. What happens if you don’t register?  Review our blog to see.

• This is the final date for a Corporation to provide a Periodic Information Certificate (PIC) if the last day of the first quarter fiscal end or third quarter fiscal end is on November 1, 2017.

• A PIC must be delivered within 60 days of the end of the first and third fiscal quarter.  Be sure to review the fiscal end date for your first and third fiscal quarter and set reminders that your PICs are due within 60 days of those dates.

[Note: To see if your condominium qualifies for an exemption from producing information certificates, check out our blog respecting exceptions.]

February 1, 2018

• The remainder of the changes to the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015 come into force.

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What Happens If Your Condominium Corporation Does Not Register With the CAO?

At the CCI-EO Annual General Meeting last night, the following question was asked: What happens if a condominium doesn’t register with the Condominium Authority of Ontario?  We realized this morning that the question was not answered, so we wanted to post a quick blog to answer the question.

As you know, the changes to the Condominium Act, 1998 have created the Condominium Authority of Ontario (“CAO”).  All condominium corporations in Ontario must register with the CAO and pay assessments by December 31, 2017. [Note: Check out our previous blogs for more information about the requirement to register and the proposed fees.  Also, please refer to the CAO website for additional information.]

If your condominium corporation does not register or registers, but does not pay its fees, there are two main consequences:

• The Registrar may make a compliance order against the condominium corporation [Notice of this Order must be given to Owners]; and

• The condominium corporation will not be capable of maintaining a proceeding before the Condominium Authority Tribunal or a proceeding in a court in Ontario except with leave of the Court.

These consequences are severe and can have a wide range of implications for condominium corporations.  For example:

• It could affect an insurer’s right to assert a subrogated claim;

• It can affect the marketability of the condominium corporation; and

• It can affect the condominium corporation’s ability to manage the affairs of the corporation.

In addition to the foregoing, condominium corporations must make additional filings with the Registrar including various returns.  If the condominium corporation is not registered, and thereby does not file its returns, it can be subject to late fees.

In our view, it makes the most practical sense to ensure you register.

In order to register, your condominium corporation needs a unique code.  If your condominium has not yet received a unique invitation code, contact the CAO at info@condoauthorityontario.ca.

Stay tuned to Condo Law News for more blogs about amendments to the Condominium Act and upcoming events .

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Electric Cars and Charging Stations in Condominiums

Electric cars, and charging stations, are a hot topic this week!  Britain has announced the eventual ban of gas and diesel powered vehicles, and an Ottawa condo is making national news  (click on the video entitled:  Ottawa Woman’s Power Struggle to Charge Electric Car at Condo Building) about whether or not an owner can, or should be, entitled to charge an electric car. 

In light of all the commentary, we wanted to chime in with our thoughts!

There is no easy, or one size fits all, solution to the question of whether or not an owner, or multiple owners, or all owners, can, or are able, to charge electric cars on the condominium property. 

As was recently stated by one of our lawyers during an interview,  (click on the above-stated video), the collective should work together to find out what is possible, and makes sense, in any given situation – always bearing in mind the applicability of the governing documents in any given case. In another interview, one of our lawyers also explained that many condo boards never imagined having to accommodate electric vehicles, and that infrastructure may be a physical barrier to this type of arrangement.

In some condominiums, the existing infrastructure will not support individual, or multiple, charging stations.  In most of these cases, in order to change the existing infrastructure, a vote of at least 66 2/3% of all owners may be required.  In such cases, until the vote occurs and the infrastructure is updated to accommodate the actual or potential use, individuals will simply be unable to charge their electric cars.

In other condominiums, even if the infrastructure can support the use, where it is a common expense, it may be necessary to install individual metering to ensure that all owners are not paying for the cost of those individuals wishing to charge their electric cars on site.

In many cases, a condominium’s governing documents would simply not have contemplated the advent of electric vehicles.  As a result, in both of these examples, the condominium’s governing documents (the Declaration, By-Laws or Rules) may also need to be amended to reflect this new use of the common elements and/or common services.

In some more recently built condominiums, the issue is moot.  In these condominiums, this type of use has been anticipated, and either individual or shared charging stations have been integrated into the build.  In these situations, we generally see that the use is also regulated and addressed in the governing documents.

The bottom line is that each particular case needs to be carefully reviewed and considered, both from a practical (i.e. infrastructure) and legal (i.e. governing documents) perspective. 

We have worked with many condominium corporations faced with these difficult issues, and have found, in all cases, that there is a desire to investigate and explore the options available to address the interests and needs of all in the community.  However, even if the desire exists at the Board and Management level, the implementation of any particular proposed solution will often go beyond the jurisdiction and authority of the Board and Management, and may require the involvement of all owners.

Stay tuned to Condo Law News for more blogs about current and important issues faced by condominium corporations.

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