In some condominiums, it can be tricky to decipher the division of responsibilities between the owners and the corporation – particularly when it comes to repair and maintenance of electrical and mechanical features (like HVAC equipment, fans, ducting, plumbing, wiring, electrical panels, etc.).
In many cases, a “Chart of Repair and Maintenance Responsibilities” can be a very handy tool to help the Board and the owners determine, in advance, who bears responsibility for the various different features of the property.
According to Section 43 (5) (g) of the Condominium Act, 1998 (the Act), one of the items to be turned over (to the condominium corporation) by the Declarant is:
A table setting out the responsibilities for repair after damage and maintenance and indicating whether the corporation or the owners are responsible.
Sometimes, Declarants provide such a table….and sometimes they don’t. But such a table is nevertheless one of the records that a condominium corporation is supposed to have under Section 55 of the Act. And a table or chart of the repair and maintenance responsibilities can be a really handy tool (to help owners and Boards understand their responsibilities). Also, going through the process (to prepare such a chart) can help reveal any problems or possible errors (such as errors in the Declaration or By-laws) that might need to be corrected.
I caution, however, that you need to do your best to ensure that any such table or chart accurately expresses the repair and maintenance responsibilities…..because owners and Boards will be relying upon the Chart! [When in doubt, input from your legal counsel or engineer may be a good idea.]
I also like to add a note, at the bottom of such charts, along the following lines:
NOTE: In the event of any inconsistency between this chart and the Condominium Act or the condominium corporation’s Declaration, By-laws or Rules, the Condominium Act and/or the Declaration, By-laws or Rules prevails over this chart.
The idea is to say that the chart is only a tool to help understand the maintenance and repair obligations…..and that the Act, Declaration, By-laws and Rules always prevail (in the event of any inconsistency).
But again, this sort of table or chart is a very handy tool; and in fact every condominium corporation is required by the Act to have one.
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