Some of the changes to the Condominium Act, 1998, have received a lot of attention over the past year, like the new requirements for holding meetings or the information certificates that condominiums will be required to send to their owners. These are important changes for sure, but there are some interesting changes that people aren’t really talking about. Continue reading
Are you ready? In less than three months the first set of amendments to the Condominium Act, 1998 comes into force. Arguably the biggest change is the creation of the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO). I like to think of the CAO as the “Condo Police”.
Several weeks ago I wrote a post about stats on condos in the areas covered by the Golden Horseshoe and Grand River chapters of CCI. I’ve looked up the stats for the Toronto and area chapter. I’ve included the numbers for Toronto, York, Peel and Durham since most members of CCI Toronto appear to be located in one of these areas. The numbers are interesting (spoiler: it isn’t all the megatowers you might expect).
A condominium administrator is a person appointed by the court to manage the affairs of a condominium when the board is unable to properly manage the condominium in accordance with the requirements of the Condominium Act, 1998.
According to section 131 of the Act, a condominium, owner, or mortgagee of a unit can apply to the Superior Court for an order appointing an administrator. The Act states that 120 days must have passed since the turnover meeting, but there is a case where an administrator was appointed before the turnover meeting where the developer refused to call the turnover meeting.
We now have more information about the proposed fees for condominium managers under the Condominium Management Services Act (CMSA). The fees are intended to fund the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO), which is the not-for-profit corporation that will be designated as the administrative authority for the CMSA on November 1, 2017.
The proposed fees are:
|Transitional General License||$607.00|
|Condominium Management Firm License||$799.00 plus $350.00 for every licensed manager employed by the firm.|
You have until August 10, 2017, to provide feedback. Visit the CMRAO’s website to take the survey and provide your feedback: http://www.cmrao.ca/
The proposed fees seemed high to me when you factored in the fee charged to the management company for each licensed employee so I looked at a few other professions (i.e. accountants, doctors, engineers, and real estate brokers) to see how their annual fees compared. The range was $300 to $1100 with engineers and brokers closer to the low end and doctors and accountants at the high end. [For those interested, lawyers pay over $2,100.00 per year for our licenses plus a few thousand dollars (at least) for mandatory insurance].
On top of the annual fees, there will likely be extra fees for mandatory educational courses and exams required for managers to obtain and retain their licenses. I suspect that the fees will be similar to those paid by other professionals as well, but we will have to wait and see.
There has been a lot of talk this week about defamation in condos. Most of the interest comes from a decision released in Ottawa last week. A judge has ordered Yahoo! and Yahoo! Canada to disclose information that a condominium needs to determine the identity of a person responsible for sending defamatory emails to its owners and residents. The emails apparently accused the directors of receiving kickbacks.
Professionals who work in the condo industry often say they’d never buy a condo. I was no different. A large part of my day is spent dealing with the problems faced by condos, such as disputes between neighbours, financial concerns, construction defects. I didn’t want to spend my time at home dealing with the same issues.
It has been about 10 weeks since I moved into my first condo and I’ve been pleasantly surprised! The community is great. The neighbourhood is wonderful. The condo is well managed. No disputes. No financial concerns. No defects. We love our new home!
Being a condo owner has changed my perspective. I’ve learned a few lessons being an owner that I never would have learned as a condo lawyer. I thought I’d share them with you today.
- Sometimes it is easy to violate the rules. I read the documents before I purchased, again before I moved in, and after we moved in. And you know what? I still inadvertently violated a rule within the first week of moving in. Oops! Fortunately, it wasn’t a major infraction and it was easily corrected.
- Topics that seem trivial are meaningful to the owners. I’ll admit it. I’ve sat in on AGMs and thought “why are they arguing about this?” when the owners are debating something seemingly trivial, like the length of the grass or the watering schedule for the gardens. It never really sunk in before, but the condo is someone’s home. The issues aren’t trivial to them.
- It is easy to be indifferent. I regularly hear about condos without quorum at their AGMs or a vacancy on the board because no one will run. How can owners have so much apathy when it involves their largest asset? Turns out it is easier than I thought. I attended the AGM, but I wasn’t about to run for a position on the board. Who has time for that?!? I would have been more inclined if it wasn’t so well managed. Maybe directors shouldn’t take offense when no one steps up. Maybe it is because they are doing a great job.
It has been an interesting ride so far. I look forward to learning more as I go on this condo adventure. I’d love to hear stories from other first-time condo owners.