Upcoming Events: Winter 2019

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The post-holiday / winter blahs usually peak around now. Why not get out and socialize with some like-minded people? Meet some new people. Share a few laughs. And learn some tips from the experts. There are plenty of great events coming up this winter. Here are the highlights:

January 2019

23rd – CCI-Eastern Ontario’s Lawyers, Guns and Money in Ottawa. If the title of this event isn’t enough to entice you, I don’t know what is! The presenters will review some of past year’s most important court decisions.

24th – CCI-Huronia’s Introduction to Condos Course in Barrie will provide basic (but important) information to directors and owners.

26th – CCI-GHC’s Beyond Mediation – Condominium Conflict Management in Burlington. I will be speaking with two of the leading condo mediators – Colm Brannigan and Marc Bhalla. This is a level 300 so space is limited. Sign up now to avoid disappointment.

29th – CCI-London’s Lunch & Learn on the Mysteries of the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT). Do you have questions about the CAT? This is the session for you!

February 2019

8th – CCI-GRC’s Professional Partners Lunch & Learn on Preventative Maintenance in Kitchener. This annual event includes over an hour of presentations as well as plenty of time for networking with the trades and professionals in attendance.

12th – CCI-London’s Seminar on Budgets. This course is designed to help condos prepare budgets and will include a discussion of related issues, like reserve fund contributions.

13th – CCI-GHC’s Introduction to Condominiums in Stoney Creek. This session will provide a basic overview of condominiums, property management, director responsibilities and financial issues.

March 2019

1st – CCI-GHC’s Lunch & Learn series. No details are available so you’ll have to check back for further information.

12th – CCI-London’s Climate Change: It’s Impact on Condominiums seminar. Details are not yet available, but this sounds like it could be an interesting session so stay tuned for more information!

Coming Soon – Better City Waste Collection Options for Condos in Guelph

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Last week I attended a meeting with staff from the City of Guelph’s Environmental Services department to hear about the City’s latest efforts to provide better waste collection services to multi-residential properties, including condominiums.  The City’s 2014 Solid Waste Management Master Plan Update included a recommendation that City waste collection be expanded to multi-residential properties. One of the key pieces of this recommendation – a front-end large bin collection vehicle – is set to be rolled out in the second quarter of 2019. This has taken longer than initially hoped, but better late than never, right? Continue reading

End of Year Recap: Top Posts of 2018

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It is that time of year again: time to reflect on the most popular posts of 2018. Just like last year, I expected that this year’s hot topics (cannabis, electric vehicles, and the amendments to the Act) would dominate the list, but that was not the case with one exception (you’ll need to keep reading to find out what it is). Interestingly, one of the top five posts was also on the list in 2017 and 2016. Can you guess the topic? Continue reading

Highlights from the 22nd Annual CCI-T Conference

 

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It was a pleasure for the Robson Carpenter team to see and chat with many familiar faces at the conference this past weekend. The conference was full of fantastic exhibitors and informative sessions on a broad spectrum of issues, challenges, and anticipated changes in the condominium industry. There were so many great speakers, panels, and topics in the various sessions that I often wished I could be in two places at once to listen in on concurrent sessions!

In no particular order, here are some of my favourite moments and takeaways from the conference:

Discussion of Security Issues

I particularly enjoyed the Q&A style insights, advice, and perspectives from the panel in “Palace or Prison: Security Through Environmental Design” with security topics ranging from lighting, mirrors, cameras, and signage, to communication systems for communities. Of note, the panel’s emphasis on unique situations and issues for different types of condominium communities from massive high rises to townhouse complexes was very engaging.

Proxies

It was interesting, if unsurprising, to hear numerous speakers and people I interacted with on the tradeshow floor express ongoing frustration with the length and complexity of the new prescribed form. Clearly this form continues to be a source of frustration for managers, boards, and owners. On the bright side, representatives from the Condominium Authority of Ontario (“CAO”) did highlight they have created an information guide as well annotated sample proxies available on their website (link here https://www.condoauthorityontario.ca/en-US/resources/proxy-overview/ ) to assist owners in understanding how to fill out these forms. Hopefully more refinements to the form are planned by the government in the future.

CAO and CMRAO Statistics

Interesting numbers on the 1st Year of the CAO and Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (“CMRAO”) – representatives of the CAO and CMRAO shared some fascinating statistics about their respective 1st anniversary of operation:

  • The CAO’s database estimates there are over 11,000 condominium corporations in Ontario. Of those, 85 % have registered with the CAO and 84% have provided the required returns (transitional and annual)
  • Over 2,800 licensees registered with the CMRAO
  • Over 300 condominium management companies with 3 companies employing over 100 property managers each.

The Condominium Authority Tribunal (“CAT”) which currently has jurisdiction over records disputes under section 55 of the Condominium Act, 1998 (the “Act”) already has 127 active cases. We previously posted about some of the first decisions released by CAT here (link).

Quorum

There were some interesting questions and discussions in one session regarding condominium corporations that have passed by-laws increasing the quorum threshold from the 25% required by the Act for the 1st and 2nd attempts to call an owners meeting. My opinion, and one shared by a few other lawyers I have spoken to, is that the most recent amendments of the Act in subsection 50(1.2) have voided those higher quorums (ex. 33 1/3 %) thresholds in by-laws. Quorum can be no more than 25%. If a corporation wants to increase the threshold from 15% on the 3rd and subsequent attempts to call an owners meeting, the quorum increase is restricted to remaining at 25% by 50(1.2) of the Act.

Exhibitors

On a final note, the exhibitors with booths that had a live-magician, hockey memorabilia collection, and handwriting analyst were captivating and very popular draws for many.

If you weren’t able to attend this year’s conference, don’t forget the Golden Horseshoe chapter of CCI has its annual conference coming up in the spring of 2019. We will have a booth and both Craig and Michelle will be speaking.  Definitely something to look forward to attending as we slip into the winter season!

Upcoming Condo Conferences

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November is going to be a busy month in the condo industry with three conferences! Yes, you heard me right – THREE!

The CCI National kicks off the month with its Fall Leaders’ Forum in London November 8-10.  Apart from the Leaders’ Forum sessions there are several exciting social events planned including Big Band at the Station (CCI-N Awards Banquet) on Thursday and A Night at the Races on Friday. The 1st Annual CCI National Conference – Mental Health in Your Condo Community – will take over on Saturday. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity. Registration is still available. Hope to see you there!

The ACMO/CCI Toronto conference is back for its 22nd year on November 16 & 17. There will be over 200 exhibitors and dozens of great speakers. This is always one of the most popular educational events of the year so you are sure to see some familiar faces in the crowd, including some members of the Robson Carpenter LLP team.  Register now.

The CCI-EO/ACMO 2018 Kingston Condominium Conference will be held November 23 at the Ambassador Hotel in Kingston. It is sure to be a hit with topics like cannabis, electric vehicles, human rights, and a legal panel. And at $75 it is quite the steal! Register to avoid disappointment.

Don’t worry if you end up feeling exhausted from all of the events in November. Most chapters don’t have any events planned for December. Rest up. There are some exciting events coming in January.

Knowing the Signs…Election Times

When you think of an election what comes to mind? In my experience, an upcoming election means preparing for the barrage of campaign advertising, door-to-door canvassers, and social media posts from your relatives and friends that have questionable fact checking. A significant contributor to the visuals of an election are the seemingly inescapable candidate signs on tufts of grass by the local Starbucks or throughout your neighborhood. Condominiums share the unique complication of sharing a collective yard space that represents the building, tenants, and condo corporation, so management must be prepared to manage the political participation of their owners and residents while staying up to date with the current law. Continue reading

Upcoming events…Summer & Fall of 2018

stencil.default (1)You have probably settled in to your new condo life with prescribed forms for almost everything (with a few notable exceptions, like candidate disclosures). Don’t get too comfortable…there is still so much to come. You won’t want to miss some of the educational opportunities planned for the Summer and Fall of this year.  Continue reading

Construction Lien Changes

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As you may have heard, the first round of amendments to the Construction Lien Act are scheduled to come into force on July 1, 2018. The purpose of this post is to provide a brief overview of some of the key changes as they may relate to condominium projects.

For starters, the Construction Lien Act will be known as the Construction Act. The amendments will not apply to all situations, including contracts entered into before July 1, 2018 (even if subcontracts were entered into after July 1, 2018) or the procurement process was commenced before July 1, 2018. There are other exceptions.  Continue reading

Ontario Election – New Canvasser Rules

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We previously wrote about provincial and federal elections rules relating to condominiums, especially regarding election signs here: https://ontcondolaw.com/2014/05/15/ontario-election-how-does-it-affect-your-condo/  In anticipation of the upcoming election we take this opportunity to provide some information about canvassers for elections.  Continue reading