We’ve all heard the horror stories of condominiums with no money in their reserve accounts and significant repair projects that need to be completed. Work orders may have been issued by the municipality because the buildings are falling apart and becoming a danger to the occupants. At best, there are allegations of mismanagement by previous boards. At worst, there are allegations of fraud and theft. Many of the owners have defaulted in their contributions toward the common expenses and the condominium is unable to pay its contractors, which results in lawsuits due to unpaid bills. The local real estate agents know of the issues and the market values of the units plummet.
When the board attempts to fix some of these problems, such as levying special assessments, they often receive a requisition to remove them. The new board quickly changes managers, rescinds the special assessment, and lowers monthly fees. A requisition is received to remove the new board shortly after they are elected. Factions form and every issue creates further division among the owners. The problems are ignored or pushed aside while the groups fight for control.
So, what can be done in these terrible situations? The Act contains a few options to help condominiums get out of trouble. Continue reading
Most unit owners would be upset to receive notice that their monthly condo fees were increasing by almost 15% the following year. Recently an owner was surprised when she received notice from her condominium of a 0% change in her monthly fees. She was expecting an increase close to 15%. Was she pleasantly surprised? Apparently not as she commenced an application in the Superior Court of Justice against the condominium and one of its five directors. Continue reading
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.
For those of you familiar with the case, you should know that the motion brought by the former directors for leave to appeal the costs awards made against them was successful. As a result, an appeal will be heard by the divisional court in the coming months.
For those of you unfamiliar with the case, I’ll provide a brief synopsis. It involved an application by a condominium to appoint an administrator. There was also a motion to prevent the owners from calling an owners’ meeting to remove the board until the court made a decision on the application. The condominium was unsuccessful on both the application and the motion. The two unit owners that opposed the condominium sought costs from the directors personally. The court awarded costs against the former directors personally in the range of $35,000.00. The former directors sought leave to appeal the decisions to the divisional court.