Like I did last year, I thought that I would again share the five most popular posts of 2017. With so much talk this year about marijuana, prostitution, electric vehicles, and other hot topics, I assumed that those topics would dominate the list, but that was not the case. Interestingly, three of the top five posts were also on the list for 2016 (albeit in different positions). Will the trend continue next year? Only time will tell. Continue reading
I’ve had a few questions about requisition meetings recently so I thought I would take some time today to make a few comments about them.
First, a requisition does not always mean that the owners distrust the board or think they are doing a bad job. Often, in my experience, the owners simply want more information than they feel they have been given. Sometimes the information requested was previously provided to the owners, which can be a big source of frustration for directors and managers. Try not to take it personally. The information may have been misplaced or forgotten, or they may not have understood the information provided and need clarification. Whatever the reason, consider the meeting an opportunity to discuss issues and find creative solutions to problems.
Second, preparation is the key to a successful requisition meeting. There is nothing more frustrating to the owners than attending a requisition meeting only to find the board does not have answers to any of the questions asked by the owners in the requisition. This will lead to a heated and lengthy meeting. Take a few hours before the meeting to review the relevant documents, talk to the necessary contractors or professionals, and consider preparing any visual aids or handouts that might assist.
Third, pick a venue that works well for a requisition. If the requisition is likely to result in a volatile meeting, such as where the removal of directors is sought, pick a neutral location such as a common room or your local library. Don’t hold the meeting in an owner’s unit. Also, consider if security guards or off-duty police should be hired for the meeting to ensure that all attendees are safe. This shouldn’t be necessary for most meetings, but I have been to meetings where I was glad they were there!
Finally, consider if other people, such as contractors and professionals, should be invited to the meeting. If the requisition mentions issues with a major repair project, it might be a good idea to have the engineer present. Sometimes a lawyer might be a good idea, such as where there are complex legal issues to discuss, but other times the lawyer’s presence might create a hostile environment for the meeting. It isn’t necessary to have a lawyer attend or chair the meeting; the lawyer should only be invited if his or her presence will assist in some way.
For more information, see my previous posts on requisitions:
One of the most contentious sections of the Condominium Act, 1998, is section 46, which is the right of owners to requisition a meeting of owners. Given the number of cases on the requisition right (most of which dealt with improper denials of valid requisitions), it is no wonder section 46 was one of the sections targeted by the government for a significant overhaul. In fact, section 46 will be repealed in its entirety and replaced with a very different process.
The amendments to the Act are designed to reduce disputes regarding the form and content of requisitions. The process is more clearly described and prescribed forms will be required. If a dispute arises, it will be up to the Tribunal to make a decision and if the Tribunal is not established, it will be up to the Superior Court of Justice to make a decision (which is the process used now in most cases).
As the end of the year approaches, I like to look back at the lessons that I’ve learned (both in my personal and professional life). Over the next two weeks, I’ll share some of those lessons with you. For now, I thought that I’d share the most popular posts of 2016. Surprisingly, none of this year’s most popular posts were actually written in 2016.
5. Making Entry to a Unit
An oldie, but a goodie. This post from 2014 describes the requirements for making entry to a unit or exclusive use common elements: reasonable notice; at a reasonable time; and for purposes related to the objects and duties of the corporation.
So, this won’t be like my usual posts where I share a recent case or discuss a section of the Condominium Act, 1998. Today I’m going on a rant about the relationships between owners, directors, and managers.
Last night I attended another requisition meeting. Nothing out of the ordinary about a requisition meeting; the best managed condominiums can have them from time to time. They are often a result of owners feeling in the dark about an issue and wanting more information. However, in this case the requisition was to remove a majority of the directors, which usually signals bigger issues. I can’t identify the parties involved because of privilege, but one of the reasons the owners sought removal of the directors was that the owners wanted to terminate the property management company and the directors refused or failed to do so. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this as a reason for a requisition to remove the board of directors. It seems to be a trend in recent years. Continue reading
The courts have been busy this year! While that is good news for law bloggers, it means far too many condominiums are spending money on lawyers when they could be spending it on solutions. Here are the highlights from cases in Ontario:
10. Declarants may use s.152(6) of the Condominium Act, 1998 to regain control of phased condominiums years after they became entitled to request a meeting of owners to elect a new board. Such conduct may not be oppressive, even when the reason for the request was to end litigation started by the condominium against the declarant: Middlesex 643 v. Prosperity Homes Limited. Continue reading
Section 46 of the Condominium Act, 1998 (the “Act”) permits the owners to demand a meeting of the owners (often called a “requisition meeting”). To prevent a single owner from causing unnecessary cost and disruption, the Act requires the demand (called a “requisition”) to be made by the owners of at least 15 percent (15%) of the units. It is noteworthy that it is the owners listed in the condominium’s records, not the registered owners that may requisition the meeting. Because of this distinction, it is important for the owners to notify the condominium when they purchase their units and for the condominium to update its records when such notices are received from the owners. Continue reading