Condo boards can lobby own­ers

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - ROBERT NOCE ROBERT NOCE, Q.C. IS A PART­NER WITH MILLER THOM­SON LLP IN BOTH THE ED­MON­TON AND CAL­GARY OF­FICES. HE WEL­COMES QUES­TIONS OF AP­PROX­I­MATELY 100 WORDS OR LESS AT CON­[email protected]­MON­TON­JOUR­NAL.COM. AN­SWERS ARE NOT IN­TENDED AS LE­GAL OPIN­IONS; READ­ERS ARE

Q: We live in a con­do­minium com­plex with 55 units, and 29 have decks. The board wants to cover these decks with a peaked roof, sim­i­lar to the oth­ers. They have had two votes with the board’s back­ing, plus three with an owner go­ing around with pe­ti­tions, and al­ways failed to get 75-per-cent sup­port. Most own­ers with decks wish to keep them with­out adding roofs. Each time there has been a vote, mem­bers of the board have gone door to door to try to per­suade the own­ers to vote against the decks. The board and the property man­ager are all aware of what is go­ing on and are sup­port­ing this process. Is this the way a board should be op­er­at­ing? Can they just keep do­ing this un­til they get the an­swer they want?

A: There is noth­ing un­der the Con­do­minium Property Act that pro­vides an an­swer to this ques­tion. There­fore, a board could move for­ward with a res­o­lu­tion un­til they get the an­swer they want. Un­for­tu­nately, that is just the re­al­ity of con­do­minium liv­ing. How­ever, I would hope that a strong “no” would in­di­cate to the board that there is no point in con­tin­u­ing this process. Fur­ther­more, there is noth­ing wrong with the board lob­by­ing own­ers and ask­ing them to vote a par­tic­u­lar way, as long as they are act­ing rea­son­ably and are not dis­tort­ing the facts.

Help­ful hint: Cur­rently, there is a gap in the Con­do­minium Property Act with re­spect to spe­cial res­o­lu­tions, as there is no di­rec­tion as to how many res­o­lu­tions can be passed or the time frames in which they must be ap­proved.

Q: Dur­ing a re­cent board meet­ing, a ques­tion of eq­uity and the con­do­minium cor­po­ra­tion came up. We won­dered if a per­son buy­ing into the cor­po­ra­tion would be re­quired to pay the seller of the unit for the por­tion of the cor­po­ra­tion’s eq­uity po­si­tion. For ex­am­ple, if the cor­po­ra­tion has an owner’s eq­uity po­si­tion of $100,000 and there are 100 units and the seller is sell­ing the unit for $250,000, would the pur­chaser be re­quired to pay the seller the $250,000 for the unit plus $1,000 por­tion of the owner’s eq­uity?

A: The short an­swer to your ques­tion is the seller can sell his/her unit at any price. If the seller wants to take into ac­count other fac­tors to in­crease the price of their unit and there is a will­ing buyer for that, then there is noth­ing wrong with that. Gen­er­ally, a unit in a well-man­aged con­do­minium cor­po­ra­tion with a healthy re­serve fund would com­mand a bet­ter price than a unit in a con­do­minium cor­po­ra­tion that is op­er­at­ing in a deficit po­si­tion or with low or no re­serve funds. The pur­chase price should re­flect all of those fac­tors. Whether they do or don’t is be­tween buyer and seller. There is noth­ing un­der the Con­do­minium Property Act that would pro­vide the seller with any di­rec­tion on this is­sue.

Help­ful hint: Gen­er­ally, the buy­ing and sell­ing of con­do­minium units is done in an open and free mar­ket.

Q: We are in the process of hav­ing the first An­nual Gen­eral Meet­ing (AGM) to elect our first con­do­minium board. Most of the lit­er­a­ture states that nom­i­na­tion of board mem­bers hap­pens at the meet­ing. We have had a num­ber of vol­un­teers come for­ward with nom­i­na­tions, and those nom­i­nated have agreed ahead of time to let their names stand for elec­tion. A news­let­ter was sent to own­ers re­mind- ing them of the meet­ing, along with a re­quest for them to con­sider a board po­si­tion. Can the names of these per­sons and a short de­scrip­tion of their qual­i­fi­ca­tions be cir­cu­lated along with the no­tice of the meet­ing? I re­al­ize that we will need to ask for additional nom­i­na­tions at the meet­ing, but I feel that own­ers should know a lit­tle bit about po­ten­tial board mem­bers.

A: The Con­do­minium Property Act does not an­swer this ques­tion. Your by­laws might set out a spe­cific elec­tion process to be fol­lowed with re­spect to nom­i­na­tions. If your by­laws are silent on this point, then there is noth­ing wrong with pro­vid­ing own­ers with the in­for­ma­tion, pro­vided that the people who have in­di­cated an in­ter­est have no prob­lem with cir­cu­lat­ing their per­sonal in­for­ma­tion.

Help­ful hint: It is help­ful to pro­vide own­ers with in­for­ma­tion about the con­do­minium cor­po­ra­tion and those who are seek­ing a board po­si­tion. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is key in condo liv­ing.

Q: Three units in our condo com­plex have no heat, and the property man­ager gave the own­ers the name of a plumb­ing firm that ser­vices the build- ing. They were told that it was their zone valve. Each owner re­ceived a bill for $400 for the re­pair. Shouldn’t these re­pairs be paid by the con­do­minium cor­po­ra­tion, not the own­ers, since heat is in­cluded in condo fees?

A: I can­not an­swer this ques­tion, be­cause your facts do not in­di­cate who is re­spon­si­ble for the zone valve. If it is de­ter­mined that the zone valve is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the con­do­minium cor­po­ra­tion, then the con­do­minium cor­po­ra­tion should pay for the re­pairs. Some­one needs to pro­vide you with that le­gal opin­ion.

Help­ful hint: As per the Con­do­minium Property Act, the con­do­minium cor­po­ra­tion is re­quired to main­tain and re­pair con­do­minium-owned property and com­mon property.

Postmedia News

It’s im­por­tant for condo own­ers to seek con­sen­sus on mat­ters like the ap­pear­ance of their town­house decks.

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