Pri­vate par­ties risky for condo board

Ask your in­surance agent about ‘so­cial host’ pro­tec­tion

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - ROBERT NOCE

Q: We live in a bare land condo com­plex of 40 semi-at­tached units in groups of three or four units with a sep­a­rate amenity build­ing (club­house). The club­house is used for group func­tions, and in­di­vid­ual own­ers can use the fa­cil­ity for their own pri­vate func­tions. At some of the pri­vate func­tions, al­co­hol is con­sumed. Can the con­do­minium cor­po­ra­tion be held li­able if some­one at­tend­ing a pri­vate func­tion con­sumes al­co­hol and is in­volved in a mo­tor ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dent?

A: Pos­si­bly; this ques­tion would re­quire a thor­ough anal­y­sis of the facts to give you a de­fin­i­tive an­swer. You may want to speak to your in­surance agent about ob­tain­ing “so­cial host” or other type of in­surance to pro­tect the con­do­minium cor­po­ra­tion. The ad­di­tional cost to the cor­po­ra­tion could be passed on to the own­ers who book the club­house for pri­vate func­tions in the form of a book­ing fee.

Help­ful hint: Ask your in­surance agent th­ese types of ques­tions ev­ery once in a while so as to keep cov­er­age up to date with the condo cor­po­ra­tion’s needs.

Q: One of our board mem­bers has put his condo unit up for sale. Is he still al­lowed to sit on the board, or does he have to re­sign his po­si­tion once his unit is sold? Our by­laws state that a per­son must be an owner to be elected to the board. It also states that not­with­stand­ing the above, at all times at least one of the mem­bers of the board must be ei­ther an owner or a mort­gagee. Does this mean there is lee­way to keep him on? Can the board ap­point him to fill a vacancy if he has to re­sign? He is an in­te­gral part of the team as trea­surer and we do not want to lose him.

A: The Con­do­minium Prop­erty Act states that at least two-thirds of the mem­ber­ship of the board of direc­tors of the cor­po­ra­tion shall be unit own­ers or mort­gagees un­less the by­laws pro­vide oth­er­wise. Your sum­mary of the pro­vi­sions of your by­laws on this is­sue does not help me an­swer your ques­tion. With­out read­ing your by­laws, I can­not give you a de­fin­i­tive an­swer. You should seek an opin­ion from your le­gal coun­sel on re­tainer.

Help­ful hint: Peo­ple come and go on boards, and you will no doubt find some­one ca­pa­ble to fill the po­si­tion. As well, it’s un­likely this per­son would want to re­main on the board after he has sold his unit.

Q: Our condo build­ing is 20 years old and in need of paint­ing. Our re­cent vote, with 80 per cent af­fir­ma­tive re­quired, fell short at 64 per cent in favour. The 64 per cent who sup­ported the paint job now want to lower the ac­cep­tance rate to 50 per cent. What per­cent­age is re­quired to pro­ceed with paint­ing?

A: I don’t un­der­stand why this is­sue went to a vote. Gen­er­ally, paint­ing (a main­te­nance is­sue) would be a board decision. One would have to re­view your by­laws to de­ter­mine if there are any re­quire­ments or spe­cial rules that al­low own­ers to par­tic­i­pate and vote on this kind of is­sue. As well, there is noth­ing un­der the Con­do­minium Prop­erty Act that in­di­cates that the thresh­old is 80 per cent for th­ese types of votes. Is there some­thing in your by­laws?

Help­ful hint: Con­do­minium cor­po­ra­tions, through their boards, have a duty to main­tain and re­pair common prop­erty and con­do­minium owned prop­erty. It is in­cum­bent on boards to make th­ese types of de­ci­sions. Some of th­ese de­ci­sions don’t re­quire the vote of the own­ers.

Q: Could you tell me why I would need a real prop­erty re­port (RPR) when sell­ing a bare land condo unit?

A: Be­cause you own ev­ery­thing within the prop­erty. The RPR, with a com­pli­ance cer­tifi­cate from the mu- nic­i­pal­ity, is needed for fi­nanc­ing and to en­sure the build­ing and other ad­di­tions are within your prop­erty. You don’t need a RPR when you’re a sell­ing a con­do­minium unit in a low-, mid-, or highrise build­ing.

Help­ful hint: The need for a RPR is a dis­tinc­tion be­tween a bare land condo unit and a tra­di­tional con­do­minium unit. A bare land unit is de­scribed as a unit in a con­do­minium plan by ref­er­ence to bound­aries gov­erned by mon­u­ments placed pur­suant to the pro­vi­sions of the Sur­veys Act.

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Cal­gary Her­ald/Files

A reader wants to know if a condo cor­po­ra­tion can be held li­able for an im­paired-driv­ing ac­ci­dent in­volv­ing a vis­i­tor.

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