The Condo Game – a documentary examining the forces at play behind the fastest moving condo market in North America. Nov 21 on CBC Doc Zone.
This documentary from Bountiful Films examines the forces at play behind the fastest moving condo market in North America – Toronto – and discovers that the glittering glass hides a sea of troubles. The first startling revelation for many people will be how very much the condo market is focused on investor profit, not affordable housing. One expert even says that it’s really not primarily a housing market but a commodities play. And that means that average Canadians, just looking for a place to call home, are joining a game for which they don’t have the rule book. The Condo Game, Thurs Nov 21 on CBC Television’s Doc Zone
61 per cent of Canadian condominium (“Condo”) owners don’t know or incorrectly assume their building’s insurance will cover damage to another unit from water or fire that originated in their unit
74 per cent of Canadians looking to purchase a condo in the next few years don’t know what their personal insurance cover versus what the condo corporation’s insurance should cover.
Only 39 per cent of condo owners and 26 per cent of condo buyers know that the belongings of a roommate or boarder are not covered under their personal condo insurance policies.
21 per cent of condo owners are not aware that the condo corporation’s insurance is responsible for incidents like falling concrete and shattering glass from condominiums.
As a condo owner, there are things you can do to make sure you are protected:
Ask your condo board or management company to explain what the building’s insurance policy does or does not cover.
Talk to your insurance agent about your policy. Being properly covered can prevent your getting stuck with the bill if your condominium’s policy falls short.
Remember that damage done to your car in a garage or belongings in a storage locker are covered under your personal policy and not the building’s policy so you should ensure your coverage properly protects your car and any items you have stored in your locker.
Right now we (COA) are partnering with Allstate Canada to help educate Canadians about their condo insurance. We’re running a contest to find a GTA Condo Hero – a concierge, security guard or property manager who makes a big difference to the lives of condo owners.
We have been invited by Minister Best of The Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Services to participate with “Building a Better Condo Act” which is a condo reform to ensure better protection and governance for Condo Owners.
Mention has been made on the importance of hiring a good property management company and how they may influence a well-maintained Condo and keep maintenance lower. COA has submitted an extensive report to the Ministry. It is important for Condo Owners to understand that the Property Manager only impliments decisions of the Board of Directors as the Contracted Property Management company employee. Recommendations are extremely important however Condo Board Members need to be informed and aware that they have a fiduciary duty to comply to the Condo Act when making decisions on behalf of the Corporation therefore must accept responsibilities of their decisions and not leave it in the hands of their Property Manager. The Board of Directors have too much power no doubt and many of them abuse the power and do not comply to the Condo Act. The Condo Act is self-governed which is the largest single problem of the Act and it needs to contain diciplinary and a fine process for those who do not comply to the Act. It is no different from the various other Acts in affect Example… Traffic Act, Human Rights Act, Accessibility Act, Health and Safety Act. As it stands now it leaves a wide open space for too much control and abusive power for bad Board of Directors and unfortunately the good Boards who run the affairs of the Corporation in compliance and in good faith are affected. Continue reading →
Stronger Ontario Building Codes to keep Condo Owners Safe
Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister, Kathleen Wynne has announced changes to strengthen the Ontario building code to help prevent balcony glass of newly constructed buildings from breaking and keep Ontarians safe in high-rise buildings.
While this initiative is an excellent start, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing needs to address the inefficiencies of the New Home Warranty Program and Tarion Warranties for new construction and the limited 1-2 years warranties on existing buildings. These warranties do not protect the value of a $80 Million dollar condo building when the time period and list of coverages are similar to those of a single family dwelling. There needs to be a separate coverage to address multi-family residential condominium buildings. Continue reading →