Date: November 21st – CBC DocZone
Don’t Miss it
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
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The Condo Owners Association (COA Ontario) were delighted to work with Bountiful Films in their production of “The Condo Game” documentary
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Posted in CBC, Condo Issues, Condo Property Management, documentary, DocZone, FYI, The Condo Act
Tagged board of directors, cbc, condo act, condo market, condominiums, documentary, fraud, government, highrise, municipal, north america
Another problem from Condo Owners, it never ends. It is a true shame that these types of things are happening to condo owners all over the province As you are aware, COA is involved in the condo act review and it has been a concerning process. There are substantial flaws in the process and the over 90% involvement of service related trades may be compromising the new recommendations for changes to legislation in particular the Condo Office where Condo Owners are expected to pay for Property Managers to be licensed yet they are employees of Property Management Firms who already receive monies for their contracts from Condo Corporations. If you are a Condo Owner “SAY NO TO CONDO OFFICE” it will cost you $$$ Millions of Dollars!! Where does it stop? Why does the contract not already include the services of license property managers from licensed firms.
In many situation it is the fault of the Board of Directors who allow Property Managers free rein to do as they please. In many cases we are also finding that there are concerns of kickbacks and overinflated contracts which are jeopardizing the financial stability of condo corporations. It could be from either Property Manager, the firms and/or Board. Unfortunately without condo owners standing up for their rights and joining COA; it is difficult to combat. The Board has a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interest of the corporation. Property Management firms are only contractual services and the property manager is delegated by that firm to over see the operations of the corporation ONLY on the instructions of the Board. If you are a past board member you may have been in a position to force changes for a new company but again that decision would have to be with a majority vote so if there is no support of this decision then you may have to call a meeting with 15% owners and try to force changes. Many condo owners feel they may be ostracized and or have more conflicts by complaining but the situation will get worst and there may be concerns on your financials.
If the corporation has broken personal ownership items of a Condo Owner they should be responsible however the Condo Act is self governed which lends itself to abuse and a one side power against Condo owners in many cases. We wish we could give more positive answers to help Condo Owners but there are none because the Condo Act has tremendous Flaws!
COA is always looking for support and volunteers because if we can grow with a strong following as the Teachers Association or any other Associations only then will Condo Owners have a strong voice and government will have no choice but to listen without the constant influence of service related trades protecting their own interest. Condo Owners have to stand up for their rights, it is long overdue!
Are you protected?
Recently, Allstate Insurance Company of Canada and Abacus Data released some research that shows many condo owners are lacking critical knowledge about their insurance coverage, which could lead to costly mistakes.
Here are some of the major findings:
- 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.
Posted in fire theft liability, FYI, insurance, The Condo Act
Tagged allstate insurance, condo insurance, condo issues, condo owners, Condominium Information, fire, floods, liability, risk, theft
It is common for Condo Owners to be angry with the Property Managers blaming them for not returning their phones calls and/or not resolving their problems. Property Managers ignore their requests for help; frustrations develop and Condo Owners become angry and hostile towards Property Management.
Condo Owners are barking up the wrong tree.
The Board of Directors are to blame because they have the power. The Board controls all of the operations of the building which includes contracts and all service related trades. They approve Property Management contracts and the Property Management company designates a Property Manager to the building to do as the Board says at all expense because they want to ensure their contracts. There is alot of money involved; many of these contracts can range from $120,000 to $300,000 depending on the size and amount of buildings involved. It is a very serious stake in the Condominium World but one that has created major controversy of responsibility because even though these Firms are paid by the Corporation they report to the Board and in most cases believe they represent the Board.
Be wary of getting into arguments with Property Management because once they report back to the Board of Directors; chances are you will have more even more problems afterall it is the Board who is instructing Property Management to ignore your requests. If you have a good Board – it would never get this far.
How do Condo Owners know if their Board is operating in compliance to the Condo Act? The $1 Million dollar question can be answered only if Condo Owners start taking responsibility and learn about Condos, watch their Boards and speak out if they feel things are wrong. Until then; Owners will suffer the consequences of disputes, theft, fraud and a serious problems with their Board of Directors.
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