by: Linda Pinizzotto, DStG – Dame Order of St George – Founder CEO COA – Condo Owners Association
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FROM 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.
We need ALL CONDO OWNERS ACROSS THE PROVINCE to join COA and also write to the Ministry to force 1) Governance and mandate compliance 2) One Declaration to comply to the Condo Act so there no confusion and written in every day language 3) a Reporting system for Condo Owners to report abusive Boards 4) The reporting mechanism should not be comprised of ie. Property Managements, Condo Lawyers, Developers and Builders because of the conflict of interest of trade relating to Condominiums 5) Our government needs to arrange a Reserve Fund Bond available for all Corporations at high rates 6) Special Condo Building incentives administered by our Government relating to energy efficiency etc should be identified and developed as a cost savings for Buidings in particular the older buildings
COA has offered a number of improvement required in the Condo Act They are geared to identifying the problems of high maintenance fees which ultimately reduces value of the Buildings and Condo Owners are slowly losing their equity. Condo Owners have to get involved, get educated, join COA and work together towards a stronger and financially secure Condo Market. We stand firm on providing the strongest possible assistance to help Condo Owners and support extensive changes in the Condo Act