Cheapest Countries per msn Article
Interesting article on msn.com featuring the cheapest countries to live in 2016. The real estate market is booming in Toronto, Ontario and Vancouver, B.C. so these two cities will definitely not be on this list. The Canadian Dollar is at an all-time low and foreign investors are flocking to buy real estate property in Canada.
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 was involved in the condo act review and it has been a concerning process. There are still substantial flaws. During the process and the over 90% involvement of service related trades may have compromised new recommendations for changes to legislation in particular funding for the CAO Condo Authority of Ontario and the CMRAO Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario. Are Condo Owners expected to pay for Property Managers to be licensed? Interesting, many Property Management Firms receive monies for their contracts from Condo Corporation and status certificate requestions ie. $125.00 there are many Property Management firms who keep $100.00 and the remainder goes to the online service provider. The question “Why is this happening when PM is a paid contractual services of the Corporation?” Why does the contract not already include this 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. The numerous complaints the COA receives from Condo Owners is that they are concerned of kickbacks and overinflated contracts which impacts the financial stability of condo corporations. It could be from either Property Manager, the firms and/or the 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!
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. Continue reading →
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
A Condominium budget experiences about 30% of their operating budget for utility costs.
How much HST is there on utilities province wide. COA reviewed documentation on discussions between the Government, Energy Consultants, Ontario Energy Board, Ontario Hydro and OPG.
In May 2010, the Ontario Government ordered the Province’s Crown-owned electricity utilities to cancel their requests for hydro rate increases because they were worried about consumer backlash over soaring power costs. The Government’s rate-setting process is designed to take the politics out of electricity pricing because it was determined that Condo Owners and Homeowners are already facing increases of $300 more a year on average to keep the lights on by the end of 2011. Continue reading →