Category Archives: FYI

Building a Better Condo Act

by: Linda Pinizzotto, DStG – Dame Order of St George –  Founder CEO COA – Condo Owners Association 

Stronger Ontario Building Codes to keep Condo Owners Safe

If we go back to the time when Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister, Kathleen Wynne 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.

http://news.ontario.ca/mah/en/2012/06/ontario-strengthens-requirements-for-balcony-glass.html

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

Maintenance Fees

FINANCIAL STRUCTURE OF A CONDOMINIUM

by: Linda Pinizzotto, DStG – Dame Order of St George –  Founder CEO COA – Condo Owners Association 

What determines your Maintenance Fee?

The Condominium Financials includes the operating budget, surplus of funds, contingency funds and the reserve funds of the Corporation.  The maintenance fee for each unit is assessed in relation to the square footage of the unit, parking and locker (if included).  The Budget will include all of the expenditures based on a fiscal year of operations. Continue reading

Condo Game on CBC DocZone

Don’t Miss it

by: Linda Pinizzotto, DStG – Dame Order of St George –  Founder CEO COA – Condo Owners Association 

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.

Description

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

Follow “The Condo Game”  on Facebook
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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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Condo Budget and Hydro Facts

by: Linda Pinizzotto, DStG – Dame Order of St George –  Founder CEO COA – Condo Owners Association 

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

Condo Owners Questions

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. Continue reading