COA Comments on Condo Act 1998


Special Notice

 

How Does COA View the Present Condo Act 1998

COA - the Condo Owners Association identies key elements of concerns relating to lack of governance with Board of Directors, the necessity for a fining process relating to Director /s who do not adhere to the Condo Act and compromise the integrity of the Corporation.  At the present time, Owners are helpless and held at the mercy of their Board of Directors.  They literally have to cross their fingers in the hope that they have an honest Board who is handling the affairs of the Corporation in accordance with the Act.  In many cases Corporation Solicitors are finding refuge to administer a Board's request to ensure their contracts rather than representing the Owners and the Corporation.  The present Condo Act allows for serious ambiguity where the information is so vague and the interpretation is so clouded that the Corporation Solicitor can dance around Owners rights preventing them from having any at all.  The statement of "standard of care" as stated in the Condo Act is misused and abused by Board of Directors but in some instances Owners are able to find refuge in the statement of "bad faith practice" and with payment of substantial monies to file claims through mediation, arbitration and superior court judgement they may be able to "win" their freedom of rights and could potentially now have access to the minutes of the Corporation and/or other items which the Condo Act states that as an owner they have the rights to request.


However, after all of this is said and done how is that same Owner going to "enjoy their home" free of dispute, discrimination, libel and slander, ostracization and direct attacks from this same Board of Directors who has taken liberties to publicize the situation to other Owners in the building and purposely has created disention and a path of lies to protect their interest.   We have identified the main target that Boards use to manouever dissention against an owner is quoting the extensive costs of "legal fees" associated with court actions.  They don't explain to the Owners why the action was taken in the first place.


We also have situations where Owners wanting to become Directors have purposely manifested problems to create dissention for the purpose of a successful election and once elected they continue a series of dishonesty by manipulating minutes of meetings, annual general meetings, formulating proxies to includes statements like "full power of substitution" and other manouevers which are not in compliance to the Condo Act, forging proxies, delegating friends\associates as scrutineers and creating a mockery with complete dishonesty of the process and a detrimental influence to the reputation of the Corporation.  Owners realize in their hearts something is wrong but they are afraid to speak up.   Their home,  health, life savings, reputation and personal existence is at stake;  the price is too much to pay.


Licensing and courses to regulate Property Management firms and their Property Manager employees.   They must be bonded and under contract by the Corporation and not by the Board of Directors.  A regulatory body can receive submissions of tender and an online system of choice by the Owners can be implemented to ensure fair honest choice.   These companies and their employees can no longer have a direct affiliation with the Board of Directors.  Their mistaken loyalty to the Board "at all costs" to ensure and maintain the management contract is compromising "Owners Rights" and jeopardizing the Corporation.


** Please note:  the above suggestions are relating to the many complaints we receive regarding Bad Board of Directors, Property Managers, Property Management firms and Corporation Solicitors. 

 


CONDO ACT REVIEW COMMENTS

http://www.sse.gov.on.ca/mcs/en/Pages/oncondo_about.aspx

The meeting, chaired by the Minister Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing was intended for information - explaining the process for earlier announced review of the Condominium Act 1998. Details may be found on the following webpage:

http://www.sse.gov.on.ca/mcs/en/Pages/oncondo_about.aspx

The session was well attended and although the purpose was for information only,it developed into a fairly raucous affair. It is apparent there is latent anger among condo owners directed at developers, managers and boards of directors over a wide variety of grievances. The review, of course, is intended to identify and remedy the source of grievances through legislative amendment. Provincial representatives hastened to assure the audience that the review process would be collaborative, a step beyond consultation. There was hearty criticism of an intent to include condo renters in this collaborative process. In near unanimous fashion, the audience repudiated this intent on grounds that resident owners were the major parties suffering discrimination and lack of rights under the current Act. It seems, however, that the first part of the collaborative process is already underway and that renters are included.

A complex range of issues is included in the review. Representing interests closer to home, President and CEO Linda Pinizzotto and Director Derrick Thomas of COA Ontario were present and spoke to the issue of funding of Reserve Funds. In past years, Symphony Place held membership in COA Ontario and they were effective in supporting earlier attempts to bring about amendments to the Act. I came away from the meeting with hard copies of handouts from the Province and two other persistent associations lobbying for reform. Copies will be left with management for the information of the BOD. Provincial representatives promised that progress reports would be published on the official website.

Robert F. Lunney