Changing the Condo Act to Strengthen Owners' Rights
Here are some of the remaining weaknesses in the Report:
1. The recommendations on Financial Management allow for the accumulation by boards of unchecked large surpluses. These should be capped on a sliding scale depending on the size of budgets. Otherwise, condo monies will remain subject to waste, unwarranted expenditures, and fraud. This money belongs to owners!
2. Neither do the recommendations allow owners enough control over very large expenditures in the general budget as well as in the reserve fund.
3. Despite the creation of a Condo Office, mediation and arbitration, which are costly and have failed until now, remain. We should get rid of these expensive processes.
4. Owners should know the names of the contractors who bid on expensive projects, such as renovations of common elements, in order to avoid the spread of bid rigging and other illegal activities that are currently afflicting too many condos.
5. The mandated brief courses for new Board members should be given online and from one central location: the Condo Office. These courses have been of uneven quality in the past. In addition, they would generate revenues for the Condo Office. This would allow this Office to better serve owners and good boards--This will be your Office, your insurance, your recourse.
6. There is still no framework for the role that condo lawyers play. Currently, a powerful minority of condo lawyers too often end up defending bad boards and managers against helpless owners, and they do so at owners' expense--paid by the corporation! Yet, these lawyers are supposed to represent the interests of the entire condo corporation.
Please read the Report: click here http://www.ppforum.ca/sites/default/files/CONDO_ACT%20STAGE%202.pdf
The Key Positive Recommendations Pertain to
the formation of a Condo Office (except for mediation and arbitration)
easier owner access to condo records
a certain control over proxies and meetings
codes of ethics for boards and managers
licensing of managers
the fact that noise will at least appear in the Act itself
(it's not much but it is better than nothing)
What do Condo Owners need?
They need a new Condo Act that
provides effective enforcement,
offers a place where owners and boards can get justice,
and provides accountability with consequences for non-compliant boards, managers, owners, lawyers and builders.
In other words, the new Act should not be self-regulated because this is where the current Act has failed.
Owners need an institution that protects them effectively and at minimal costs, such as a Condo Review Board, or an Ombudsman Office, or a Condo Office--free of political intervention and of conflicts of interest from the various condo industries.
If you want to know more about changes to the Condo Act that would the most helpful to owners, please click on the section below.