- Buying a Condo?
- Condos' Financial Structure
- Owners' Money Facts
- Owners’ Meetings and Voting
- Boards of Directors
- Owners' Rights and Responsibilities
- Managers and Management Companies
- Common Problems of Condo Living
- Condo Act, Declaration, Rules, and By-Laws
- What Should Be Done to Improve Condo Governance and Help Owners?
- FAQs About Your Building & Your Unit
- Condo Auditors & Lawyers
- Condos & Insurance
- Tenants & Landlords
- Are Condos Family Friendly?
- Links and Bibliography
Information Meetings & Turnover Meetings
There is nothing that obligates boards to hold information meetings, often called "townhall meetings." However, such meetings are indicated when an important issue arises, such as when suites are to be individually metered for electricity. In Ontario, boards can now meter for electricity without owners’ approval. Nevertheless, it is an excellent idea to hold information meetings.
Indeed, boards who proceed with important changes, such as roof replacement, a special assessment, a new security system without duly informing owners in person or in writing show disrespect toward owners.
An information meeting regarding new by-laws can allow boards to collect proxies for a quorum and the passage of the by-law.
Otherwise, boards should regularly communicate in writing with owners and residents regarding forthcoming maintenance activities, repair and replacements. They should explain the rationale for changes, costs, and what residents will have to do, for instance, to save energy.
As seen in the section in Readers Respond, the most frequent specific complaint received stems from boards' or managers' failure or refusal to communicate with owners, especially about substantive issues. (Click on Readers Respond )
The turnover meeting is the first meeting of owners after the builder is no longer the majority owner and the condo is registered under the Lands Titles Act or the Registry Act. The condo is then turned over to the corporation by the building company. This generally occurs when 51% of the units have been fully purchased. The turnover meeting has to be held in order to elect an owners’ board.
But, by registration, it often happens that a building company still owns a number of units and, as a result, may have many votes. This may give them an advantage in selecting board members who are friendly to their interest.
Nevertheless, it is often the case that the first board is on friendly terms with the builder. Indeed, building companies have their own managers who, during the months before registration, administer buildings, answer residents’ questions, and address their concerns. These managers often are the ones who approach prospective candidates for the board. As a result, some candidates to the first board may be related to the builders as relatives, friends, employees of the builder’s law firm, or relatives of their employees, etc.
This turnover meeting follows the same procedure as all other owners’ meetings. However, the building company or the previous owners of the building have to turnover a series of documents to the new board. These documents are specified in Section 43(4) of the Condo Act in Ontario.
One of the key documents turned over to the new corporation consists in the registered declaration, by-laws, and rules as well as copies of all insurance policies. Additional documents are delivered to the board no later than 30 days after this first meeting, including all warrantees and as-built drawings.