Condo Records are Accessible

Gerry Hyman has another article for the Toronto Star.  Let’s look at some of the questions:

QUESTION:  Our condominium manager responded to my request — I’m a director on our condo’s board — to examine certain condominium records by advising that I must submit the prescribed Request for Records form.

She advised that the corporation will respond within 30 days to say whether the records will be provided and, if not, then giving the reason and any applicable legislation. Is she correct? Do I as a director need to submit the form? And also, does this not render owners’ meetings useless since owners request all types of information at those meeting?

ANSWER:  The manager’s summary is correct. As a director you would not need to submit a request form to examine a record that must be provided to the directors in order that they are able to carry out their responsibilities as directors.

You must, however, submit the form for each record that you wish to examine as an owner. That would not prevent you, as an owner, from asking questions at an owners’ meeting.

Mr. Hyman is not reading the question.  A director does not need to go through all this rigmarole to get records.  A director has the right to examine the records in order to perform their job.  As such, the manager should not be stopping the director from getting the information.

The new system for accessing records, effective November 1st 2017, makes things better for owners to access  records and should be used more often.

Another question raised:

QUESTION:  People in the neighbouring unit blast every weekend, disturbing my enjoyment of my home. The board and management have warned them that are they are in breach of the condominium rules. Yet my neighbours have ignored the warnings. Instead, they respond by banging on the common wall between our units. What can I do?

ANSWER:  The corporation has a duty, pursuant to subsection 17(3) of the Condominium Act, to take all reasonable steps to require owners and occupiers of the units to comply with the Act and the declaration, bylaws and rules of the corporation — and that includes not impeding others’ enjoyment of their homes.

You might require the corporation to take steps to end the breach of the rules by your neighbours. If the corporation fails to do so, you could make a court application for an order requiring the corporation to take steps to enforce its own rules.

The Board needs to get its act together and get a compliance order.  If the owners still do not comply, then further legal action can and should occur.  This is totally unacceptable behaviour.

A third question raised was:

QUESTION:  Can a common-law partner of an owner apply to be superintendent of the building in which the owner resides?

ANSWER:  Yes, unless such employment is prohibited by the declaration.

Correct – however, at the same time the condominium has no requirement to hire the person.  And, the Board is free to set a policy that it would not hire someone who lives in the condominium, or is an owner.  The policy is normally for the best as it prevents accusations of favouritism and potential hurt feelings (from another resident or owner who applied and was not hired, or by the person should he/she be fired.)

Lastly, we have this question:

QUESTION:  When a unit owner requests a copy of the minutes from a board meeting, can the board instead provide just a list of motions that were passed and approve the minutes of previous board meetings?

ANSWER:  No. If the owner completes and submits the prescribed Request for Records form requesting specific board minutes, the owner is entitled to examine or receive a copy of the actual minutes. The board cannot merely provide the owner with a list of resolutions passed at the meeting.

The corporation must delete from the requested minutes any information relating to matters that the Condominium Act specifies are not included in an owner’s right to examine records. Those matters include information in the minutes that relate to employees of the corporation, information relating to actual or pending litigation or insurance investigations involving the corporation, and records relating to specific units or owners other than the requesting owner or that owner’s unit.

Yes, the owner can see, and get a copy of, those the Minutes from Board meetings.  The list of motions is insufficient.  Of course, we are well into the 21st Century now.  The condominium should have a website with an internal section that only owners and residents can be.  The Board could then pass two sets of Minutes for each meeting: where with all the information in it for legal purposes (like they currently do), and a second set that has all the private information already removed – or blacked out.  This should be sufficient for most purposes.

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