What is an owner-requisitioned meeting?
Condominium corporations hold many different types of meetings. Some of these meetings are attended only by the board of directors (i.e. board meetings), while others are open to all owners (e.g. the annual general meeting).
What happens at an owner-requisitioned meeting?
At an owner-requisitioned meeting, the owners can discuss any topic with the board. Depending on the topic, owners may also be able to vote on those topics.
Here are some topics that are frequently discussed at owner-requisitioned meetings:
- The removal and replacement of a director before the expiry of that director’s term.
- Voting on a proposed rule.
- Discussion of an emerging issue (e.g. the behaviour of owners, residents, or guests).
It is important to note that owners do not have the ability overturn a decision of the board at an owner-requisitioned meeting unless the Act gives owners the ability to approve that decision. For example, the Act states that owners can requisition a meeting to discuss and vote on rules proposed by the board. If the board proposes new rules, the owners can requisition a meeting and vote on the proposed rules.
If owners are unhappy with a past board decision, such as hiring a certain contractor, the owners can still call a meeting to discuss that decision, but they cannot overturn the decision of the board. The board has the authority to make hiring decisions and the Act does not require that the owners approve that decision.
While owners may not be able to formally overturn a board decision, owner-requisitioned meetings can be helpful by giving owners an opportunity to voice concerns or present ideas. At the meeting, a non-binding vote of owners in attendance can be held to make sure that the condominium corporation understands the owners’ position.
Who can requisition a meeting?
The unit owners in a condominium corporation can requisition a meeting. A requisition must be signed by the owners of at least 15 per cent of the voting units in the condominium corporation.
Note: Owners who have lost the ability to vote (e.g. because they owe the condominium corporation common expenses) are not able to requisition meetings and they cannot be counted towards the required 15 per cent of voting units.
Requisition Process Overview
Step 1: Prepare a Requisition
The first step in requisitioning a meeting is to prepare the requisition. The requisition must:
- Be in writing.
- Describe the topics to be discussed and/or voted on at the meeting.
- Be delivered personally or by registered mail to the corporation’s president or secretary or be deposited (delivered) at the corporation’s address for service.
Did you know? The address for service for any condominium corporation in Ontario can be found on the CAO’s Public Registry.
If the meeting is to remove one or more directors, then the requisition must also include:
- The names of the directors who are proposed to be removed.
- The reasons for removal.
- An indication of whether one of the directors proposed to be removed occupies a position on the board reserved for voting by owners of owner-occupied units.
The requisition could also indicate the topics to be added to the agenda for the next annual general meeting (AGM), rather than being discussed at a meeting called specifically for that purpose.
The CAO has created a template that owners may use to requisition a meeting named “Requisition to Call and Hold a Meeting of Owners.”
This template can be accessed, filled out and delivered to the condominium corporation by the requisitionists. Please note that using the CAO’s template as the requisition is not mandatory under the Act.
Step 2: Get signatures
The next step is getting the owners of at least 15 per cent of the voting units to sign the requisition. The owners who sign the requisition are called “requisitionists.”
Obtaining signatures can sometimes be difficult, especially if many of the owners do not live in the condominium corporation.
The unit owners’ contact information may be found in the record of owners and mortgagees that every condominium corporation is required to maintain. It includes:
- The names of all the owners.
- An identification of the unit for each owner.
- The address for service for each owner.
Note: The record of owners and mortgagees does not indicate whether owners have lost the ability to vote.
For more information on requesting records from a condominium corporation, please visit CAO’s website here.
For owners who live in their units, the easiest way to get signatures may be going door-to-door. However, owners should consult their declaration, by-laws, and rules for any restrictions or prohibitions on this type of activity.
Note: Electronic signatures may be used to sign a requisition if the signatures meet the requirements of section 11 of the Electronic Commerce Act, 2000.
Step 3: Deliver the requisition
The requisition must be delivered personally or by registered mail to the corporation’s president or secretary or be deposited (delivered) at the corporation’s address for service.
The address for service for any condominium corporation in Ontario can be found on the CAO’s Public Registry.
Board Response to Requisition
After receiving a requisition, the board is required to do one of the following:
A. Add the topics included in the requisition to the agenda for the next AGM, but only if requested by the requisitionists.
B. Call and hold a meeting of owners within 35 days (as described in the steps below).
Step 1: Receive and review the requisition (day 0)
After receiving the requisition, the board should review it and determine if the topics are to be added to the agenda for the next AGM or to call a meeting of owners.
Note: The board is only allowed to add the topics to the agenda for the next AGM if the requisitionists so request. If they do not request, the board must call and hold the meeting.
Step 2: Send a preliminary notice (on or before day 5)
The board must send a preliminary notice to all unit owners at least 15 days before issuing a final notice. Because the final notice must be sent 15 days before the meeting, the preliminary notice must be sent within five days of receiving the requisition.
The materials required to be included in the preliminary notice are described in section 45.1 of the Act.
Step 3: Send the notice (on or before day 20)
The board must send a notice of meeting to the owners at least 15 days before the day of the meeting. The notice must contain and be accompanied by the following:
- The location, date, and time of the meeting.
- The business to be presented at the meeting.
- A copy of the requisition.
- A copy of all proposed changes to the declaration, by-laws, rules, or agreements to be discussed at the meeting (if the requisition is for one of these topics).
The materials required to be included in the notice of meeting are described in section 47 of the Act.
Step 4: Hold the meeting of owners (on or before day 35)
The board must hold a meeting of owners on or before day 35 after receiving the requisition. The quorum requirement for the meeting is when owners who own 25% of the units in the condo corporation are present. That means that if the owners of fewer than 25 per cent of the voting units attend, any business of the corporation cannot be transacted at the meeting such as voting on the items listed in the notice.
At the meeting, the owners and board will discuss and/or vote on the topics included in the requisition.
If the owners will be voting at the requisition meeting, there are different thresholds of owners required to vote for different topics:
- If the meeting is to vote on proposed rules, a simple majority of the owners in attendance is required.
- If the meeting is to remove a director, then the owners of more than 50 per cent of the voting units in the corporation must vote in favour of removal.
- If the meeting is to remove a director, who occupies a position on the board reserved for owner-occupied units, then the owners of more than 50 per cent of all owner-occupied units must vote in favour of removal.
Note: Owners not attending the meeting can still vote and count towards quorum if they appoint a proxy using the mandatory proxy form.
Step 5: After the meeting (day 36 and beyond)
What happens if the board does not respond to a requisition?
A. Add the business item to the agenda for the next AGM (but only if requested by the requisitionists).
B. Call and hold a meeting of owners within 35 days.
If the corporation does neither A nor B, then one of the requisitionists can call the meeting themselves. If one of the requisitionists calls the meeting, it must be held within 45 days of being called.
If an owner incurs costs in calling the meeting, the owner can request reimbursement of those costs from the condominium corporation. The corporation is required to reimburse the requisitionist for all reasonable costs incurred in calling the meeting (e.g., costs for mailing the notice of meeting to all of the owners).
What happens if a vote to remove one or more directors causes the board to lose quorum?
If the owners vote to remove a director at the owner-requisitioned meeting, the owners may in accordance with the by-laws for dealing with the election of directors, elect any qualified individual to replace the previous director on the board at that meeting for the remainder of the term of the director who has been removed. If the owners do not elect a new director at this meeting, the board may lose quorum as a result.
If a director is removed and the board loses quorum, the remaining directors are required to call and hold another meeting of the owners to try and fill all vacancies on the board within 30 days of losing quorum.
If the directors do not call and hold the meeting to fill all the vacancies, or if there are no directors left in office, an owner can call the meeting. As with an owner-requisitioned meeting, the corporation is required to reimburse an owner on request for all reasonable costs incurred in calling the meeting.
A meeting of owners called by the board of directors in response to a requisition by the owners of at least 15 per cent of the voting units in the condominium corporation.
The minimum number of owners in attendance (in person or represented by proxy) of an owners’ meeting before the meeting can begin.
A written document, signed by the owners of at least 15 per cent of the voting units, requiring the condominium corporation’s board of directors to either add a particular business matter to the next AGM or call and hold a meeting of owners within 35 days to consider the business matter.
A unit owner who has signed the requisition document.
Record of Owners and Mortgagees
A record, maintained by a condominium corporation, that will contain the names, unit numbers, and addresses for service for the owners and mortgagees of the condominium corporation.