Boards & Governance
Condo boards run corporations on behalf of owners.
Special assessments are one time charges that your corporation uses to fill a budget deficit. Your condo board may need to levy a special assessment for a variety of reasons, like unforeseen expenses, under-budgeting or because they are facing litigation costs. Owners should keep a close eye on condo financials when they are shared with them. Ultimately, the best way to avoid special assessments is sound financial management of the condo corporation. The Condo Authority provides many resources that can help with financial management.
Owners have several options when it comes to holding board directors accountable. You can choose not to re-elect a director when their term runs out. You may also bring the issue to the attention of the board by contacting them. The board may already be aware of the issue and working towards a solution. You should also request and review your condo's governing documents to understand how they govern and hold board directors accountable. You may also consider requisitioning an owners' meeting to discuss the issue as a community or vote to remove a director.
The Condo Act does not say that directors must do this, but condo corporations can adopt by-laws that require directors to. Part of the by-law may require that directors put their signature down to agree to abide by the code of ethics. Condo corporations that adopt a specific code of ethics usually specify how board members will behave in regards to meetings, confidentially and conduct. The Condo Act also says that directors must make decisions in the best interest of owners and that they must exercise a standard of care. This basically means that they must act honestly, in good faith, and exercise the care and diligence in carrying out their duties that any prudent person would.
Governing documents and the Condominium Act lay out what condo residents and corporations are allowed to do. The Act and the documents can’t contradict each-other but if they do, the Act is supreme, followed by the declaration, the by-laws and finally the rules. The declaration creates the condo corporation and can be thought of as its constitution. The by-laws specify how the corporation will run. The rules put limits on day to day activities. Read more.
Condo corporations must hold annual general meetings to report to owners on important matters such as the financial health of the corporation, management and any upcoming major repairs or renovations. The AGM also gives owners the opportunity to discuss and vote on matters of the condo corporation. Contact your board or manager to bring the the issue to their attention. This may prompt your condo corporation to call and hold the AGM and might resolve the issue without any further steps. You can also requisition a meeting of owners by asking your board to call and hold one to discuss the issue.
The Condominium Act is a consumer protection legislation that regulates condo life in Ontario. Condominium unit owners, residents and corporations must comply with it and condo governing documents must not contradict it. Read more.
Condominium corporations hold both owner’s meetings and board meetings. The Condo Act has specific requirements to ensure the appropriate attendees are notified of the timing and purpose of these meetings. Read more.