All your condo living questions answered here.
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.
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 maintain a reserve fund solely for major repairs and replacements of common elements and assets. The Condo Act requires that corporations conduct periodic reserve fund studies to determine whether the amount of money in the fund and contributions collected from owners are adequate and can sustain expected costs of major repair and replacement of the common elements and assets. Read more.
The Condominium Authority Tribunal is Canada’s first online tribunal. It is dedicated to helping condo owners and corporations resolve disputes conveniently, quickly and affordably. The Tribunal can help you resolve disputes about condo records, noise, odours, light, vibration, smoke, vapour, pets, animals, vehicles, parking and more. See our jurisdiction.
Making a change in your condo community should always take into account that condo living is communal by nature and that it is best to find ways to come to collaborative solutions. Contact your board or manager as a first step to see if they are supportive. You can also requisition an owners' meeting to discuss the issue as a community or vote to remove and elect directors. Depending on the type of issue, you may want to go to private mediation, arbitration or the courts.
Responsibilities for repairs and maintenance depend on what is outlined in the Condominium Act and the condo corporation’s governing documents. Condo corporations are generally responsible for repairing damage to common elements and standard unit elements. Common elements may include parking, hallways, elevators, amenities, etc. Owners are responsible for the normal wear and tear on their units, as well as repair for decorative or non-standard unit elements. The corporation’s governing documents generally define what is considered a standard unit. Always review these documents first so you can understand your responsibilities and theirs. The standard unit definition provides a specific list of items that your condo corporation considers part of a standard unit. Generally, these don’t include any alterations or renovations. Anything not included in the definition of the standard unit would then be considered improvements and their repairs are the responsibility of the owner.
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.