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Meetings

Welcome to the CAO’s guided steps to common issues. The CAO provides the information, tools, and templates on these pages to help condominium communities better understand issues and work together to resolve them collaboratively before they escalate into disputes. For situations where condo communities are unable to resolve their issues collaboratively, the CAO also provides information on the next steps they can take.

If you have any questions about any of the information on the CAO’s guided steps to common issues, please contact us directly.

Meetings

Condominium corporations hold many different types of meetings. Some of these meetings are attended only by the condo corporation’s board of directors (i.e. board meetings), while others are open to all owners (e.g. the annual general meeting or an owner-requisitioned meeting).

Issues can sometimes arise around meetings, as owners may disagree with the way the meeting is being conducted or the decisions being made.

Examples of common meeting-related issues include:

  • Owners feeling like that they have been left out of a decision-making process.
  • An owner wants to have an item added to the agenda, but the board refuses.
  • Issues with proxy forms such as or solicitation of proxies, or proxy forms being invalidated at the registration desk because they were filled out incorrectly.
  • Issues with voting procedures.

Have a Question?

If you have a question about any of the information you’ve read, please contact us. We have a team available to answer any questions you may have.
If you are having a meeting-related issue in your condo, you may want to start by reviewing the Condominium Act, 1998 (the Condo Act), as well as provisions in your condo’s governing documents (i.e. their declaration, by-laws, and rules) that relate to meetings.

Under section 56 of the Condo Act, condo corporations can adopt by-laws that:

  • Govern the conduct of owners and directors at meetings;
  • Determine who can and can’t attend owners’ and board meetings, and methods of attending meetings;
  • Govern voting procedures and the methods permitted for holding a vote;
  • Affect the quorum for the transaction of business at a meeting in certain cases;

A condo corporation’s governing documents are required to be consistent with the Condo Act. In addition, a condo corporation’s by-laws and rules must be consistent with the declaration and must be reasonable.

For an overview of declarations, by-laws and rules, visit our website.

Don’t have a copy of your condo corporation’s declaration, by-laws or rules?

Owners can request a copy from your condo corporation using the mandatory Request for Records form, available on our website.

How does the Condo Act apply?

There are many sections in the Condo Act that refer to board and owners’ meetings. Your condo corporation’s governing documents may also contain provisions on how to address meeting-related issues. The following list is intended to provide general information on meetings under the Condo Act but is not intended to be exhaustive:

Board Meeting

Boards meet on a regular basis to discuss issues facing owners and the condo, to make decisions on behalf of the condo corporation and to transact condo-related business. The duration and whether they are held monthly or semi-monthly will vary from each condo corporation and may be addressed in the corporation’s governing documents. Directors meet regularly to:

  • Provide direction to the condo manager if the condo corporation has one;
  • Vote on initiatives and other matters; or
  • Choose winning bids for projects involving common elements.

Who Can Attend:

The Condo Act is silent on who can and can’t be present at board meetings. However, owners do not typically attend them unless invited by the board to discuss specific issues, or if an owner requests to meet with the board. Your condo corporation may have by-laws that govern who can and cannot attend board meetings. You may wish to review your condo by-laws to determine whether there are any circumstances in which owners may attend board meetings.

Quorum Requirements:

Quorum for board meetings is reached when the majority of the board directors are present at the meeting, irrespective of any vacancy that arises. For example, if the by-laws of your condo corporation require there to be 3 board members, at least 2 board members need to be present at the meeting to reach quorum.

Requirement to Send Out Notices:

Board meetings that have been established by the by-laws of the condo corporation do not require notices to be sent out unless the by-laws require it.

Board members can also call and hold a meeting of directors at any time for emergency purposes. Section 35 of the Condo Act requires that the notice for these meetings be sent out 10 days prior to the day of the meeting and for it to be served sufficiently onto the directors.

For more information on Board Meetings, please click here.

Annual General Meeting (AGM):

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of all owners is an important meeting that is required to be held within 6 months of the end of the condo corporation’s fiscal year. The AGM is one of the main ways to ensure accountability and transparency of the board of directors to the owners.

Owners attending the AGM will have the opportunity to:

  • Ask questions of the board about the operation of the condo corporation
  • Raise pressing issues affecting their condo community
  • Vote on matters
  • Maintain and build a healthy relationship with the board
  • Contribute to the quorum requirements under the Condo Act

Who Can Attend:

Although the Condo Act requires that only owners attend AGMs, there may be many instances where non-owners are present at the meeting. For example:

  • An owner is unable to attend the meeting and has appointed a proxy to attend on their behalf.
  • The by-laws of your condo corporation may allow for each owner to bring a guest to attend with them.
  • The board has made the decision to invite guest speakers to the meeting.
  • Employees of the condo corporation (such as the auditor and the condo manager) may also be required to attend the meeting.

Quorum Requirements:

Quorum is the minimum number of owners that are required by law to be present for the meeting, either in person or by proxy.  If there is no quorum, there can still be a discussion on a matter, but no vote can take place at the meeting.

The standard quorum for an AGM is when owners who own 25% of the units in the condo corporation are present. If quorum is not reached on the first two attempts to hold the AGM, quorum is reduced to 15% on the third and on any subsequent attempts.

Requirement to Send Out Notices:

Prior to the AGM, the board of directors are legally required to send out 2 notices to all owners notifying them of the upcoming meeting.

The first, the preliminary notice, must go to owners at least 20 days before a notice of meeting, and must be in the mandatory form, which is available on our website. This notice contains important preliminary information regarding the meeting.

The second, the notice of meeting of owners, must be given to all owners at least 15 days prior to the day of the meeting, and must be in the mandatory form, which is available on our website.

The notice of meeting of owners will include the date, time, and place of the meeting.  It must also identify the business to be discussed. For example, if changes are proposed to the governing documents, this must be mentioned in the notice, and a copy of the changes must be included.

For more information on AGMs, please click here.

Owner-Requisitioned Meeting:

Under the Condo Act, owners can requisition an owners’ meeting at any time if they are having an issue with the conduct of the board, or if they wish to discuss a concern with other owners. Owner-requisitioned meetings are meant for issues that may affect the condo community as a whole and should not be a place to discuss personal issues that affect only one owner.

Who Can Attend:

Although the Condo Act requires that only owners attend owner-requisitioned meetings, there may be many instances where non-owners are present at the meeting. For example:

  • An owner is unable to attend the meeting and has appointed a proxy to attend on their behalf.
  • The by-laws of the condo corporation may allow for each owner to bring a guest to attend with them.
  • The board has made the decision to invite guest speakers to the meeting.
  • Employees of the condo corporation, such as the minute-taker, may also be required to attend the meeting to ensure that minutes are being recorded and kept as records of the condo corporation.

Quorum Requirements:

Quorum is the minimum number of owners that are required by law to be present for the meeting, either in person or by proxy.  If there is no quorum, there can still be a discussion on a matter, but no vote can take place at the meeting.

The standard quorum for an owner-requisitioned meeting is when owners who own 25% of the units in the condo corporation are present. If quorum is not reached on the first two attempts to hold the AGM, quorum is reduced to 15% on the third and on any subsequent attempts.

Requirement to Send Out Notices:

Prior to the meeting, the board of directors are legally required to send out 2 notices to all owners notifying them of the upcoming meeting.

The first, the preliminary notice, must go to owners at least 20 days before a notice of meeting, and must be in the mandatory form, which is available on our website. This notice contains important preliminary information regarding the meeting.

The second, the notice of meeting of owners, must be given to all owners at least 15 days prior to the day of the meeting, and must be in the mandatory form, which is available on our website. The notice of meeting of owners will include the date, time, and place of the meeting.  It must also identify the business to be discussed.

The requirement to send out notices changes when a requisitionist is calling and holding the meeting. Please refer to Scenario #2 under the Solutions tab.

For more information on owner-requisitioned meetings, please click here.

Turn-over Meeting:

Upon registration of the declaration and description with the Land Registry Office, the declarant (often the developer or builder) creates and controls the first board of directors. As soon as a majority of the units are sold by the declarant, owners must elect a new board. This is done at a turn-over meeting.

Who Can Attend:

Although the Condo Act requires that only owners attend turn-over meetings, there may be instances where non-owners are present at the meeting for example:

  • An owner is unable to attend the meeting and has appointed a proxy to attend on their behalf.
  • The by-laws of the condo corporation may allow for each owner to bring a guest to attend with them.
  • The board has made the decision to invite guest speakers to the meeting.
  • Employees of the condo corporation (such as the auditor and the condo manager) may also be required to attend the meeting.

Quorum Requirements:

Quorum is the minimum number of owners that are required by law to be present for the meeting, either in person or by proxy.  If there is no quorum, there can still be a discussion on a matter, but no vote can take place at the meeting.

The standard quorum for a turn-over meeting is when owners who own 25% of the units in the condo corporation are present. If quorum is not reached on the first two attempts to hold the meeting, quorum is reduced to 15% on the third and on any subsequent attempts.

Requirement to Send Out Notices:

Prior to the meeting, the board of directors are legally required to send out 2 notices to all owners notifying them of the upcoming meeting.

The first, the preliminary notice, must go to owners at least 20 days before a notice of meeting, and must be in the mandatory form, which is available on our website. This notice contains important preliminary information regarding the meeting.

The second, the notice of meeting of owners, must be given to all owners at least 15 days prior to the day of the meeting, and must be in the mandatory form, which is available on our website. The notice of meeting of owners will include the date, time, and place of the meeting.  It must also identify the business to be discussed.

For more information on turn-over meetings, please click here.

The following list is intended to provide a general guide to where information on meetings can be found in the Condo Act but is not intended to be exhaustive:

Section 45  sets out the procedure that must be followed for calling a meeting.
Section 46 deals with requisition meetings, which are meetings that are held in response to a request by the owners.
Section 47 sets out the requirements of notices regarding meetings.
Section 48 deals with a mortgagee’s right to vote.
Section 49 states that an owner is not entitled to vote at a meeting if they have not paid their common expenses contributions for 30 days.
Section 50 states that quorum for a meeting of the owners is 25% unless the condo has a by-law that raises it
Section 51 deals with voting rights.
Section 51 (6), (7), and (8) deal with voting for the removal of directors from the board.
Section 52 deals with the method of voting
Section 53 states that all questions proposed for consideration at a meeting of owners  be determined based on a simple majority of the voters present

 

Common Issues That Can Arise at Meetings:

Proxy Solicitation:

A contentious issue that may occur in any type of meeting is proxy solicitation by directors, owners and condo managers. While the Condo Act does not strictly prohibit condo directors and owners from soliciting proxies from unit owners, it is important to note that condo management licensees are legally prohibited from soliciting proxies in any situation where the subject matter of the meeting relates to the condo manager or condo management provider, or to the removal or election of directors. However, it is important to note that your condo corporation may have a by-law prohibiting the solicitation of proxies by owners and directors.

Whether there are questions about their validity, the extent of their authority, how they were collected, or how they are counted, proxies can be a matter of concern. One approach some condo corporations take to reduce these kinds of issues with proxies is to implement a by-law that allows owners’ votes to be cast by telephonic or electronic means, as per section 52 of the Condo Act.

Access to Meeting Minutes:

As an owner, you have the right to have access to minutes from every regular board and owners’ meeting.

However, the board holds certain discussions “in camera” to discuss matters that should not become public. These include ongoing litigation and human resources issues. You may not have the right to read minutes from in-camera portions of board meetings.

Your dispute may be a records issue if it relates to the accessibility and content of board and owners’ meeting minutes.

For more information on records-related issues, please click here.

Requirement to Comply:

If the Act and your condo corporation’s governing documents deal with meeting-related issues, subsection 119 (1) of the Act requires everyone to follow them.

Under subsection 17 (3) of the Act, condo corporations are required to take all reasonable steps to ensure that everyone complies with the Condo Act and the condo corporation’s governing documents.

Therefore, if your condo corporation is aware of an individual or issue that violates the corporation’s governing documents, they are legally required to take action to address it. For this reason, it is important for you to notify your condo corporation if you have a meeting-related issue.

Other Legal Considerations

Accommodations under the Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code)

The condo corporation has an obligation to ensure that all owners can effectively attend, vote, and participate in a meeting. For example, owners with disabilities who wish to attend an owners’ meeting will need to be accommodated, up to the point of undue hardship. The Code prohibits discrimination based on disability which suggests that the condo may need to make accommodations for this owner.

It is very important that the condo corporation be aware that individuals might feel uncomfortable when coming to them with specific requests, so it is recommended that condo corporations proactively design meetings or reach out to owners about meeting their accommodation needs so that everyone can listen, vote, and contribute. For example, at the meeting, a live TV with closed captions, or American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters will benefit those who rely on it.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission’s website  is an excellent resource to ensure that everyone in your condo community can feel comfortable attending meetings.

If an owner reaches out to the condo corporation (and condo manager, if the condo corporation has one) and requests a special accommodation under the Code, take time to review the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s website, and respond to the requestor in writing. The response should outline:

  • If more information from the requestor is required to enact the request; and
  • An offer to discuss possible accommodations that might work for the requestor.

It will also be helpful for you to discuss the accommodation request with the requestor to identify an accommodation that is different from the one they requested, but that works for both parties.

If the condo corporation is unsure about how to respond to an accommodation request, you may wish to seek legal advice before responding.

Fire Safety

Regardless of whether the meeting will be held within the condo or at an external venue, the board will have several obligations to ensure that all attendees are safe in an event of an emergency.

All condo corporations in Ontario must adhere to the Ontario Fire Code. It is designed to make sure that all occupied buildings in Ontario have the appropriate fire protection equipment, that it is properly maintained, and that fire emergency plans are kept up to date and properly circulated to residents.

For example, the board will need to ensure that the number of people attending the meeting aligns with the maximum capacity of the room, and that the room can be quickly evacuated in the event of a fire.

For more information on requirements under the Ontario Fire Code, please visit the Ontario Fire Marshal.

Have a Question?

If you have a question about any of the information you’ve read, please contact us. We have a team available to answer any questions you may have.

How can I resolve a meeting related issue?

We strongly recommend that you attempt all the steps below in sequence (where appropriate) before taking any further action.

Solutions for Owners >

Solutions for Condominium Boards & Managers >

Need more help?

Mediation and arbitration are effective ways to resolve disputes where the parties are unable to reach a resolution themselves. Mediation and arbitration are commonly used to help resolve difficult condo disputes and are sometimes called alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

Under section 132 (4) of the Condominium Act, 1998, all condo corporations in the province are deemed to have a provision in their declaration stating that disputes regarding the declaration, by-laws or rules must be filed for mediation or arbitration. Your condo corporation may also have a by-law establishing the procedure that must be followed in the event of a dispute.

If you have been asked to participate in a mediation or arbitration, you are likely legally required to participate.

If you want to try mediation or arbitration for an unresolved issue, you will need to find a mediator or arbitrator who can assist you. You can search for a mediator or arbitrator online and through organizations that provide ADR services, such as the ADR Institute of Ontario.

Mediation

Mediation is a process where a neutral facilitator tries to bring the parties to a mutually agreeable solution. Mediation is the preferred approach because it’s often less costly and it gives the parties an opportunity to collaborate on finding a solution that everyone is comfortable with.

Arbitration

If mediation fails, binding arbitration is the next step. Arbitration is a process where an arbitrator (or panel of arbitrators) conducts a hearing and makes a ruling on the issues in the dispute. The parties involved in the dispute bring evidence to this hearing and then the arbitrator makes a binding decision. There are some cases where an arbitration decision can successfully be appealed to court.

Further legal action

If you are considering legal action against a neighbour or your condo corporation, you may wish to talk to a lawyer or paralegal. It is recommended that you try mediation and/or arbitration before taking a dispute to court.

Meetings

Helpful Resources

Owner to other Owners or Occupant Templates

First Letter to Owner
Second Letter to Owner
Third Letter to Owner

Owner to the Board of Directors Templates

First Letter to Condo Corp
Second Letter to Condo Corp

Board Directors to Owners Templates

First Letter to Owner