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New rules to increase condo board transparency

Last Updated Dec 14, 2018 at 4:22 pm MDT

PHOTO. The Hillview Condo Corporation is being sued for $23M for firing Viceroy Construction, the former builder. Jenna Hamilton/ MORNING REPORTER.
Summary

Alberta government introduces new rules aimed at making condo boards more transparent

Most of the changes take effect Jan. 1, 2019

New condo rules are being introduced by the province are expected to improve clarity for owners, managers and board members.

This comes after Mayor Don Scott wrote the provincial and federal government asking for help with the wildfire rebuild crisis going on with the Hillview Condominiums in Abasand.

The 214-condo complex in Abasand burnt down in the 2016 wildfire. The condo corporation is being sued for $23,136,055 by their former builder, Viceroy Construction, for allegedly wrongfully terminating their contract.

Liberal MLA David Swann called the NDP Government’s policies inadequate and accused them of leaving the condo owners behind in June 2018.

Although some relief funding is on the way for the owners of the condos, it is only being made available to owners deemed as primary residents.

The new regulations are aimed at ensuring owners are given more notice to attend general meetings and get topics on the agenda, provide easier access to certain documents– free of charge– and offer electronic voting.

“There wasn’t always clarity per se in certain areas, the act would specify in the past ‘a qualified person’ be the reserve funds study provider. These regulations actually specify what that person is going to need,” said Jennifer MacFarlane, on-site property manager for The Wedgewoods.

Robert Noce, a lawyer with Miller Thompson said the changes are necessary.

“With these changes owners, tenants and boards will be able to deal with matters more efficiently and address problems quicker, because clarity is the ultimate objective of these changes. Part of the reason why people end up in courtis because the law is unclear as to who is ultimately responsible for a particular issue.”

The majority of the changes are expected to come into effect July 1, 2019, with the remainder taking effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

The Government of Alberta introduced the Condominim Property Amendment Act in Dec. 2014. The regulations are being rolled out in stages.