If you are an owner of a condo unit in Ontario, it is likely that you have interacted with members that make up your condominiums board of directors. Who are these members of the board and how much power does a condo board have in Ontario?
As per the Ontario Condo Act, the board of directors are elected by the residents of the condominium for a term of one to three years. They hold the responsibility of overseeing the day-to-day operations such as maintenance of the building and common elements, managing of finances and the creation as well as enforcement of rules and by-laws.
Typically, the positions on the board include the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Director at Large.
Section 27 (1) states that the role of the condominium board is to manage the affairs of the condominium corporation. Section 119 (1) of the Condo Act requires that the directors and officers and employees of a condominium corporation, must comply with the Condo Act, the declaration, the by-laws, and the rules. In another words, Condominiums’ board of directors oversee many aspects of the condo corporation. They are responsible for making decisions that impact the entire community. This entails upholding the condominium declaration, by-laws and rules and making changes and enforcing by-laws and rules.
Before buying a condo, it is important to get familiar with its statutory documents: declaration, by-laws, and rules to make sure that your lifestyle is in line with it. This can help you avoid any potential conflicts or misunderstandings with your neighbours as well as the board. The above mentioned are usually standard rules set by the condo board, across Ontario, such as noise restrictions, pet policies and the usage of the common elements including the gymnasium and the pool.
The condominium board of directors have substantial power in managing the affairs of the corporation, however, their power is also limited by the Condominium Act, Condominium Declaration and By-laws which set forward their operating procedures. One way the condo board is held accountable is through Annual General Meetings (AGM) where board members have to stand for election, and audited financial reports are presented to unit owners by the Auditor who is reporting directly to owners.
Another way is through the laws and regulations set by the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) that require condo boards to act in the best interest of the community and provide transparency in their decision-making processes.
Furthermore, if the condominium board of directors are not following the sections of the Condo Act, unit owners may file a complaint with the CAO or seek legal advice to take further action. The body called CAT (Condominium Authority of Ontario) created by CAO has a court of law power to order compliance and make rulings which are mandatory for compliance.
To conclude, the condo’s board of directors are an essential component in the overall state and prosperity of the condominium corporation. The authority granted to them is an important tool for establishing a thriving and prosperous community. Board members have a duty to act in the corporations’ best interests and ensure that the corporation runs within the legal and ethical standards. In order to accomplish their goals, they must also make sure that the condominium’s resources are used properly and efficiently.
Financial management - the board is responsible for managing and maintaining the condominium’s financial accounts and budgets. This includes collecting condo fees from unit owners, paying bills, and managing the reserve fund.
Rule enforcement - includes enforcing the rules set by the condo board, such as noise restrictions, pet restrictions, parking regulations, etc.
Maintenance and repairs - it is also the boards’ responsibility to maintain and repair the condo’s common areas and amenities. This includes landscaping, snow removal, and repairs to the building’s exterior.
Insurance - the condominiums board of directors are responsible for purchasing and maintaining insurance for the condo corporation. This includes insurance for common areas, liability insurance, and insurance for the board of directors.
Communication - communication with unit owners and residents includes keeping them informed about upcoming events, board meetings, and changes to the condo's rules and bylaws.
Regular condo board meetings are usually not open to the condo owners; however, condo owners may ask the board to call a meeting under the Condominium Act of Ontario to discuss and/or vote on a specific issue that has come up.
Additionally, the Annual General Meeting (AGM) is open to all owners of the condominium corporation.