Owning a condo unit can be an advantageous experience — you get to live in a stylish living space, be a part of a tight-knit community and get access to great amenities, like swimming pools, gyms and more.
However, if you own a condo unit, you probably know that you need to follow the rules and regulations set by your condo board.
In Ontario, condo boards have a fair bit of power, but there are some limitations to what they can and cannot do; this leads to the question, “how much power does a condo board have in Ontario?”.
Today’s article will teach you everything you need to know about condo boards and their power over condo owners.
What is a condo board?
A condo board, also commonly referred to as a condominium board of directors, is a small group of individuals who are responsible for ensuring that several tasks (maintenance, management, reporting, etc.) are completed on a regular basis. Condo boards also have the ability to reinforce and create new rules for condo owners.
There are four primary members that make up a condo board:
- Vice president
Each of these members performs different tasks, but each role is equally integral to the success of the condo corporation.
How much power does a condo board have in Ontario?
As mentioned earlier, condo boards have a fair bit of power over the condo unit owners in their communities. That being said, there are some limitations to what they can and cannot do, particularly in regard to evictions.
What can a condo board do in Ontario?
Your condo board has the power to enforce the rules, declarations and condo bylaws Ontario has in place. Condo boards also have the ability to enforce the rules listed in the Condominium Act, 1998. Interestingly enough, condo boards can also “amend” current bylaws if there’s a 50% plus one vote among the condo unit owners in the community.
Condo boards also have the ability to approve new projects around the community, deny or accept budgets proposed by the property management company and approve the corporation’s reserve fund (the latter needs to be completed every three years).
Condo unit owners can learn more about the various condo rules Ontario has in place by referencing the Condominium Act, 1998.
What can’t a condo board do in Ontario?
Even though your condo board has a significant amount of power and authority around your condo corporation, there are some things that they simply aren’t allowed to do.
For instance, your condo board cannot evict you and force you to sell your unit (unless the court intervenes because your behaviour severely affects the community).
Be sure to keep this in mind if you plan on buying a condo unit in the near future.
How do you become a member of a condo board in Ontario?
In order to become a member of a condo board, you need to be voted in by the community at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). During the AGM, you’ll most likely be asked to speak on why you are the ideal candidate for the position you’re running for, especially if multiple candidates are vying for the seat.
Additionally, you’ll need to meet the general requirements, including the following:
- You comply with the necessary disclosure obligations
- You haven’t been found “incapable” in court (or otherwise)
- You’re at least 18 years old
- You’re not bankrupt
- You are capable of managing a property in Canada (as per the Substitute Decision Act and the Mental Health Act)
- You don’t have a criminal record and can pass a criminal record check in Ontario
- Be an individual (not a group or partnership)
- The condo corporation can’t employ you as a manager, superintendent, etc.
- You can’t live with a co-owner who’s also sitting on the board of directors
However, the regulations for your condo board may differ (depending on the bylaws that are in place). For instance, it’s not uncommon for condo boards to require applicants to be a member of the condominium corporation in Ontario (i.e. a condo unit owner).
8 qualities to look for in a condo board director
If your AGM is quickly approaching and you’re not sure who you should vote for, we suggest voting for a candidate with the following qualities:
- Clear, concise communication skills
- Efficient with time and money
- Ability to learn new skills on the go
It may be difficult to find a candidate that has all of these qualities, and that’s perfectly acceptable; the ideal candidate at your AGM may show four or five of the eight qualities listed above. Simply do your best to vote for the person who you think is the ideal fit for the role.
Do condo board directors get paid?
No, the directors that sit on your condo board do not get paid due to the fact that “directors” are volunteers. However, it’s not uncommon for condo corporations to cover certain expenses that the directors may incur (if the community approves via open voting). Directors need to disclose these expenses in the condo budget.
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