DHA Q&A – Condo Communications
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions that we addressed in our recent Q&A webinar.
Question: Where a Board wants to communicate with owners by email, can management give the Board of Directors a list of email addresses for all owners without owner consent?
Answer: The short answer is that the Board is entitled to the information without need for the owner’s consent. The Board is entitled to the same information that the Manager is entitled to and to send email communications in the same manner.
Question: Does a PIC (Periodic Information Certificate) have to be provided with status certificate documents?
Answer: The most recent PIC does not have to be included with each status certificate.
However, each new purchaser is entitled to receive a NOIC (New Owner Information Certificate) within 30 days after the owner gives notice to the corporation in accordance with Section 46.1 (2) of the Condominium Act. The NOIC includes the latest PIC and any subsequent ICU’s (Information Certificate Updates).
In summary, prospective purchasers (and others) who receive a status certificate are not entitled to a PIC (with the status certificate), but new owners are entitled to a PIC.
Question: What is the recommended timeline for advising owners of a change to the status certificate, and what information is required to be disclosed?
Answer: In our view, any time a condominium corporation makes an important change to the status certificate wording (like adding something to Paragraph 12 of the status certificates) it’s wise to advise all owners of the change as soon as reasonably possible. [We recommend advising owners of the specific new wording in the status certificate and any other relevant detail to explain the new wording.]
There is no requirement, or specific timeline, about this in the Condominium Act or Regulations. [At least not yet… Proposed amendments respecting budgeting matters may deal with this.] Anyway, for now we can’t provide a specific timeline for this.
This said, it’s normally a good idea to advise owners of important status certificate changes without delay because you don’t want owners to find out about something in the status certificates only when they go to sell and a purchaser requests a status certificate. We’ve seen many complaints from owners in those circumstances… including complaints made to ALL other owners!
Another thing to keep in mind on this subject is that if something has to be added to the status certificates, it might also be something that needs to be mentioned in an ICU (provided to the owners) or in the next PIC (depending upon the specific issue). It might also be necessary to give notice to the corporation’s insurer (again depending upon the issue). Those are possibilities to watch as well.
Question: Is there any literature/guidance on proper completion of periodic information certificates?
Answer: We’re not aware of any specific guidance on this. It appears to be just a matter of grappling with the prescribed form.
One issue that often comes up is as follows:
In Paragraph 4 of the PIC: The phrase “anticipated expenses from the Reserve Fund in the current fiscal year” is not referring to the predicted expenses in the Reserve Fund Plan. In other words, in addition to the operating budget, each condominium is required to prepare an annual budget of the actual anticipated reserve fund expenditures for the year… and of course this annual reserve fund budget may differ considerably from the expenses predicted by the Reserve Fund Plan.
Stay tuned to Condo Law News to keep up to date on condominium law!