Follow-up to Condo Crunch – Matters That Require Owner Involvement

Because the Board is responsible to fulfill the obligations of the condominium corporation, most decisions in a condominium are made by the Board. However, various matters – particularly changes – require owner involvement. Here’s a non-comprehensive list of some key matters that require owner involvement. [The section numbers of course refer to the Condominium Act, 1998.]

Some Matters that require owner involvement

  • Election of Board (s. 28) [A change in the Board.]
  • Removal of Board Members by majority vote (s.33)

    [Note that a “majority vote” means more than half.
    And this is not necessarily the same as 51%, and it is not necessarily the same as 50% + 1.

    In a 199-unit condominium:
    51% requires 102 yes votes
    50% + 1 requires 101 yes votes
    But a majority requires 100.]
  • 80% or 90% written consents required for an amendment (a change) to the Declaration (s. 107)
  • Majority vote required for passing a by-law (a by-law change) (s. 56)
  • Ordinary vote may be required to pass a rule (a rule change) (s. 58)
    [There are in fact two ways to pass a Rule: 
  1. An ordinary vote.  OR
  2. 30-day notice to owners with an opportunity to requisition a meeting (with support of the owners of 15% of the units); and if the meeting is requisitioned, the decision (on whether or not to pass the rule) is made by an ordinary vote; and if no meeting is requisitioned, the rule becomes effective at the end of the 30-day period.]
  • What is an ordinary vote?

    [Definition of “ordinary vote” – s. 53]  A majority of the votes cast (provided you have a quorum).

    SO:   Suppose you have a 100-unit condominium.
    You have quorum if you have 25 units represented in person or by proxy at the meeting.  
    Then, when you call the vote on a motion (for instance a motion to pass a Rule): Suppose the votes are:
    2 in favour
    1 opposed
    Everyone else abstains.
    The motion is carried by a majority of the votes cast.]
  • 2/3 vote required to approve substantial changes to common elements, assets of the corporation or services provided by the corporation to the owners (s. 97)
  • Ordinary vote may be required to approve non-substantial changes to common elements, assets of the corporation or services provided by the corporation to owners (s. 97)  [Essentially the same two options as for passing a Rule.]
  • Appointment or removal of the Auditor (by ordinary vote) (ss. 60-64)

Some further notes:

  • Owners have the right to examine (or receive copies of) records of the Corporation, subject to certain limits (s. 55)
  • Owners may raise any matter relevant to the affairs of the corporation for discussion at an AGM (s. 45(3))

    [This is limited to matters that are relevant to the affairs of the corporation as a whole… which in my view generally does not include unique concerns of the particular owner.   For instance: If an owner asks: “When are you going to fix my Door?”, I think the AGM chair can say: “We’ll deal with that issue outside the meeting.”]
  • Owners are also entitled to receive Information Certificates (s. 26.3)
  • Owners are also entitled to receive various notices, including Notices (and Pre-Notices) of Meeting, Notices of most Court proceedings started by the condominium corporation, Notices of Planning applications received by the corporation, etc.

So again:  Owners have lots of involvement in the decisions of the corporation – but mostly in relation to changes.

Of course this doesn’t mean that you don’t keep owners informed about the Board’s decision-making. Robust communication is almost always a great idea (subject always to concerns for confidentiality and/or privacy where the circumstances require).

Stay tuned to Condo Law News to keep up to date on the latest developments on condominium law!