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:
- An ordinary vote. OR
- 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
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!