Voting by Co-Owners

Section 51 (3) of the Condominium Act, 1998 deals with voting in the case of units owned by two or more owners, but Section 51 (3) is confusing. Section 51 (3) reads as follows:

Joint owners

The majority of the owners of a unit may exercise the right to vote in respect of the unit but the vote shall not be counted if there are two or more owners of the unit and they are evenly divided on how to exercise the vote. 

Here’s the problem: Suppose a unit is owned by two (or more) persons. If only one of those owners seeks to exercise the voting rights for the unit, it’s not clear that he or she has the right to vote. This is because a “majority” is more than half. Therefore, one owner (out of two or more) would not constitute a majority.

In my view, one possible solution is to pass a clarifying by-law stating that any one owner of a unit may exercise the vote (for the unit), and the provisions of Section 51 (3) will apply only if two or more of the owners of a unit decide to vote.