Condo Owners Association COA

Condominium Information

Condominium Information (15)

Condominium Information for Condo Owners and Condo Buyers is available to protect yourself and to learn more about condominium communities

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Condo Information

Condo Information (5)

Condo Information outlines:

  • Condo Information
  • Boards of Directors
  • Condo Insurance
  • Buying a Condo
  • Maintenance Fees
  • Financials of a Condo
  • Hydro Facts
  • Live-Work Units
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Energy Consumption and Water Use

Reporting Requirements

 

Multi-unit residential buildings including condominiums that are 50,000 square feet or greater with more than 10 units are required to report their energy and water use and GHG emissions to the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines annually by July 1st.  Ontario Regulation. 506/18, Reporting of Energy Consumption and Water Use (EWRB) is being phased in over 3 years, and in 2019, buildings that are 100,000 square feet or greater are required to report.

Details can be found at:     https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/180506


Reducing Your Costs


Energy use is one of the largest operating expenses in commercial and residential buildings.

It represents about 1/3 of typical building operating budgets.
The largest barrier to identifying cost efficiencies and making existing buildings more efficient is a lack of access to the data needed to measure and track energy performance.
Building that benchmark in other jurisdictions have shown as much as a 10% decrease in energy use in commercial buildings that implemented a small number of energy-efficiency strategies and monitoring systems.
The vast majority of buildings that benchmark have taken steps to improve performance by investing in low- or no-cost changes.

 

Fighting Climate change 


By reducing your energy and water consumption you also help to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and fight climate change..  One of the main reasons is that buildings account for 19 per cent of Ontario's total greenhouse emissions.  Comparing your condominium to similar buildings will help  condominiums identify ways to reduce usage and costs

Mandatory Reporting System 


The guidelines are very specific please view this link: 

https://www.ontario.ca/page/measure-energy-and-water-use-large-buildings


Reporting being phased in over three years.
Please note your first deadline date:  
  1. Commercial and Industrial buildings first report - July 1, 2018
  2. Condominium Multi-Residential Buildings - first report July 1, 2019

The steps to report, including obtaining your EWRB ID, are noted on the Provincial Government website. The website also includes information on the Portfolio Manager (PM) on-line reporting tool and a link to a Guide on how to report in PM.  
In your second year of reporting your building's energy and water use intensity (how much is used per square foot/meter) will be made public on Ontario’s Open Data website catalogue.  
 

Click link at  http://www.sse.gov.on.ca/mcs/en/Pages/condos.aspx   

 

Or click this banner below 

Ontario's condo guide: Plain and simple

 

Make an informed decision when you buy a condo.

Get to know your rights and responsibilities.

Friday, 30 August 2013 13:44

Sample 3

Written by

How do I know what my condo insurance covers?

Recently, Allstate Insurance Company of Canada and Abacus Data released some research that shows many condo owners are lacking critical knowledge about their insurance coverage, which could lead to costly mistakes.

Here are some of the major findings:

· 61 per cent of Canadian condominium ("Condo") owners don't know or incorrectly assume their building's insurance will cover damage to another unit from water or fire that originated in their unit

· 74 per cent of Canadians looking to purchase a condo in the next few years don't know what their personal insurance cover versus what the condo corporation’s insurance should cover.

· Only 39 per cent of condo owners and 26 per cent of condo buyers know that the belongings of a roommate or boarder are not covered under their personal condo insurance policies.

· 21 per cent of condo owners are not aware that the condo corporation's insurance is responsible for incidents like falling concrete and shattering glass from condominiums.

As a condo owner, there are things you can do to make sure you are protected:

  • · Ask your condo board or management company to explain what the building’s insurance policy does or does not cover.

  • · Talk to your insurance agent about your policy. Being properly covered can prevent your getting stuck with the bill if your condominium’s policy falls short.

  • · Remember that damage done to your car in a garage or belongings in a storage locker are covered under your personal policy and not the building’s policy so you should ensure your coverage properly protects your car and any items you have stored in your locker.


Wednesday, 25 April 2018 00:00

Frequently Asked Questions

Condominium
Emergency Situations

Question: What should the Property Manager and the Board of Directors do in "Emergency Situations"

Answer:  Property Management and the Board of Directors should contact the Proper Authorities immediately and allow them the time to defuse the situations and investigate it thoroughly before taking any steps. 


** Remember, the actions of the Property Manager and the Board of Directors could cause irreversible damage to the Condo Corporations should they take matters in their own hands and/or expose information prematurely without securing facts which can only be done by allowing the Authorities to do their job without interference or obstruction.   This is not the tine for either parties to seek news media attention.  If there is a sister building involved where a building has share facilities, the  Property Manager and neighhbouring Board of Directors need to take cautions to ensure they do not interfere with the situation nor divulge confidential details of the occurrence to outside parties ie. the Press.

 

In the Case of a Bomb Threat


The Government of Canada Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness outlines an Emergency Plan 

https://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/hzd/bmbthrts-en.aspx

If they are negligent to exposure the issue to the Owners prematurely, it would trigger irresponsible reporting through the News Media etc.  The level of safety and true facts of the situation needs to be addressed first beforehand:  
 

 Occupational Health and Safety Program 

http://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/acts-and-regulations/254-1-gl-eng.shtml

Government of Canada - Health and Emergency Disasters

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/health-concerns/emergencies-disasters.html
 

Problems with Property Management



Question: Why do I have problems with my Property Manager all the time, can't the Condo Owners just get him fired?

Answer: No the Property Management Company is hired by the Board of Directors on a majority vote.   The Property Manager is delegated to the building by the Property Management Company because the Property Manager is only an employee of the Property Management Company.  If you are having trouble with your Property Manager it is the responsibility of the Board of Directors to deal with the problems and resolve them.  If the problems cannot be resolved, the Board should make arrangements to investigate if it is a common problem amongst owners.  If so the Board must arrange for an immediate replacement through the Property Management Firm.  If the Property Management company refuses, there is most likely a 30 day cancellation policy on the Contract so the Board of Directors should exercise their rights and cancel the contract.  Unfortunately many times, the Property Manager is only carrying out the orders of the Board of Directors.  Neither the Property Management Company or the Property Manager have any degree of Government licensing so the doors are wide open for abuse.   

Information on Status Certificates

Question: What does a Status Certificates contain

Answer: The Status Certificate package includes:

  1. Condominium Documents
  2. Auditor approved Financial Report
  3. Reserve Fund of the Corporation and any other related information
  4. Insurance Company Letter confirming up-to-date condo building insurance
  5. Cover letter from the Board outlining unit maintenance fees, arrears etc. relating to Unit
  6. Information relating to the condominium building   ie Loans, Liens, Law Suits
  7. Is the Condo Building working with the Condo Owners Association COA

Importance of Reserve Fund

Question: Why is the reserve fund so important.

Answer: The Reserve Fund is extremely important, see notes below:

  1. High reserve funds creates good value within a condominium corporation, the fund must be used in accordance with the study
  2. Board of Directors must have reserve fund to ensure they have adequate fund in the reserve fund for the expected costs of major replacement  (per item 4 below)
  3. Board of Directors must follow reserve fund study for major repair and replacement of the common elements and assets of the corporation (as mandated by the Condo Act 1998) to maintain value
  4. Boards of Directors decisions must comply to all mandates of the Condo Act 1998 and New Condo Act 2015

Fire Marshal - Chief of Emergency Management

Invites the COA 

The COA was invited to participate with the Technical Advisory Committee to prepare the "Report on Improving Carbon Monoxide Safety for Ontarians. The recommendations in this report offered assistance for government approval on the implementation of Legislation for Bill 18, Hawkins Gignac Act (Carbon Monoxide Detectors)  

Report on improving Carbon Monoxide Safety for Ontarians

Bill 18, Hawkins Gignac Act (Carbon Monoxide Detectors), 2013  

Details on Silent Killer

 

Acknowledgement

On behalf of the Fire Marshal and Chief of Emergency Management, I would like to thank the committee members who generously volunteered their valuable time and knowledge towards the development of these recommendations. The committee’s thoughtful recommendations are expected to significantly enhance the safety of all Ontario residents from the harmful effects of unsafe levels of carbon monoxide. Pending government approval, the recommendations will be implemented and/or proceed to public consultation as proposed changes to the Ontario Fire Code (OFC), where appropriate.

A special note of thanks to OFMEM staff who provided technical and administrative support to the work of the committee.

Al Suleman, P.Eng.
Assistant Deputy Fire Marshal

 

Members List

Chair

Al Suleman
Assistant Deputy Fire Marshal

Members (Alternates)

Steve Clemens
Canadian Fire Alarm Association

David Morris
Canadian Fire Safety Association

Joann Bentley (Chris Kenopic) 
Canadian Hearing Society

Rocco Delle Fave
City of Toronto Fire Services

Linda Pinizzotto
Condo Owners Association of Ontario

Doug Frost
Federation of Ontario Bed and Breakfast Accommodation

Mike Chopowick
Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario

Wayne Nie
Fire Fighters Association of Ontario

Terry Mundell
Greater Toronto Hotel Association

John Gignac
Hawkins-Gignac Foundation

Steve Tomlin

Hotel Engineers Association of Toronto

Doug DeRabbie

Insurance Bureau of Canada

Jim Rotz
JBC Canada-First Alert

John Ward
Kidde Canada Inc.

Rick Pereira
Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

Sarah Jeffrey-Hampton
Ministry of Consumer Services

Aaron Moffat
Ministry of Education

Nadim Khan
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Eve McDonald (Nadia Hawkins, Marc Cousineau) 
Ministry of Labour

David Craddock
Ontario Association of Architects

Jim Jessop
Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs

Keith Doucette
Ontario Building Officials Association

Chantelle Cosgrove
Ontario Municipal Fire Prevention Officers Association

Jenn St. Louis (Jon Meadow) 
Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association

Asim Qasim
Ontario Public Health Association

David Ogilvie
Ontario Retirement Community Association

Amy Padro
Parachute Canada

Grace Sammut (Glenn Spriggs) 
Resorts Ontario

John Marshall
Technical Standards and Safety Authority

OFMEM Technical Support

Armen Kassabian
Beth Tate
Chris Slosser
Gord Yoshida
Jim Chisholm
Mariano Perini
Michael Ng
Pierre Yelle

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, 26 March 2013 00:00

Board of Directors

 

To be noted - this section to be revised shortly to reflect the changes to the Condo Act.

 

Board of Directors and Responsibilities

There are generally 5 Board of Directors (but sometimes there may be 3 Board members in smaller buildings) who have been elected by the majority vote of the Owners (who are the Corporation) to handle all of the affairs of the Corporation. 

The Board of Directors shall elect among themselves the following positions: 

  • President 
  • Vice-President
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Director

 

The Qualifications and Disqualifications are outlined in the Condominium Act to include:

Qualifications

29. (1) No person shall be a director if, 

(a) the person is under eighteen years of age; 

(b) the person is an undischarged bankrupt; or 

(c) the person is incapable of managing property within the meaning of the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992. 1998, c. 19, s. 29 (1); 2009, c. 33, Sched. 2, s. 17 (1).

 

Disqualification 

(2) A person immediately ceases to be a director if, 

(a) the person becomes an undischarged bankrupt or incapable of managing property within the meaning of the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992; or 

(b) a certificate of lien has been registered under subsection 85 (2) against a unit owned by the person and the person does not obtain a discharge of the lien under subsection 85 (7) within 90 days of the registration of the lien. 1998, c. 19, s. 29 (2); 2009, c. 33, Sched. 2, s. 17 (2). 

 

Director Resignation

Note:  If a Director resigns before his/her term is up; and the Board of Directors no longer have a quorum: 

The remaining Directors must: 

  • Hold a meeting of owners within 30 days of losing quorum to fill all vacancies on the Board
  • If the Board does not call a meeting;  the Owners can call the meeting and the Board of Directors shall reimburse the cost 

 

Note:  If a Director resigns before his/her term is up;  but the Board still has quorum;  the Board can to any of the following: 

  • Appoint another person to the Board by majority vote of Board Members
  • hold a meeting of Owners and open to election for those willing to stand for the position
  • do not fill the position and leave it vacant til the next Annual General Meeting

 

 

Property Managers and Property Management Firms

The Property Management firm is under contract with the Board of Directors on behalf of the Corporation.  The Property Management Company then appoints a Property Manager (who is an employee of the Property Management Firm)  to that building unless the Board of Directors has requested to interview their Property Managers and vote to who they would prefer to be at the building.  The Property Management contract is one of the larger contractual arrangements in value.  Many times the Property Management firm will also handle the accounting and replacement staffing during holidays.   The contract may include a Property Manager and an Administrative Assistant.

  

Condominium Auditor

Every year the Corporation Auditor shall examine the financials and prepare an annual report to be verbally provided by the Auditor at the Annual General Meeting.  Expenditures from the Reserve Fund must be made in accordance with the Reserve Fund Study which must be carried out by a professional reserve fund study engineering firm on behalf of the Corporation every 3 years. 

Note:  The Auditor is appointed by the Corporation (vote by Owners) and not hired by the Board of Directors

 

Condominium Lawyer

The Corporation Condominium Lawyer is hired and contract by the decision of the Board of Directors.  In some cases they perform their duties ie. liens, lack of payment of maintenance fees and various other demands by an hourly rate.

Other times, the Board of Director may contract a lawyer on a retainer   This amount could fluctuate from $8,000 - $12,000 per year and will not cover certain features.  It is wise to obtain a complete breakdown if you or your Board decides to choose the retainer route.

 

COA RECOMMENDATION All condominium corporation lawyers should be appointed by the Corporation just like the Auditors.  There has been too much twisting and turning of the Condominium Act to service the will of the Board of Directors;  jeopardizing the health, welfare and value of the condo community.

 

Concierge / Security Contract

The Concierge/Security contract is agreed and signed by the Board of Directors.   In some cases, Condo Owners feel that they have no rights when they are confronted by Security who has a direct relationship with the Board of Directors and who have in some cases intimidated the owners.  There is a fine law of professionalism and COA is hoping that Conciierge and Security companies should understand where the problems lie and try their best.   It can be very difficult if an Owners has a Difficult Board of Directors and equally if the Board of Directors has a bad owner.

 

Service Related Condominium Contracts

The other contracts are all approved by the Board of Directors.  

 

 

What is the Financial Structure of a Condominium 

The Financial structure of a Condominium relates to the Annual Budget and the day-to-day expenditures which generally comprises of services related contracts and utilities.  Every year just prior to the year-end; the Board of Directors get together with their financial consultant, generally the person doing their accounting to determine the expected revenues and expenditures over the next 12 month period.  The revenues are generated from maintenance fees from the unit owners.

Once prepared;  the Board of Directors approves the budget and sends it to the Owners of the Corporation approx 2 weeks prior to year end with a notice to each respective Unit Owners informing them of their new maintenance fee amount for the incoming fiscal year.

The Financial statements shall include:

  • a balance sheet
  • a statement of general operations
  • a statement of changes in financial potion
  • a statement of reserve fund operations
  • prescribed information relating to reserve fund study and operations
  • an indication of the aggregate remuneration paid to the Directors
  • Additional statements or information

Most budgets are relative to the cost of inflation.  If your building is above 4-5% Ask Questions

Note: New Construction Buildings

  • 1 - 2 years old may have a large increase in maintenance fees in the 2nd Year
  • See New Construction - Maintenance Fees and Financials

Standard Operating Budget Expenditures include:

  • Property Management Firm
  • Cleaners and General Housekeeping
  • Concierge / Security (and/or Gatehouse)
  • Heat, (Gas) Hydro and Water
  • Maintenance and Repairs
  • Energy Management
  • Landscaping /Show Removal/Lawn Mowing
  • Exterior Maintenance
  • Repairs and interior maintenance

 

Surplus and Contingency Funds

There could be instances where the Annual Budget was over-calculated leaving a surplus in the Condominium Budget.   Many times the Board of Directors may not spend the surplus or contingency fund and keep it for an unexpected charge.   Other times they may use portions of this amounts to pay down the inflationary increase at the following years annual budget review.  In either case;  if the surplus and/or contingency fund is no too great;  we do not see there to be a harm in keeping the additional moneys available.

Reserve Fund

The budget will also include a portion to be paid towards the Corporation Reserve Fund.  It is very important for a Board of Directors to be very careful and practice complete transparency and due diligence with expenditures relating to reserve funds.   There are strict mandates in accordance with the Condo Act which must be adhered to.    If a condo building has a low reserve fund; it could trigger special assessments and expensive costs moving forward.

Special Assessment

Special Assessments are when the building does not have an adequate reserve fund to do a repair and cannot charge the expenditure through the operating budget.  In order to obtain the monies required; the Board will approve a Special Assessment and each unit owner will be assessed their portion of the expenditure in relation to their square footage of their unit.   During the times of a Special Assessment, Unit Owners will be subject to pay their monthly maintenance fees and also their Special Assessment.  This added costs could make life very miserable for  many.

Approval of Budget

The Budget is approved by the Board of Directors evidenced by the signature at the bottom of the balance sheet by two of the Directors with signing authority.

Auditor and Review of Financial Annual Report at Annual General Meeting

Every year the Corporation Auditor shall examine the financials and prepare an annual report to be verbally provided by the Auditor at the Annual General Meeting.  Expenditures from the Reserve Fund must be made in accordance with the Reserve Fund Study which must be carried out by a professional reserve fund study engineering firm on behalf of the Corporation every 3 years. 

Note:  The Auditor is appointed by the Corporation (vote by Owners) and not hired by the Board of Directors 

Sunday, 24 March 2013 00:00

Sample 4

Written by

CanLii is a non-profit organization managed by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada

 

 

Tune into this interview - Condo Radio on Insurance

COA Founder CEO Linda Pinizzotto interviews Paul Hainer, President of Insurance Land on Condominium Insurance

 

COA advocates:

  • Consumer insurance for onsite and offsite Condo Owners
  • Consumer Tenant Policies to ensure and protect Condos
  • Better Condominium Board of Directors Liability Insurance
  • Better Dispute resolution to protect Condo Owners rights
  • Condo Corporations should have better governance for insurance claims
  • Province must License Property Management Firms & Property Managers
  • Property Management Firms and Property Managers need errors/omissions insurance 

 

COA suggestions and concerns on Insurance Coverage

  • Board of Directors may remove Building coverage to reduce deductibles
  • Mandates must be in place to force Board of Directors to notify owners of changes
  • Owners at risk for what the Corporation covers/doesn't cover under their "standard unit"
  • Condo Building insurance may have different insurance companies on insurance coverage
  • Status Certificate shows Insurance Coverage/deductible but not "standard unit coverage"
  • Water is a #1 problem in condo buildings and insurance coverage

 

COA suggests preventative medicine

  • Change plastic dishwasher and washer hoses to stronger rubber quality
  • Regular checkups on lint traps in ceiling of units and regular cleaning
  • Board may enforce policy for fan coils to be changed back to owners
  • Plumbing inspection of all units and charge back to owners

 

 

  

 

   

COA provides condominium information to help Condominium Owners and Buyers.     

Founder President CEO of the Condo Owners Association, Linda Pinizzotto is a Registered Real Estate Sales Representative and has provided the COA with this condo information section.  She is an Award Winning Realtor,  Government Relations Chair and Director of a local Real Estate Board and provides consumer awareness on her Condo Radio Show.  Whether you own or are considering to buy a low-rise or high-rise apartment condominium; a stacked townhouse or standard townhouse; a commercial condominium or  land; protect yourself and read this very important information.

  

Buying a Condominium - New Vs Resale Condominium Purchases


NEW REGULATION


CONDOMINIUM OWNERSHIP

  

GOVERNMENT LINKS

Superior Court Rulings

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