New rules imposed on condo boards by the Condo Authority of Ontario are, depending on who you speak with, long overdue or an overreaction.
One view is these changes protect condo owners and residents from unscrupulous condo boards. Proponents of this view cite abuses during condo elections that include forged signatures, failure to disclose ownership status when running for election and conflicts of interest. Other concerns include poor communication and failure to respond to concerns. While these actions have certainly occurred, it is less clear on their frequency and if they are a problem.
New requirements now include:
- Mandatory training for condo board directors
- Mandatory updates to owners
- Disclosure of which board members are owners and tenants
- Disclosure of conflicts of interest relating to contracts
- Access to condo owner information and records according to stated rules
- Changes to notices, voting rules and quorum rules relating to condo elections
The intent of these changes is to make condo directors more accountable to condo owners.
Another view is that some changes are an overreaction that discourages quality individuals from being willing to serve as condo board directors. Volunteer condo directors willing to bear the burden of serving may be less willing to accept the inconvenience of additional government regulation. Should this view turn out to be correct, condo owners and residents will be the losers.
These changes are unlikely to have much impact on condo corporations that already follow best practices. Their communications, due diligence during elections and internal education of condo directors likely exceed these new requirements.