From time-to-time condominium corporations may desire to pass by-laws and require consent of owners. Unlike rules which can be approved by the board without direct owner support, by-laws require a vote of owners and must follow an established process.
Process for Making, Amending or Repealing By-laws
The condo board is required to approve the by-law at a board meeting.
The board then calls a meeting of owners for presentation of the by-law. A preliminary notice of meeting must be sent to all owners indicating proposed changes to the by-law to be presented at the meeting along with a copy of the proposed by-law.
When voted upon at the meeting and if approved by the required number of unit owners, the by-law certificate is signed by the board and sent to their lawyer for registration.
Once registered on title, the by-law is effective and must be included in status certificates.
Approval by Owners
Most by-laws require a approval by a majority of the units in the corporation at an owners’ meeting. Among those by-laws in this group:
- Matters impacting on Directors. This can include elections, number of directors, qualifications or disqualifications, term of office, removal, and regulation of board meetings.
- Borrowing Matters. Any authorization for the condominium corporation to borrow money.
- Defining the Standard Unit. Defining the standard unit for each unit class impacts on determining insurance obligations and repair after damage to unit improvements.
- Insurance Deductible. Changing insurance deductible requirements can shift responsibility for these deductibles to owners.
- Property Matters. This impacts on the corporation’s ability to lease, grant or transfer part of the common elements.
When the Condo Act was amended in 2017, a new voting threshold was created for certain matters; a majority of the units in attendance at an owners’ meeting. This lower threshold pertains to requirements created by the 2017 amendments which include but is not limited to:
- Candidate Disclosures. Condominium corporations can add requirements to candidate disclosures for elections to the board. They can include provisions such as requiring written submissions or providing them within a certain time period.
- Information Certificates. Condominium corporations can increase the required frequency or content of these disclosures.
- Records. Communities can choose to define additional core and other records the corporation is required to maintain. They can establish retention periods for the additional records.
- Meeting Material and Voting. Notices of, or material for meetings may be expanded on. Records requests, voting ballots, or proxy forms may be revised to require identification of unit or owner. There may be a desire to formally permit virtual meetings and electronic or telephonic voting.