When Condo Work Requires a Vote of Owners

June 2016

The Condo Act requires the condo corporation to repair and maintain common elements of the condo building.

Most of the time work can be authorized by the board or undertaken by management without authorization of owners.

Condo Act Section 97. (1)
If the corporation has an obligation to repair the units or common elements after damage or to maintain them and the corporation carries out the obligation using materials that are as reasonably close in quality to the original as is appropriate in accordance with current construction standards, the work shall be deemed not to be an addition, alteration or improvement to the common elements or a change in the assets of the corporation for the purpose of this section.

When this work requires modifications to the common elements it may constitute a “substantial change” in which case directors are required to seek approval of the owners.

When such approval is required, owners of at least two-thirds of suites in the corporation must vote in favour of approving the work.

A “substantial change” according to the Condo Act can be a modification in which an “addition, alteration or improvement” is estimated to cost more than 10% of the annual budgeted common expenses for that year.

Work that is required for safety, security or to prevent damage may be exempt from the requirement to seek approval of owners.