BY: MOHIMINOL KHANDAKER - Considering the disruptions to the day-to-day operation of condominiums stemming from the COVID-19 crisis, the Government of Alberta has announced changes to several acts and regulations including the province’s Condominium Property Act.
These modifications under a recent Order from the government are related to time, locations and distance, utility payments, and access to information requests. The following changes could particularly affect condominium owners and residents in Alberta:
An interim Board of Directors will hold office until a (first) Board is elected under the Condominium Property Act, and the interim Board will continue to hold office in the event that a meeting to elect the first Board is delayed.
A person seeking to enter a unit is not entitled to enter unless expressly or impliedly invited by the resident of the unit, if the person seeking to enter the unit or the person who regularly resides inside the unit has tested positive for COVID-19, is displaying COVID-19-related symptoms, or is in self-isolation or in quarantine.
The requirement for developers to convene a general meeting (within 90 days of issuing a certificate of title for 50% of the units) in suspended. An owner’s ability to convene such a meeting (if the developer does not) is also suspended.
The requirement to convene annual general meetings (AGMs) is suspended.
The requirement to convene a special general meeting upon request from an owner is suspended.
The occupancy of a unit may now be delayed beyond the final date of occupancy (without giving rise to liability for damages or the right of rescission by a purchaser), if the delay is caused by “events leading to a declaration of a public health emergency under the Public Health Act”
The 5-year limitation period for activities related to the Reserve Fund (e.g. conducting the Reserve Fund Study, preparing the Reserve Fund Report, approving a Reserve Fund Plan) is suspended.
Between March 15th and June 18th, charging a supplier of power or heat sub-metering, or any individual for refusing to defer payments for sub-metering upon request from an individual that is subject to a sub-metering agreement, or disconnecting a service under a sub-metering agreement, is considered an unfair practice under the Consumer Protection Act. These changes are in addition to the already-existing optional utility bill payment deferral form the Alberta government.
Finally, considering the COVID-19 crisis is affecting all of Canada (indeed the entire globe), we wonder whether the Ontario government will consider adopting similar, or alternative, measures?