Condo Owners Association COA

Displaying items by tag: condominiums

 

 

 

 

 

Buying a Condominium in the Resale Condo Market

Buyers must understand condominiums before buying!  "Condos are a complicated purchase, first you must learn about the financial implications of the Condo" says Linda Pinizzotto, Sutton Group Realtor and Founder | President of COA the Condo Owners Association.   It's time to invest in Real Estate but make sure you understand condominiums and work with a specialist.  

Condo Show Podcast

Condo Radio.com

Contact us for more details 

 

Buying  a Condo 

Condominium Buyers must have knowledge relating to Condominiums, Condo Documents, By-Laws and Rules and Regulations of a Condominium.    

Considerations when Purchasing

  1. Review the location of the Building and the direction the unit is facing
  2. Note any vacant land and/or parking lots - old buildings next door for possible tear down
  3. Review Layout and Design, both living space, balcony or terrace
  4. Check kitchens and Bathroom for water leakage under sink and around taps
  5. Check toilet;  note if energy savings and/or dual flush
  6. Check all appliances
  7. Check caulking around windows (ie moisture)
  8. Confirm the Maintenance Fees
  9. Review the proximity of the elevators and garbage chute
  10. Check if the building has energy features and tri-sector garbage chutes
  11. Check if the building has sub metering for heat and/or hydro
  12. Check light fixtures ie capped in ceiling and/or wall switches
  13. Ask about the amounts of keys, fobs and mail box keys provided with purchase
  14. While you walk through building keep an eye for cleanliness and condition
  15. Note condition of elevators and license date (in every elevator)
  16. Keep an eye for Management Notices to see whats going on in building   

Agreement of Purchase and Sale

  1. Have the Sales Representative explain the Agreement of Purchase and Sale
  2. Ask If this is an Assignment - buying before the Building is registered
  3. Ask Agent to explain Schedule A for Terms of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale
  4. Determine closing date and chattels /extras included in price
  5. Ask Sales Representative to include a clause that all appliances will be in working order
  6. Check parking space and/or locker spot if included in Agreement
  7. The Agreement of Purchase and Sale should be conditional upon your Lawyer reviewing the Status Certificate (see below)  

Condominium Documents

Have your Solicitor Review during 2-3 Day conditional period

  1. Your Offer to Purchase will include a condition relating to obtain a Status Certificate which includes the Buildings Condo Documents ie Declaration, By-Laws , Rules and Regulations, Financials, Building Insurance Policy and letter signed by a Board Member
  2. Note:  According to the Condo Act, Property Management has 10 banking days to provide Status Certificate
  3. Your Offer will also include a clause stating that the Offer to Purchase is conditional upon your Lawyer's review of these Documents, generally 2-3 banking days.  If your lawyer approves you will be waiving the condition of review of Status
    Questions to ask your Lawyer  
    1. Ask if there is any restrictions in the Documents relating to  ie. Pets, Barbecues
    2. Ask about Short Term Rentals and if they are time sensitive or unlimited
    3. Ask if the Corporation includes any affordable Housing units
    4. Ask if there are any leasing equipment  ie. boilers, communication room etc.
    5. Ask if the full Parking Garage is Owned by the Corporation
    6. Your lawyer should be able to check all information noted above  

Sale Finalized - Lawyer Reviews Documents

  1. Once the sale is finalized and the conditions are removed
  2. Book your Elevator with Property Management - may require a deposit
  3. Register as new Owner with Property Management  

After you Move In

  1. Bring your new Fob transmitters to Property Management to program for you
  2. Remember Go to your Annual General Meetings
  3. Stay involved with your Condominium Building - Know your Directors  
Published in Buying a Condo

Condo Owners Guard your AGM Proxy

How Proxies Effect a  Condo Election


Condo Owners please be extremely careful when you turn over your proxy to another person/s, a Condo Manager or Management Company or another 3rd party.   The new licensing standards for Condo Management companies and Condo Managers prevents a Condo Manager in particular from soliciting for proxies either for voting and/or for quorum.   Unfortunately, there is no exclusion at this time to prevent Condo Managers from receiving proxies and/or accepting the position as a proxy holder on behalf of an on-site or off-site Condo Owners who owns within the same Corporation where that Condo Manager represents. 

The New Condominium Act and during the whole review process identified the need for licensing as a result of a thorough research into the industry.   It appears as though more considerations and/or alerts need to be identified and regulated when it comes to Proxy Holders who have a conflict of interest in the voting process if there is a direct involvement with the same Condo Corporation.  

It is imperative for Condo Owners to have fair and honest representation when electing candidates as a Board Members.  Any manipulation relating to proxies and/or conflicts of those holding proxies can influence and control the final results of the elections.  Remember candidates could be elected for up to 3 year terms and it is very difficult to remove Board Members in accordance with the Condo Act.   It is best to ensure that Candidates win on their own merits and legitimate voting process.
 

Do you know or suspect if your condo building has this problem?  

We would like to hear more from Condo Owners on this subject


Please blog your comments on 
http://blog.coaontario.com/
 ​
Published in Hot News Bulletin

The New Condominium Law Changes      See:  BULLETIN

Dear Condo Owners and General Public the Ontario Condo Act receives it's first overhaul in over 16 years with the introduction of Bill 106 Protecting Condominium Owners Act 2015. 

Please follow the new Condo Act changes in this
plain language guide.  

The key initatives include:

  1. Protecting Condominium Owners Act
  2. Consultations
  3. Streamline dispute Resolution
  4. Enhance Consumer Protection
  5. Strengthen financial management
  6. Improve how condos are run
  7. Condo Manager Licenses

  

Ontario Government Site - Condominiums

Bill 106, Protecting Condominium Owners Act 2015 

Status Certificate Forms

On March 26, 2018, the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services advised that the Status Certificates forms have been updated to take effect May 1, 2018.  

Condo Forms for Status 


 

Other Related Condominium Changes

Reforming Ontario's Condo Law  

Education requirements to get a condominium manager licence 

Licensing CMRAO Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario

Condominium Management Services Act, 2015, S.O. 2015, c.28 Sched. 2

Public Feedback on Condo Act 

Condo Owners Rights and Responsibilities


 

Condo Act Review and the 3 Stage Process

Consultation Process  

The COA was a participant in the Condo Act Review and on the Home Protection Review regarding the Licensing of Property Managers and Management Firms and others......... Click How COA Helps

 

Published in About Condo Act

 COA Endorses these changes  

  • Home Warranty Act needs a complete revision. 
  • Provincial Government consider a Condo Reserve Fund Bond to pay 1 to 1 ¼ % higher than Ontario Savings bond
  • Reserve fund studies need to conform to proper financial numbers.  Interest rates and inflation rates must be set by the Government. 
  • Improved Reserve funds interest rates with new Reserve Fund Bond
  • MPAC should consider deficiencies in the Reserve Fund
  • MPAC should consider different guidelines for property tax
  • Arrange restrictions for Smoking Cigarettes and Marijuana in condo buildings
  • Status Certificate - 10 banking days is too long of a period and jeopardizes sale
  • Meetings with extensive costs considered should be part of status certificate 

  

Did you know these condo facts?

  • Over 1.6 Million Condo Owners in Ontario
  • Over 580,000 Condo Units
  • Over 6,750 Condo Corporations
  • 1,000's Commercial Condos

  

Do you realize the importance of changing the following?  

  • Electronic Proxy system is required.  Presently proxies are being forged to control votes
  • Condo Lawyers should be appointed by Corporation, not hired by the Board
  • By Laws should not allow customization Director qualifications or disqualifications
  • By-Laws should not be allowed if the change is in contravention to the Condo Act
  • All Boards and Condo Owner should be aware of the AODA
  • Board Members should not manipulate the Condo Act forms for personal intentions

 

Let's work together for important changes to Condo Act

Published in COA Reports on Review

If your business relates to the condominium industry, get involved and advertise your business with the COA.  


We have a strong representation for Condominiums and all levels of Government 
  1.  Influential and effective media relations to identify and enhance the operations within condominiums
  2. A wide range of information and opportunities
  3. In-depth industry knowledge and information
  4. Close working relationship with Industry Leaders
  5. Provides a huge potential to promotion your materials
  6. Huge potential to arrange group savings packages and benefits for you

The COA MISSISSAUGA is pleased to highly recommend various companies listed below. We feel they offer very professional, reliable and trustworthy services and/or products. Please click on their name to be connected to their respective website.

 
  1. Accounting
  2. Air Quality
  3. Automotive Alternatives
  4. Auto Services and Rental
  5. Builder Service & Services KamCrew
  6. Cleaners
  7. Cleaning Services
  8. Cleaning Services - Ducts
  9. Cleaning Services - Windows
  10. Computer Service & IT Solutions
  11. Condo Digital
  12. Condo Management
  13. Condo Rental Service Groups
  14. Condo Resources
  15. Condo Software
  16. Contractors - Electrical
  17. Contractors - General
  18. Contractors - Mechanical
  19. Design & Décor Services
  20. Door & Lock Services
  21. Elevator Services / Repairs
  22. Energy Services
  23. Energy Services - Efficiency
  24. Energy Services - Electricity
  25. Energy Services - Gas
  26. Energy Services - Water
  27. Engineering Services
  28. Environmental Consulting
  29. Financial Management - Halton Financial Services
  30. Financing Loans - Services
  31. Fire Protection
  32. Flooring Broadloom, Carpeting & Mats
  33. Glass Specialty, Custom Design & Replacement
  34. Home Care
  35. Home Finishing
  36. Home Inspections
  37. Home Office Furniture
  38. Home Services
  39. HVAC Heating | Heat Pump
  40. Insurance Condo Building | Suite - Insuranceland
  41. Internet/TV/Phone Services
  42. Financing - Commercial Loans
  43. Landscaping & Gardening Services
  44. Laundry Services
  45. Legal Services - Ronald H.A. Van Der Steen
  46. Legal Services - Calvin Barry Criminal Lawyers
  47. Legal Services - Condo Law
  48. Lighting Supplies & Services
  49. Maintenance Services - Andelle Maintenance
  50. Mediation/Arbitration
  51. Minute Takers Board Meeting
  52. Mould Detection & Remediation
  53. Moving & Storage
  54. Odour Control - Chemical Relief
  55. Paint, Primer & Sanding - Sherwin Williams
  56. Parking Equipment & Revenue Systems
  57. Parking Management/Cleaning Services
  58. Paving Interlock, Quartz and Stone
  59. Pest Control
  60. Pet Services
  61. Photo Videos and Matterport
  62. Plumbing Services
  63. Real Estate - Linda Pinizzotto Real Estate Group RE/MAX
  64. Recreation & Fitness Equipment | Repair
  65. Renovation KamCrew Custom Build
  66. Rental & Tenant Services
  67. Restoration Services
  68. Retirement Homes
  69. Roofing
  70. Roofing - Green Energy
  71. Security Systems - PJS Security 
  72. Seniors
  73. Signs and Awnings - Signarama
  74. Snow Removal Services
  75. Sound Control
  76. Storage - Public Storage - 2330 South Sheridan Way
  77. Superintendent Services
  78. Technology - IT Mayday Computer Services
  79. Video Surveillance Networks - Local Security
  80. Waste Services
  81. Water Proofing & Systems
  82. Website Sales & Design - IT Mayday


NOTICE TO USERS:

Disclosure:  COA has partnered with these companies on previous events

  • Allstate Insurance of Canada
  • International Home & Garden Show
  • Clorox Canada – Glad
  • Entire Imaging
  • Geep Electronic Recycling
  • Joseph Estate Wines
  • Vision Quest

Condo Owners Association accepts no responsibility for any loss or dissatisfaction arising from any use or contractual relationship of services, or purchases to include incentives programs that Condo Owners may experience through Related Services Companies of the Condo Owners Association

 

Published in Uncategorized

    

 

New Forms  

Links to the mandatory forms to use under the Condominium Act. 

They are to help facilitate and standardize communication between Condo Owners and Boards.  The majority of the forms are mandatory and many were issued on November 1st, 2017.  It is best to use these fillable forms on Internet Explorer. 

You also need the latest version PDF version (v. 8 or higher). 

If experiencing difficulties with the links below you can:

  • Right-click on the form, select “open link” and save the form on your computer;
  • OR Click on the Printable version below (second bullet for each forms).

 

Information Certificates

 

Meeting of Owners (plus AGM)

 

Records of the Corporation

 

Various other Forms

 

More Condo Related Forms  are available here 

There are over 1.25 million Condo Owners in Ontario and the numbers are growing.  According to the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation, as
Published in About Condo Act

Status Certificates and why do you need one?

A status certificate is the report as per Section 76 of the Ontario Condo Act which outlines the current state of a Condominium Corporation.  It contains an assortment of extremely important details on your condominium.  A key item noted on the status certificate is any large increases which may come into effect, special assessments and any arrears or liens on any particular suite or the Corporation.


A Status Certificate includes:

  1. Condominium Declaration
  2. By-laws, Rules and Regulations 
  3. Copy of the Insurance certificate of the Corporation
  4. Copy of the Corporation Insurance Certificate
  5. Most Recent Financial Statements outlining operating budgets, reserve fund and any surplus etc.
  6. Cover letter with Board of Directors signature confirming contents of Status Certificate
  7. Notification of Special Assessments as ratified by the Board of Directors 
  8. Notification of any large increases and/or any items of importance 

Buyers Status Condition on Agreement of Purchase and Sale

The status certificate discloses information to a potential Buyer about the Condominium.  A Buyer purchasing a condominium should include a Status Condition clause where the Sellers will provide the Buyer with a Status Certificate within 10 days.  The condition will include an additional 3 banking days for the Buyers Lawyer to review the Status to their satisfaction.  If the Status is acceptable to the Lawyer, the Buyer will be instructed to waive the Condition on Status Review based on their Lawyers recommendation.  They will sign a waiver to release the condition and their Purchase and Sale Agreement is now firm.   In the event that the Buyer's Lawyer is concerned about anything on the Status Certificate and the concern cannot be remedied, the Lawyer will most likely recommend that the Buyer not waive the status condition and release the Agreement of Purchase and Sale.  The Buyer will sign a Mutual Release to terminate the Agreement of Purchase and Sale with the Seller and the Listing Brokerage will return the Buyers deposit without interest or deduction.  The Buyers deposit would have been held in trust for the Buyer pending the completion of the transaction.  In many cases the Status Certificate may only be valid for 30 days as per the Buyers Lawyer's request however traditionally it should be 60 days.  

Status Certificate Requisition

Whether the Seller requisitions the Status through an online portal or can also submit a written request by contacting their Property Management office, the cost is approximately $125.00 - $150.00 depending on each Corporation.   Not all Corporations have their Status Certificate available online.    According to the Condominium Act, a Provincial Legislation, the Condo Corporation has 10 days to satisfy the request.  It can either be a hard copy from the Corporations Property Management office or through an online portal such as Conduit, assortment of pdf files with the above information.   It will also include a cover letter to identify the legal description of the specific condo unit as well as the current maintenance fees attached to that unit along with the costs being covered in the maintenance fee.  

Periodic Information Certificate

In some Corporations, certainly those who have Board of Directors who practice transparency in a stronger fashion do sent out a Periodic Information Certificate (PIC) twice per fiscal year to all Owners.  Generally it is within 60 days of the end of the first quarter and 60 days of the end of the third quarter.  This PIC includes important information regarding the Board of Directors, the corporation finances, insurance, reserve fund, legal proceedings and other matters such as changes to any By-Laws and/or Rules and Regulations.  

Building or Developer preparation of Original Condo Declaration and By-Laws 

The Ministry of Government and Consumers Services oversees the Condominium Act.  In March 2010, Founder CEO of the Condo Owners Association, Linda Pinizzotto challenged the Act when she created the COA.  The first plan of action was to meet with Minister John Garretson, of the McGuinty Government.  It was an enormous challenge and before the Province experienced a change in Government from the McGuinty to the Wynn Government, Premier Dalton McGuinty announced the  CONDO ACT REVIEW  

Human rights Code of each Province 

It is common for the Builder or the developer to draw up a set of rules and regulations along with the Builder's law firm to prepare the declaration and by-law.   Section 58 (1) of the Act must promote safety, security and welfare of Owners and their property as well as the Assets of the Corporation.  

Human Rights Code of Ontario

Published in Buying a Condo

Buying a Condominium

If you are considering buying a condo, make sure you research before signing on the dotted line says Linda Pinizzotto, Realtor and Founder President CEO of the Condo Owners Association. 

Linda has provided COA with an extensive portfolio of information for your protection and has recently launched her Condo Radio.com    

The New Condo Act offers more Consumer Protection 

New Vs Resale Condominiums

The Importance of Status Certificates

Buyers must have a condition requesting a Status Condition on their Agreement of Purchase and Sale.  The Condominium Corporation has 10 days to provide the Status Certificate and relating documents to the Buyer.  The Buyer should have 2-3 days to have their Lawyer review these documents to his/her satisfaction.   If the Buyer's Lawyer is acceptable to these documents;  the Lawyer provides recommendation to the Buyer to release the Status Condition and finalize the sale.  Lawyers will generally not approve the Status, documents etc.  if the Condo Corporation has financial concerns on the building and/or unit.  The Buyer. would normally be advised not to purchase the unit.  

 

The Status Certificate package includes

  1. Condominium Documents
  2. Auditor approved Financial Report
  3. Reserve Fund information and accompanying confirmation
  4. Insurance Company Letter confirming up-to-date condo building insurance and particulars
  5. Cover letter from the Board outlining unit maintenance fees, arrears etc. relating to Unit
  6. Any additional information relating to the condominium building   ie Loans, Liens, Law Suits
  7. Is the Building Registered with the Condo Owners Association

Condo Reserve Funds and Operating Budgets

COA believes Condo Owners and all Home Owners should understand the operations of a Condominium and their financial structure, in particular operating budgets and reserve funds.

The financial package of the condominium buildings makes a huge impact on value therefore affecting the mortgage and real estate value.  There are key considerations to maintaining value in a condominium building aside from location and good management/maintenance.  The Reserve Fund is extremely important, see notes below:  

  1. High reserve funds creates good value within a condominium corporation
  2. Board of Directors should have studies to determine that the contributions for reserve fund are adequate to provide for the expected costs of major replacement  (per item 4 below)
  3. Board of Directors who follow study reports for major repair and replacement of the common elements and assets of the corporation (as mandated by the Condo Act 1998)  helps maintain value of the building and units
  4. Boards of Directors decisions must comply to all mandates of the Condo Act 1998  

Learn more about the  Condo Act


 

COA review on Cost Savings Initiative Relating to Hydro

COA has reviewed documentation on discussions between the Government, Energy Consultants, Ontario Energy Board, Ontario Hydro and OPG.   

A Condominium budget experiences about 30% of their operating budget for utility costs.  The difference between Condominiums where the hydro costs are included in the maintenance fees vs those condos where the units are self metered can make a huge difference on maintenance fees.  The Board of Directors needs to consider energy savings initiatives for those buildings which are all inclusive of hydro. 

The key issues tend to be:

1)  Older appliances - not Energy Star - Buildings built 2006 or prior could be experiencing a huge drain on hydro costs - Board needs to discuss initiative on replacements

2)  No conversions to LED lighting - Building common elements and units - Board needs to consider working with Owners to replay in-suite lighting

3)  Fan coil systems - no energy efficient - Buildings built 2006 or prior could be experiencing high energy costs - Board needs to discuss initiatives on replacements

  

Hydro Facts to view

Hydro One  - Mapping 

Hydro One  - Power Outages and Safety

Hydro One - Savings on Lighting

Page 1 of 2