A condominium corporation is created when the developer registers the condominium plan with Alberta’s Land Titles Office. The condominium corporation consists of the owners of all the units identified in the condominium plan.
As a legal entity it can sue for damages to the common property and it can be sued regarding any matter for which the owners are jointly liable. An agent or employee of the corporation can act on behalf of the corporation.
Bylaws regulate the corporation. They provide for the control, management and administration of the units, the common property and any other real and personal property owned by the corporation. A board of directors is elected by the unit owners to carry out the condominium corporation’s responsibilities.
Condominium bylaws vary greatly. Some, for example, may not allow children or pets to live in the complex. In other complexes if you wish to remodel the interior of your unit you may have to seek approval from the board of directors if the common property or building structure is affected. Keep a copy of any correspondence you have with the board.
Make sure you know what bylaws govern the condominium you own and your rights and responsibilities.
Board of Directors
Every condominium corporation has a board of directors elected by the owners to carry out the corporation’s responsibilities. The bylaws outline how many directors sit on the board, how often they are elected, and if there are any eligibility requirements. Directors are volunteers who agree to take on the responsibility of running the condominium for at least one term.
Two-thirds of the members of the board must be unit owners or mortgagees unless otherwise stated in the bylaws. The board conducts its business by holding regular meetings, usually monthly. The board must report to the owners at annual general meetings or extraordinary general meetings.
Each director has the responsibility to act honestly and in good faith in exercising the power and in discharging the duties of the board. Every director must declare any conflict of interest and not vote on matters that may involve a conflict. It is important to remember that the board of directors must make decisions in the best interests of the entire corporation and all the owners, which will sometimes conflict with what individual owners might want to do.
Service Alberta has provided a list of duties that the board is responsible for:
- Abiding by and enforcing the Act, regulation and corporation’s bylaws.
- Managing, administrating and maintaining the common property.
- Setting and collecting condominium contributions and dealing with the financial administration of the corporation (financial statements must be prepared according to generally accepted accounting practices).
- Preparing and approving an annual operating budget and reserve fund budget and providing those budgets to the owners before the annual general meeting.
- Placing and maintaining insurance on the property for perils covered by standard insurance policies or any other perils identified in the bylaws and the regulation.
- Placing and maintaining liability insurance for the board or corporation with respect to carrying out their duties and responsibilities.
- Establishing, maintaining, and administering the capital reserve fund and preparing and distributing an annual report on the reserve fund to the owners.
- Conducting a reserve fund study every five years and preparing a reserve fund plan.
- Hiring and supervising employees, contractors, and a condominium manager or management company.
- Reviewing and updating the bylaws and, with proper notice, presenting the changes to the owners for approval.
- Holding an annual general meeting and reporting on their stewardship of the corporation.
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