Alberta's Amendments to the Condo Property Act
Welcome to the first in our series from Real Estate Lawyer Peter G. Robinson of NWCalgaryLaw.com. Peter will be a regular contributor to this blog so look out for more of his insightful wisdom when it comes to the Law of Real Estate in Calgary and Alberta!
The Government of Alberta is considering amendments to the Condominium Property Act, after a recent public consultation. A number of condo issues are being considered, including:
- Protection for buyers
- Insurance for owners and the corporation
- Dispute resolution
- Board governance and Condo management.
The Act was last amended in 2000. This impacts many Albertans, as the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA) estimates there are nearly 8,900 condo boards, and over 320,000 titled units in the province. Also, “nearly 20 per cent of homes sold in the province through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) in the last year were condominiums”.
One existing problem is the timely exchange of condo documents from the seller to the buyer. These documents include condo bylaws, financial statements, reserve fund reports, board minutes, etc. It is difficult for buyers to make decisions when they are unable to adequately review these documents. It is hoped that amendments to the Act will result in stricter disclosure requirements and compliance.
The current AREA Contract contains a Condominium Documents Condition where the seller is obligated to provide the buyer copies of all documents as are available from the Corporation.
Nearly 20 categories of documents may be relevant, so there is much for a buyer to consider. For example, a buyer needs to know if there are any special assessments pending.
The Contract permits the buyer to obtain the documents though other sources if the seller does not comply, and charge the seller those costs. We generally recommend that buyers obtain the services of a professional condo document review service, as there is much to consider.
The consultation by the Government with the public concluded on April 2, 2013, so we look forward to eventual developments.
Here are a couple of resources when thinking about condos as a purchase: