Big changes are coming to the condo industry in Ontario. Bill 106 (The Protecting Condominium Owners Act) was recently passed and no one knows when exactly it will take place or become law however technology looks to be the main theme as to how condos will be governed at that time.
Compared to other provinces, Ontario laws are revered as one of the most advanced. The new bill is written with modern realities in mind and embraces technology in this sector. A large portion of the amendments to the Condominium Act gear to increase communication and transparency between board members, property managers and residents. Once the new amendments are rolled out the use of “electronic mail”, “databases” or “electronic communication” will enable these changes. The provisions will become clearer but it’s safe to say that this will, in a lot of cases mean software.
Here are five ways that the coming changes to the Act will require the use of technology
- Mandatory to formally provide preliminary notice of owners meetings 20 days prior to sending out the actual meeting notice. Electronic options will be provided for delivering important condo documents, notices, disclosure statements, status certificates and material change notices.
- Condo developers will be required by the Act to make public proposed documents, community rules, a search function for keywords & terms and corporation bylaws. This will help prospective buyers understand what to expect from a condo community that is to still be constructed.
- Increased communication to the owners regarding high-level information such as reserve fund budget and other financial information and the need for owners to be kept in the loop regarding all day-to-day happenings in the community.
- In order to keep up with the times the Act will make it possible to hold a valid board meeting via teleconferencing or virtual board meeting without having to pass a bylaw.
- Condo corporations will be able to have there owner vote electronically by telephonic or electronic means which includes emails, faxes, computer systems, phone app or automated touch-tone systems.
This new Bill will pave the way for new tools and update the legislation to acknowledge a role for existing technologies that have yet to make inroads into the condominium industry. This is important because tools are designed to promote better communication, which is exactly the intent of they laws.