Owning a condominium offers a glorious freedom in many respects. There's no lawn maintenance to worry about, no budgeting for a roof replacement and it's so easy to simply lock your door and head away for a stress-free, extended vacation.
On the flip side, one minor downfall for condo owners is the fact that even though you own your home, there is still an entity you must answer to and contend with – the condo board of directors. In most cases, residents will never have an issue with the condo board, which is made up of elected members who make decisions on behalf of all owners. The board has many responsibilities. These include:
- Overseeing property maintenance
- Managing the reserve fund
- Making rules to foster a safe and secure environment
- Supplying status certificates when requested
So what happens when one condo owner does not agree with a decision made by the condo board? In accordance with the Condominium Act of Ontario, there is a step-by-step procedure that is followed to hopefully reach a resolution that works for everyone.
In the case of a dispute with a policy enacted by the condo board, a condo owner should:
1. Request an informal discussion with the condo board or manager. Keep things civil and open the lines of communication!
2. Write a formal request or letter of concern or ask to speak to the board at their next meeting.
3. Speak with other condo owners to see if anyone shares your concerns.
4. Raise your concern at the annual meeting of condo owners.
5. Request a special owners' meeting, also known as a requisition meeting.
6. If all else fails, arbitration, mediation and legal action may be required, depending on the nature of the dispute.