Redford government clarifies law to help bare land condo owners, amends other Acts
“By passing this legislation, we are giving bare land condominium owners and corporations the clarity and certainty they deserve in dealing with maintenance and repair issues,” said Service Alberta Minister Manmeet S. Bhullar. “This is a positive change that will have an immediate impact by helping make life more affordable for owners.” Bare land condominiums are typically stand-alone structures such as detached homes and duplexes. Many corporations that manage bare land properties are responsible for maintaining “managed property,” such as roofs, windows and lawns, in addition to common property, including roads and sidewalks within the complex.
A recent Court of Queen’s Bench decision determined that the current Condominium Property Act does not give bare land condominium corporations the authority to collect fees or use reserve funds for expenses related to repairing and maintaining managed property. As a result, corporations may have to finance expenses for managed property, potentially exposing unit owners to large special assessments to cover the costs.
“The Shores decision created a great deal of uncertainty, not only for current bare land condo owners, but also for those considering such a purchase. Minister Bhullar’s timely and thorough response on the issue of maintenance fees has clarified those rules,” said Becky Walters, President of the Calgary Real Estate Board.  “This proactive leadership is reassuring to homeowners that Service Alberta has its ear close to the ground.”
Bill 24, the Statutes Amendment Act, clarifies the Condominium Property Act to allow bare land condominium corporations to collect fees and use their reserve funds to maintain, repair and replace managed property if their bylaws allow it. The change impacts approximately 1,300 corporations with 40,000 owners.
Service Alberta is currently compiling and analyzing the input of more than 5,000 Albertans’ who participated in the broader review of the Condominium Property Act. Additional improvements will be made to the Act to enhance protection for home buyers and improve standards in the condominium industry.
Other amendments in Bill 24 include changes to the Surveys Act providing greater options for recruitment for the Director of Surveys and allow key survey work in townships or parcel subdivisions to continue.
Amendments to the Emblems of Alberta Act designate the provincial shield of Alberta as an official emblem so members of the public can use it without restriction or permission. This would be consistent with practice across Canada. In addition, minor language adjustments to the Act are proposed for clarity and consistency. Additional information on the emblems of Alberta can be found at culture.alberta.ca/about/emblems .
The Perpetuities Act amendments found in Bill 24 assure private owners of minerals that they retain ownership of the resources they lease to others. Amendments will clarify that section 19(1) of the Perpetuities Act does not apply to minerals leases; thereby ensuring private owners of minerals retain control of their property.
Our government was elected to keep building Alberta, to live within its means and to fight to open new markets for Alberta’s resources. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.
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