Making condos a better place to live

Industry experts were on hand today as Minister Malkinson announced new governance regulations for condominiums.

The new regulations cover day-to-day condo living and follow extensive consultations with thousands of Albertans in 2017 and 2018, including industry groups and condo owners.

“About one out of every five Albertans lives in a condo and our government has their back. Last year, we unveiled stronger protections for condo buyers and now we’re introducing new rules to improve condo living. These new regulations will make life better for everyone in the industry, including condo owners, condo managers and condo boards.”

 Brian Malkinson, Minister of Service Alberta

The new governance regulations were approved by cabinet earlier this month. They will:

  • Improve rules around meetings, such as requiring more notice to attend general meetings and get topics on the agenda.
  • Revamp voting rules so owners can participate more effectively in meetings.
  • Provide easier access to condo documents by clarifying which documents must be provided to owners, when they need to be provided and what needs to be included in them.
  • Require a fairer process when condo corporations issue bylaw fines.
  • Establish more protections for condo owners’ investments.
  • Strengthen how reserve funds are managed.
  • Establish new requirements for insurance and rental deposits.

The bulk of the new regulations will come into effect on July 1, 2019, with the remainder taking effect on Jan. 1, 2020 to give condominium corporations time to update their insurance coverage.

“Historically, many Alberta condo owners have felt isolated and alone, and we’ve had difficulty finding information or programs about management of our condos. These new regulations will lead to improved management of Alberta condos, with improved requirements for transparency and governance. These changes will significantly enhance condo life in Alberta.”

Terry Gibson, president, Condominium Owners Forum Society of Alberta

“I commend the Alberta government on their in-depth consultative process with stakeholders and the public around the development of the condominium regulations. These regulations will provide a measure of certainty and clarity in regards to many issues that have been raised by CCI North Alberta on behalf of owners, directors and condominium industry members.”

Anand Sharma, president, Canadian Condominium Institute (CCI), North Alberta Chapter

“We thank Service Alberta for the transparency in these changes and for including the voice of southern Alberta condo owners in their decisions. The southern Alberta chapter of CCI supports and congratulates the government in taking these positive steps. We look forward to collaborating in the next phase of changes.”

Ryan Coles, president, Canadian Condominium Institute (CCI), South Alberta Chapter

“As a condominium manager for the last 20 years, I see great improvements in these regulations, which will benefit Albertans and condominium owners in the years to come. These regulations clarify and strengthen the owners' and condominium corporations' abilities to operate what are essentially tiny governments."

Jennifer MacFarlane, on-site property manager for The Wedgewoods

The Condominium Property Amendment Act was passed in December 2014. The next step was to create more than 50 supporting regulations, which are being developed and rolled out in stages.

The first stage, which came into effect earlier this year, focused on protecting condo buyers and ensuring their investments are properly looked after. The second stage, announced Dec. 14 and coming into effect in 2019 and 2020, focuses on condominium governance.

Extensive consultation chronology

  • The new governance regulations come after in-depth consultations held with Albertans, including:
    • July - August 2017: Five open houses held across the province, with more than 1,100 people attending.
    • October - November 2017: Nearly 5,500 people responded to an online public survey that further examined the topics from open houses.
    • January - February 2018: Eight meetings were held with stakeholders to discuss the feasibility of policy proposals.
    • June 28 - July 31, 2018: An online survey invited Albertans to view draft versions of the regulation amendments and provide feedback. More than 3,000 people participated and their feedback was used to fine-tune the regulations.

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