On January 1, 2020, revised condominium governance regulations came into effect in Alberta.
This article is part of a multi-part article series on Alberta’s new condominium regulations. This article provides a quick summary of the top five things you need to know about bylaws and rules.
1. Schedule 4 for default bylaws
When a condo corporation registers a condominium plan with Alberta’s Land Titles Office, the default bylaws in the Condominium Property Regulation apply to it. These bylaws remain in force until the condo corporation repeals or replaces them by a special resolution.
With the new condominium governance regulations now in effect, Schedule 4 of the Regulation is now the default bylaws, instead of the previous Appendix I. This means that if your condominium corporation had default bylaws in place as of January 1, 2020, the corporation is governed by the new Schedule 4 bylaws and not the old Appendix I.
TIP | Not many condominium corporations are governed by the default bylaws. Most condominium corporations have already repealed or replaced the default bylaws. If you are not sure which bylaws apply to your condominium corporation, check your Condominium Additional Plan Sheet.
2. Timeframe for changing conflicting bylaws
Condominium corporations could change any conflicting bylaws to conform to the Condominium Property Act and Regulation by ordinary resolution within one year after January 1, 2020. This means if your condominium corporation wanted to change any bylaws that conflict with the Condominium Property Act and Regulation, it had until January 1, 2021 to do so by ordinary resolution. In other situations, such as adding new bylaws or changing non-conflicting bylaws, your condominium corporation can only amend, repeal or replace the bylaws by special resolution.
TIP | An ordinary resolution requires a majority vote from people, representing more than 50% of the total unit factors. A special resolution requires approval of at least 75% of people entitled to vote and representing at least 75% of total unit factors.
3. More restrictions on sanctions for bylaw breaches
Condominium corporations can impose monetary sanctions on owners, tenants or occupants as long as it’s authorized by the Condominium Property Act, the regulations or the bylaws. Monetary sanctions cannot exceed the maximum restrictions set out in the Condominium Property Regulation, which are now:
- $500 (or a lower amount set out in the condominium’s bylaws) for first time bylaw breaches
- $1000 (or a lower amount set out in the condominium’s bylaws) for second and subsequent instances of bylaw non-compliance
There are also further restrictions on sanctions. For example, a condominium corporation cannot impose a sanction if the sanction:
- prohibits or restricts the devolution of units or any transfer, lease, mortgage or other dealing with the units, or
- destroys or modifies any easement implied/created by the Condominium Property Act.
4. Notices for sanctions
The Condominium Property Regulation now has guidance on issuing notices for sanctions. For example, a condominium corporation can serve a notice of proposed sanction on an owner, tenant or occupant before it imposes a sanction for breaching a bylaw.
The notice must contain certain information such as:
- Unit number
- Name of person subject to the sanction
- Bylaw not complied with
- Date and time of non-compliance
- Relevant information on the non-compliance
- Maximum monetary sanction for non-compliance
- Description of corrective or other action that must be taken
- Deadline for taking required actions or providing a written response, which must be at least 3 days (excluding holidays) after service of the notification
If the deadline passes in the notice of proposed sanction and there hasn’t been a satisfactory response or actions taken, then the corporation can impose the sanction and issue another notice, called a notice of sanction. Like notices of proposed sanctions, notices of sanctions must contain certain information such as:
- For monetary penalties: the amount, instructions and deadline for payment
- For non-monetary penalties: the description, date and time at which the penalty comes into effect
- Reasons for issuing the sanction
- Date of the board resolution approving the sanction
The Regulation also provides clarity on how to serve notices of sanctions (for instance, they can be served electronically) and when service is considered effective.
5. More rules for rules
Rules are now explicitly addressed under the Condominium Property Amendment Act and Condominium Property Regulation.
- The condominium board can make, amend or repeal rules by resolution.
- Rules can cover procedures used in administering the corporation, as well as the corporation’s real, personal, common and managed property.
- Condominium rules cannot restrict the use of units.
- Condominium corporations cannot impose sanctions for breaches of rules despite bylaws that say otherwise.
- Rules can be changed through ordinary resolution.
Another important “rule” for rules is the requirement for notification of new rules. Before a new rule comes into effect, the condominium corporation now must give at least 30 days’ written notice to anyone living in the development (for example, owners and tenants) or post in common areas where all owners/occupants have access to. The notice must also be served on owners who do not live in the complex. New rules also do not come into effect until 30 days after all written notices of the new rules have been provided or served.
TIP | There are limited situations where a condominium corporation can implement rules that come into effect immediately upon written notice. An example is if the rule addresses a safety/security concern or emergency and stops when the concern or emergency no longer exists.
To learn about the latest changes to Alberta’s Condominium Property Act and Regulation, go to our website: www.condolawalberta.ca.
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The information in this article was correct at time of publishing. The law may have changed since then. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of LawNow or the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta.
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