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Condo board in Alberta - policy vs bylaw

Discussion in 'Real Estate Discussion' started by PaulPoulsen, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. PaulPoulsen
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    PaulPoulsen Member Registered

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    I own a condo in west Edmonton and for just about as long as I can remember, the board has collected a security deposit to protect against damage done to common areas during move-ins and move-outs. No problem.



    Now the board has informed owners that effective immediately, on top of the deposit, they'll also be assessing a $150 supervision fee. What this means is when a tenant moves in, I'll need to pay a board member $150 to supervise the move-in through common areas so that damage caused by my new tenants will be deducted from the deposit. Same thing when they move-out. What this means is that turning over tenants would cost me an additional $300. Failure to comply with this rule will lead to a fine.



    My understanding is that the board can implement a policy as it sees
    fit. For instance, it could decide that the laundry room will be locked
    daily from this time to that time.



    But the levying of a fine
    would necessitate a bylaw being broken and if there's no current bylaw
    to support their position (there isn't), the issuing of a fine is
    largely meaningless.



    My question: Can the board implement this rule without a special resolution?
     
  2. RedlineBrett
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    RedlineBrett Active Member REIN Member

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    Time to yank out the condo docs. Depending on when the bylaws were ratified changing them could require a range of board support numbers. Usually it's 66.6% of board members after a special resoultion is set up for a vote. I have seen my fair share of boards 'drunk off their own power' and circumventing the required due process because no one ever stands up to them.



    In my experience condo boards care very little for absentee landlords.
    If there are lots of them in your building then slowing down this
    process and alerting all of the other landlords to back your cause would
    be your best bet. I personally would not pay the fee, get fined and then challenge the validity of the fine vs. what's in the bylaws.



    If you don't want to review them then Realtors suggest condo doc review companies to buyers purchasing units. These firms are cheaper than lawyers and should be able to tell you what you need to know.
     
  3. PaulPoulsen
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    PaulPoulsen Member Registered

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    Thanks for the reply Brett.



    It's actually a good building that's quiet with not a lot of problems other than the busybody board. I think the biggest issue is the PM. I don't think he provides the board with accurate information while simultaneously riling them up.
     
  4. RealtorDave
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    RealtorDave New Member Registered

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    I see on a couple of boards, and they can do this sort of thing. I can't remember exactly, but there is a clause bylaws that allows boards to deal with tenants, parking, ammenity rooms, etc as they see fit.



    The flip side is if you push back against the board, you might find they buckle easily. They probably did this thinking no one would care, so if people push back they might. Is this rule just for tenants, or is it everyone who moves in and out. You might find more people willing to join you if its everyone. If not, it might be a little more difficult.



    And finally, the advice I give all my clients -> join the board.
     
  5. ThomasBeyer
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    ThomasBeyer Well-Known Member REIN Member

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    [quote user=RealtorDave]And finally, the advice I give all my clients -> join the board.
    Excellent advice. I did so early on in my real estate investing career - before I started to buy apartment buildings (which are condos in bulk, at a discount, really) - and I learned a ton. You will also appreciate the very important role of property management and how much work it is.
     
  6. PaulPoulsen
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    PaulPoulsen Member Registered

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    I agree with that advice. Our term actually just finished in the spring.
     
  7. fablish
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    fablish New Member Registered

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    Interesting to see we are not alone in this situation. We have the same issue, we own a condo (Medicine Hat) that we rent out. A couple years ago the condo board asked us for a $750 refundable deposit in the event that the condo tenant damages the property. At the same time they issue a new "Move in, move out" policy and charges $100 for a move in and move out. My wife and I find it unfair to make the tenant pay for it. We also find it redundant to pay for something they already took a deposit for.



    Our plan....we wrote the condo board a letter, asking to designate us as one of the "move in move out" supervisors. We would be happy to be present during each moves. We wrote that we take pride and go through a strict selection procedure to make sure we have the right person renting from us. So far we have been lucky and only had long term tenants. We hope that speaking face to face with the condo board president we will be successful in not having to pay $100 per moves.



    If unsuccessful, I plan on making a list of condo owners/landlords and collectively requesting to reconsider this move in move out policy.



    i thought i would reply with our situation and hope for any feedback from you all. Thanks Paul for bringing up your issue.



    PJ
     

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