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September 01, 2017

Ask Maria - Condominium Property Amendment Act

Here’s what you should know

Maria Bartolotti

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Q: Dear Maria; We’ve heard of the new Condominium Property Amendment Act. How will this affect condominium homeowners?

On July 26, 2017, Service Alberta held an open house to solicit feedback from the stakeholders to share their stories and give input to the coming Condominium Property Amendment Act changes. The following information is an outline from Service Alberta and what has taken place to date and what’s to come.

In December 2014 the legislature passed changes to the Condominium Property Amendment Act (CPAA), but “The regulatory work required to bring more than 50 amendments into force is ongoing. We recognize this has been a lengthy process, but nearly one-quarter of all homes now sold in Alberta are condominiums. It’s important we get this legislation right for the hundreds of thousands of current and future Alberta condo owners…”

In 2015 Albertans were consultant on the following items.

• The first phase focused on new protections for buyers of newly-built and conversion condominiums. This includes:

• Better purchase disclosures at the point-of-sale, including an occupancy date for their unit.

• Realistic operating budget and estimated condo fees.

• Trust money safeguards.

• Cancellation rights for certain long term contracts entered into by the developer.

• New and existing condo owners will also benefit from improved rules for a smooth transition from the developer to the owner-elected board of directors.

They have heard loud and clear that an accessible dispute resolution process is essential to condo living. The tribunal is intended to be an affordable and efficient forum to resolve condo disputes between condo boards, owners, occupants, and other interested parties. Once available, it will provide a lower-cost alternative to the courts for condo owners.

Finally, condominium managers in Alberta will be licensed and regulated by the Real Estate Council of Alberta.

The next phase of the engagement will focus on seven main topic areas.

• Condominium documents

• Dispute resolution

• Financial considerations

• Insurance requirements

• Reserve fund

• Rules, rental deposits and termination

• Voting procedures and meeting notices

Condominium living is a popular option for many Albertans as it can be a relatively carefree housing option. But, living in a condo community can come with its challenges, misconceptions, which ultimately can give rise to disputes.

Don’t let your voice go unheard. If you live in a condo, thinking of purchasing a condo, developing a condo or manage a condo- you are invite to log onto Service Alberta’s website to give your feedback.

Until next time…

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