Are Changes Coming to the Condominium Act, 1998?
As you may have heard, the Ontario government is proposing amendments to the Condominium Act, 1998, and its regulations as part of Bill 91, Less Red Tape, Stronger Economy Act, 2023. It repeals the temporary amendments put in place during the pandemic to make it easier for condominiums to hold meetings virtually without by-laws and use electronic communications without the consent of owners. The temporary amendments are currently set to expire on September 30, 2023. In this post we briefly summarize the key changes for condominiums.
Virtual or hybrid meetings will be permitted using “telephonic or electronic” means without the need to pass a by-law authorizing these types of meetings. The means used must allow all persons in attendance to “reasonably participate”. I’m guessing this was included to address situations where boards held meetings virtually using webinar mode and refused to take questions from owners during the meeting. (Is anyone actually surprised this was not an acceptable way to conduct an owners meeting?).
Voting using telephonic or electronic means will remain an option without the need to pass a by-law. The amendments also clarify that attending virtually or casting a telephonic or electronic vote (including before or during the meeting) means the person is “present” for the purposes of the Act, like counting toward quorum.
It also seems the proposed amendments would allow condominiums to communicate with owners and mortgagees without their written consent. Say goodbye to the Agreement to Receive Electronic Notices!
The Act would be amended to require the record of owners and mortgagees to include any prescribed information, like email addresses provided by owners. Email addresses for all owners would become the address for service with the owner needing to opt-out if they prefer other forms of communication.
Like with the other changes, the condominium could pass by-laws to prevent the giving of notice by electronic means or set out additional requirements for using electronic means to communicate with owners.