Bill 13, the Condominium Property Amendment Act, is now before the legislature in Alberta.
Over 50 amendments to the Act are proposed which impact various aspects of managing condo disputes, documentation provided by builders, qualifications of condo managers, increasing standards of practice and improved governance for condo corporations. Specific changes outline protections for buyers, current owners and occupants.
The changes are welcome news and should serve to ease concerns in buyers minds when they buy a condo, both new and resale. Increased disclosure requirements and higher standards of practice for condo managers will help buyers and owners understand how a property is being managed. As well, owners have more confidence that their homes and investments are being well run with more transparency when issues do arise.
Approximately 20% of properties in Alberta are now sold as condos. They are not just apartments either. There are bareland condo styles for single family homes that share a common road, amenities or maintenance as well as townhouses, villas and apartments which are more traditionally thought of as conventional condos.
A condominium is not a property type, but rather a type of ownership where owners share a proportion of ownership of common property. Owners have the benefit of common items such as hallways, roads, elevators, roofs, lobbies, exercise rooms or even insurance and landscaping or other maintenance. Owners then also pay their proportion of costs and maintenance for those items.
When issues arise disputes would be managed under the new condominium dispute tribunal which will allow condo owners and boards to manage disputes outside of attending in court. Bill 13 is expected to pass by June with implementation soon to follow.
I'm personally happy to see the items that increase transparency for buyers and owners and required licensing for managers. As well, a specific note that the Act speaks to increased penalties for “particularly unfair actions by developers" caught my attention. In representing both buyers and sellers, I've heard the concerns and seen the outcomes when properties haven't been well built or managed and owners are left unaware. Looking forward to seeing the positive change brought forth by the legislation.