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Your condo corporation’s policies ensure your board meets your obligations. However, because the Condo Act does not refer to policies per se, new policies might cross the line between a policy and rule. A policy is board directed, while rules require resident input and votes. Here we look at condo board policies and how, why, and when it is the right time to implement new ones.
What is a Policy?
Policy subject matter specifically impacts your board’s decision-making mandates and/or obligations to remain compliant. Compliance can fall under either federal/provincial law or your condo corporation’s declaration.
What are Examples of Condo Policies?
Some examples of condo policies include procedures related to:
- Fulfilling obligations under the Human Rights Code
- Meeting obligations related to the Occupational Health and Safety Act
- Response to owners’ requests to meet obligations under Section 98 of the Act and/or your condo corporation’s declaration
- Enforcing laws related to Public Health regulations
- Receiving and acting on violations of your Condo Corporation’s Act, Declaration, By-laws, and Rules
- The collection of common expense arrears
- Use of common areas that must be scheduled and therefore fall under the control and management of the board/corporation
What all of these “policies” have in common is that the subject matter falls under your Board’s decision-making jurisdiction, roles, and responsibilities.
When to Introduce New Condo Policies
New policies tend to align with any new legal obligations your board must comply with, such as updates to:
- Occupational Health and Safety Act
- Customer Service Policy under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act
- Human Rights Policy
However, you can also consider introducing new policies if your corporation experiences new ongoing issues. For example, creating a new dog wash area. If you find ongoing issues occurring in this area, you can introduce new policies to define acceptable resident use of the dog wash.
How to Introduce New Condo Policies
When your board decides they wish to introduce a new policy, they must write a resolution. The resolution ensures there is clarity for both your board members and residents. It provides a formal record of the policy, including:
- Who is making the policy, citing examples from either the condo declaration or specific government obligations to confirm your board’s authority/obligation to do so.
- Why the new policy is needed, such as a need for clear and consistent enforcement of acceptable use of an area of the condo, or introduction of new government laws you must enforce, etc.
- What the policy is with the exact details of the new policy and what is considered a violation of the policy.
- How the policy will be enforced with clarity on the covenant enforcement policy, so it is clear how you will deal with violations.
Consulting with the corporation’s lawyer is always advised before introducing new policies. This will ensure you a) have the authority to introduce the policy without owner approval and b) it is consistent with the declaration, by-laws, and rules of the condo.
Developing effective policies is easier with the help of CPO Management Inc, a Toronto property management company specializing in condo management services. To learn how we can assist with your policy decisions and new policy implementation or for any other questions, reach out to us today.