RSS

How Albert's New Condo Regulations Could Affect You




CLICK HERE to view the HIGH-QUALITY version of this article.



HOW THEY COULD AFFECT YOU


Changes have been made to Alberta's condominium legislation, and it seems more are on the way. As for the recent revisions enforced as of January 1, 2020, CCI (Canadian Condominium Institute) worked directly with the Government of Alberta. The goal for the new legislation was too...


“significantly improve the lives of condominium owners, boards, and industry members. These changes will help simplify condominium governance for volunteer boards, especially regarding voting procedures, conducting AGMs efficiently, and clarifying the insurance claims process.”



SOME KEY AMENDMENTS 


  • The Board can issue "chargebacks" to owners deemed responsible for the damages without having to go to court. This new legislation takes some of the burdens off bystanders.
 
  • The Bylaws will stipulate the offenses and fees. Regulations cap the fines up to $500 for a first infraction, $1,000 for subsequent violations of the same act, and up to six times for the same offenses.
 
  • For extensive damage caused by a unit owner that affects common ground of the building or other units, the condo corporation can now chargeback or make the owner responsible for the corporation's deductible amount (regardless of proven to be negligent).  For example,  let's say Unit owner A is responsible for an overflowing bathtub and causes damage to hallways, units B, and C; the condo corporation can chargeback unit owner A for their deductible up to the $50,000 maximum.
 
  • IMPORTANT FACT  - The Regulations do not require all unit owners to have personal insurance to include the $50,000 deductible coverage.

 
  • Transparency - The Board must be more transparent to unit owners and provide Minutes, Budgets, and Reserve Fund Studies at no charge, which will save sellers hundreds of dollars when providing condo documents to prospective buyers. And there are restrictions on how much condo corporations and management companies can charge for others.

  • Age Restrictions - Bylaws on new buildings are no longer allowed to apply age restrictions unless it is a 55+ only building.  Buildings currently with age restrictions have a 15-year deadline before this Bylaw will be removed.

 
QUICK FACTS - From the Government of Alberta
 
  • Adjustments have been made to regulations covering everything from the disclosure of information to how annual general meetings are organized, sanctions, fees for documents, and the qualifications for those who conduct reserve fund studies.

  • Removing the requirement to provide the minutes of all board meetings in the package for annual general meetings (AGMs).


  • Changing the requirement to disclose draft AGM minutes from 30 days to 60 days after the AGM.


  • Regulations stipulate the fees condo corporations and management companies are allowed to charge for copies of requested paper documents.  


  • Change to the maximum fee for an estoppel certificate from $100 to $200, or $300 if rushed, and add a disclosure statement document fee of $100, or $150 if rushed.  Changing the per-document cost for paper documents from a $10 flat fee to $0.25 per page, or $10, whichever is more.


  • Eliminating tiered rates for deposits condominium owners provide to their corporation when renting out the unit they own and setting the maximum for these deposits at $1,000 or one month’s rent, whichever is higher.


  • Allowing condominium corporations to borrow up to 15 % of their annual revenue as the default limit but also allow that limit to be changed through their bylaws.


  • Broadening the list of those who can conduct reserve fund studies.


HOW DOES THE NEW LEGISLATION AFFECT YOU?
 
There's more good than bad.
 

Overall, I see the changes to be more good than bad.   As a former condo owner, I like that some of the condo documents will be provided free of charge, and there is a cap on the ones I have to purchase.  


I am also a fan of the changes to the chargeback rules, so I am not penalized for others' negligence.  Yes, my personal insurance costs will go up but that is life plus I get peace of mind that if I am responsible, then I have coverage.   

I also see a benefit of removing the 60-day notice on AGMs to be proactive on issues that need immediate attention and collaboration.

 
 
WHAT WOULD I DO?
 
  1. Call my insurance broker to confirm the coverage I currently have and add the $50,000 deductible coverage. I'd also contact my condo Board to see if they have a record of which owners have the "absolute liability" insurance coverage. There's nothing I can do about the answer, but the answer may help me prepare for different scenarios.

  2. Water Damage - Roy Rasmusen of Expert Condo Review recommends each owner needs to be diligent and inform their insurance provider the amount of the water deductible for the condo corporation policy because this is the maximum amount that can be assessed to the owner.


  3. Age Restrictions - Unit Owner

    If I owned a unit in a building that currently has an age restriction (other than a 55+ plus)  then I need to understand that when the removal of this age restriction comes into effect that my quality of life could potentially go down, depending on the demographics in the building.  Granted, a 15-year deadline is still a generous amount of time; it could still affect my resale because there is a variable of when it will be lifted.


  4. Age Restrictions - Purchaser

    If I was buying a condo,  this new regulation will only affect me is if I am specifically looking for an adult-only building and I am under 55 years old now or will be in 15 years because this lifestyle has a limited shelf-life. I may seriously consider purchasing a duplex without a condo corporation or detached property as these new rules do not apply, and I won’t have to move when the age restriction Bylaw is lifted or potentially lower my quality of life.


Get in touch with any questions or feedback.
 
 
 
Check out the links below for more information.
 
 
 
 
I do my best to ensure all information is accurate, and it is not guaranteed.


Read

New property listed in Arbour Lake, Calgary
I have listed a new property at 304 88 ARBOUR LAKE RD NW in Calgary.
This upgraded and well-maintained 2 bedroom/2 bathroom condo is ready for you to call home. The large kitchen has ample cabinet and counter space with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. It opens to the dining and living room with a gas fireplace as the centerpiece for an open and spacious floor plan. The king-sized master bedroom has a walk-through closet and 3pce ensuite. And the full-sized second bedroom and additional flex room are on the opposite side for a well-appointed layout. Other features you'll enjoy are insuite laundry, in-floor heating, two underground parking stalls (tandem), additional storage, in-house gym, bike storage, social room plus visitor parking. Living here, you'll have quick access to the Crowfoot C-train Station, plus all the amenities at Crowfoot Crossing and Arbour Lake Residents Association. This property offers you high-quality living, convenience, and affordability.
Read

Should You Be Concerned About Radon?


CLICK HERE to view the HIGH-QUALITY version of this article.



Dr. Aaron Goodarzi is an expert in radon and recently spoke at the Calgary Real Estate Board. He explained that it is an invisible and odourless radioactive gas with the potential to cause lung cancer and other serious health problems. 


Yes, that statement got my attention too. 



CLICK HERE  for Dr. Aaron Goodarzi’s TED Talk, and below are other useful resources.



Check out the links for more information.

Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA)

Health Canada 

Radon Safety

C-NRPP




TESTING FOR RADON

According to Dr. Aaron Goodarzi, Health Canada and the real estate industry's governing bodies, the best practice is to test for a minimum of 90 days. They do not believe short-term tests taken during home inspections or over a few days collect sufficient data for accurate and reliable results. Health Canada suggests testing between October - April with an acceptable level of 200 becquerels per cubic meters (200 Bq/m3). 



YOUR HOME HAS HIGH LEVELS OF RADON, NOW WHAT?

The solution is relatively simple and inexpensive. 

A radon mitigation device is installed to vent the gas from the basement to the outside. How much? Well, that depends on the scope of the work, and I've heard quotes from $500 - $3,000. 


CLICK HERE to find a Canadian - National Radon Proficiency Program C-NRPP) technician in your area. 



DOES RADON AFFECT MY REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION?

It could.



SELLING A PROPERTY


If the seller has not completed or is in the process of testing, the results are not available for the initial transaction, so there are no guaranteed outcomes during the offer and negotiation phase. 


As of this writing, radon testing is not mandatory for sellers; however, that doesn’t mean the topic is over for them. Why? 

  • Some prospective buyers may ask if tests have been completed, and become hesitant if confirmed long-term results are not available.


  • If test results are not available, some buyers may request a holdback until radon levels are confirmed. If the results are high (i.e., greater than 200 Becquerels), they may ask the seller to incur the costs of mitigation or that the holdback funds will be used radon mitigation.  And, if the results are low (i.e., less than 200 Becquerels), the funds will be released to the seller.


  • The Real Estate Council of Alberta's (RECA) guidelines state that "if the radon test showed high levels of radon (higher than 200 Becquerel), that's considered a material latent defect that MUST be disclosed to prospective buyers unless a radon mitigation device is installed prior to listing."


  • Some buyers may take on the long-term testing and potential mitigation themselves, so they have peace of mind.


If I was selling a property, the questions I'd be asking myself is...


a) Would I rather get ahead of a potential problem by start long-term testing now, undergo mitigation (if necessary), and potentially before a sale. 


The con - spending money upfront without knowing if the radon issue will arise. 


The pro - have more control over the testing, mitigation process, and share the low test results with potential buyers as a selling feature.   Also, I benefit from living in a low radon environment.


b) Or wait and see if radon is an issue for buyers, then work with a holdback, potentially take responsibility for mitigation before closing,  accept there could be delays throughout the process, work with the buyer on solutions, etc.




BUYING A PROPERTY


Buyers can ask the seller if they have completed a 90-day radon test and request to see the results.


According to RECA, if the levels are greater than 200 Becquerels, sellers must disclose it as a material latent defect.



What are your options?


  • Many buyers will choose to complete the radon testing themselves, so they have peace of mind in the process and mitigation. 
  • Some buyers may ask for a holdback until confirmed long-term testing can be confirmed.  If the radon levels are low then the funds are released to the seller.  And, if the radon levels are high (i.e., greater than 200 Becquerels), they may ask the seller to incur the costs of mitigation or that the holdback funds will be used radon mitigation.  The seller's agreement is not mandatory.
  • During the seminar, Dr. Aaron Goodarzi suggested that extensive renovations (especially in the basement) could alter radon levels, so pre-renovation testing is not as important and recommends post-renovation testing.


 


WHAT DID I DO?


As you know, you can find articles and research online to support any belief, so it's challenging to know "the truth." But because of the potential risks, I ordered the Evict Radon ($54.59 plus return shipping) and took the first step in doing my own research and conclusion.


I started testing once it was delivered, effortless to set up, and I'll send it back after 90 days. If the results come back above 200 Bq/m3, then I'll hire a C-NRPP technician for mitigation. 



Sure, all this publicity could be "proven wrong" and retracted later (like vaping is good then shortly after it's a bad idea, wind power is all the rage then not, eat gluten-free...no wait, etc.), but even if that does happen, I won't regret taking action because I have peace of mind now.



WHAT'S NEXT

Do your research and educate yourself on all the details and talk to different industry professionals for their feedback and insight on various aspects.  Then weigh the pros and cons with each option then decide what's best for you. 




I do my best to ensure all information is accurate, but it's is not guaranteed.

Read
Categories:   Airdrie, Airdrie Real Estate | Altadore, Calgary Real Estate | Arbour Lake, Calgary Real Estate | Aspen Woods, Calgary Real Estate | Auburn Bay, Calgary Real Estate | Beltline, Calgary Real Estate | Braeside, Calgary Real Estate | Brentwood, Calgary Real Estate | Bridlewood, Calgary Real Estate | Charleswood, Calgary Real Estate | Citadel, Calgary Real Estate | Cochrane, Cochrane Real Estate | Collingwood, Calgary Real Estate | Copperfield, Calgary Real Estate | Cougar Ridge, Calgary Real Estate | Country Hills Village, Calgary Real Estate | Cranston, Calgary Real Estate | Crescent Heights, Calgary Real Estate | Deer Ridge, Calgary Real Estate | Edgemont, Calgary Real Estate | Evergreen, Calgary Real Estate | Glamorgan, Calgary Real Estate | Glenbrook, Calgary Real Estate | Haysboro, Calgary Real Estate | Hidden Valley, Calgary Real Estate | Highland Park, Calgary Real Estate | Hillhurst, Calgary Real Estate | Inglewood, Calgary Real Estate | Killarney/Glengarry, Calgary Real Estate | Lake Bonavista, Calgary Real Estate | Mayland Heights, Calgary Real Estate | Montgomery, Calgary Real Estate | Mount Pleasant, Calgary Real Estate | Oakridge, Calgary Real Estate | Okotoks, Okotoks Real Estate | Panorama Hills, Calgary Real Estate | Patterson, Calgary Real Estate | Ramsay, Calgary Real Estate | Ranchlands, Calgary Real Estate | Renfrew, Calgary Real Estate | Richmond, Calgary Real Estate | Rocky Ridge, Calgary Real Estate | Roxboro, Calgary Real Estate | Rural Rocky View MD, Rural Rocky View County Real Estate | Saddle Ridge, Calgary Real Estate | Scarboro, Calgary Real Estate | Signal Hill, Calgary Real Estate | Silver Springs, Calgary Real Estate | Silverado, Calgary Real Estate | South Calgary, Calgary Real Estate | Spruce Cliff, Calgary Real Estate | Strathcona Park, Calgary Real Estate | Sunalta, Calgary Real Estate | Sunnyside, Calgary Real Estate | Taradale, Calgary Real Estate | Tuscany, Calgary Real Estate | Tuxedo Park, Calgary Real Estate | Varsity, Calgary Real Estate | West Hillhurst, Calgary Real Estate | Windsor Park, Calgary Real Estate | Winston Heights/Mountview, Calgary Real Estate | Woodbine, Calgary Real Estate
Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.