Under Section 45 of the Condominium Act, 1998 (the “Act”), anything required to be approved by a vote of any owners must be approved only at a meeting of owners “duly called” for that purpose. Condo corporations need to be aware of the requirements for giving proper notice of such meetings to owners to ensure that meetings have been properly called. This will become even more important when the new changes to the Act come into force.
Sections 47 and 48 of the Act set out the rules for giving notice to owners, but each corporation’s by-laws may have additional requirements and rules about notice.
How Much Notice is Needed?
• The Act requires that Notice of an Owners’ Meeting must be given at least 15 days before the meeting.
• Remember to review your by-laws and see how much additional time is required to make service effective. For example, your by-law may say that service by mail is not to be “effective” until 3 days after the day it was mailed, meaning you actually need to mail the Notice 18 days before the meeting (15 days’ notice + 3 days for mailing).
Who Gets Notice?
Notice to Owners
• Notice must be given to each owner as listed in the “Record of Owners and Mortgagees” as of 20 days before the date of the meeting. This Record must be properly maintained with accurate information. Corporations should be cautious to ensure that non-occupant owners have provided their correct contact information to be added to the Record so that they receive all appropriate Notices
Notice to Mortgagees
• Do not forget that Notice must also be provided to a mortgagee if the mortgagee has notified the corporation in writing of their right to vote in place of the owner and has given their name for service. This information should be listed in the Record of Owners and Mortgagees.
• Serving all mortgagees that are entitled to Notice is particularly important if you are trying to pass a borrowing by-law; make substantial changes to the common elements; or take some other step that could have a significant impact on the mortgagee’s rights
What About Service by E-mail or Text Message?
• Generally speaking, Notice must always be in writing. However, Notice can also be sent by fax, e-mail, or another method of electronic communication provided the owner or mortgagee has agreed in writing that Notice can be provided in that manner
What Must be Included in the Notice?
• The Notice must specify the place, date, and hour of the meeting, as well as the nature of the business to be presented at the meeting. The notice must also be accompanied by a copy of all proposed change to the declaration, by-laws, rules, or agreements that are to be discussed at the meeting, and a copy of the requisition, if an owner has made a requisition under section 46 of the Act.
• Remember that no vote can be taken at a meeting (other than routine procedure) unless that matter was clearly disclosed in the Notice
Condo corporations should be aware of these and other procedural requirements under the Act and should take steps to ensure that the procedures and practices comply with the legislation and the corporation’s own by-laws.