Bill aims for more condo owner protection: Alberta government
Proposed legislation has been tabled in Alberta that aims to protect the owners and buyers of condominiums.
The government says Bill 9 is designed to give owners clear notification of occupancy dates and changes to their purchase agreement, as well as provide all warranty information.
“This will create a healthy and stable ecosystem for condo associations and for condo developers and for consumers,” said Stephen Khan, Minister of Service Alberta.
The proposal also calls for a tribunal that would resolve disputes instead of going to the courts.
New qualifications and standards for condo managers are also included in 50 proposed amendments to current legislation.
Alberta’s condo act was last updated more than a decade ago. But the Canadian Condominium Institute is concerned about it calls a lack of input from condo owners.
“The public has had no time to provide input on Bill 9 [which] personally affects those living in condominiums,” said Anand Sharma, president of the north Alberta chapter of the Condominium Institute.
“Key policy issues that needed significant changes such as insurance, property manager accreditation and training, and document disclosure to owners are not detailed in legislation. These critical issues will be legislated behind closed doors and outside the Legislature where elected officials and the public have input,” Sharma added.
June Donaldson has been a condo owner in Calgary for 40 years and has also become an advocate for condo rights.
She’s been fighting for new laws to reduce conflict between owners, condo boards, and management companies.
“I really am profoundly disappointed with Bill 9 and I’m stretching to try and find something positive to say.”
The Tories hope the bill can be passed during this fall’s sitting. The CCI, though, would like to see the bill deferred until the spring to allow condo owners to provide input.
More than 88,000 new condo units have been built in the last 10 years — in part because of the province’s strong economy and also because more people are wanting to live in condos.
“What we are trying to do is reinforce some consistency, reinforce some points and strengths for our consumers, and put a level playing field out there for the developers,” Khan said.