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Understanding Your Rights as a Condominium Owner

01.16.2024 | Buying

When thinking about buying a home a large number of Ontario residents, specifically in the GTA, are considering purchasing a condominium. Today, there are over 825,000 residential condominium units in Ontario and about 55% of homes under construction are condos.

So whether you are considering purchasing a condo, or have already been living in one for a number of years, either way its important to understand how a condominium corporation works. 

Condominium boards across Ontario are governed by an owner-elected board of directors. Directors can serve on a board for three years by default, tho corporations can enact by-laws to change this timeline. Boards must elect a president and appoint a secretary. The President’s duties may include; chairing meetings, setting agendas and ensuring new directors are onboarded properly. The board Secretary ensures that the meeting minutes are recorded properly and that they are balanced. They should also work with managers to respond to record requests. 

The board of directors do the following. The board of directors run the corporation on behalf of owners. The board represents all of the owners. As a group, the board retains the responsibility for making all necessary decisions regarding the maintenance of buildings and grounds, condos’ finances, and must uphold and enforce the Condominium Act. These decisions can be voted upon at their Annual General Meeting, where all owners can vote on who they want to have sitting on the board and discuss certain issues. The board of directors plan and oversee the fiscal health of the corporation and are responsible for hiring a management company to carry out the tasks associated with their day-to-day operations. The management company is responsible for; collecting all fees from owners, making sure invoices are paid, ensuring adequate record keeping, ensuring the budget is prepared, and making sure that insurance is maintained. 

As a resident you can contact the manager that is responsible for your condominium. Managers or administrators are the persons residents go to with requests for repairs to common elements, especially those used for exclusivity to the resident such as; doors, windows, fences or their foundation. Depending on the condo corporation, certain items will be listed in the Condominium Corporations By-Laws explaining who is responsible for what.  Managers are also the ones to contacts if you suspect that your board members aren’t complying to the Condo Act or if you suspect there may be a conflict of interest with service providers


As an owner of a condo you should understand your rights and responsibilities. Making sure that your elected board members are accurately representing your needs is critical. A good board will communicate with residents on a regular basis and will explain clearly their decisions, problems and victories. They should also be addressing complaints and concerns in a timely manner and providing respectful suggestions. The board should also be adhering to a realistic budget that covers ongoing expenses, maintenance and reserve funds. The board should also be conducting regular financial audits. You as an owner have the right to have all of this information and be able to understand where your monthly fees are going. One key takeaway is that board members work and represent the owners as a whole. Too often board members treat themselves as an exclusive social club, where they’ll protect directors or managers who fail to do their due diligence. 

By understanding your rights and the condo laws in place you as an owner can then get the most out of your condo. It’s in your best interest to pay close attention to what is happening concerning your condo. At the very least, attendance at the Annual General Meetings is a must. 

For more information we encourage you to visit https://www.condoauthorityontario.ca/ where you can find information on who manages your board of directors, and who those directors are. The Condominium Authority of Ontario is also responsible for issues and disputes. Getting a clear understanding of this will help you when it comes to being a condo owner. 

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