Apr 30, 2024

Enhancing Transparency in Condominium Ownership: A Strategic Initiative by the Condominium Authority of Ontario

In the landscape of residential living, transparency and access to information are paramount. Recognizing this, the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) was established in 2017, fundamentally transforming how Condominium Ownership is understood and managed in Ontario. This strategic initiative was in direct response to the critical feedback from Condominium unit Owners, who articulated a need for greater clarity and access to the operational intricacies of their Condominium corporations, including detailed insights into the Board of Directors’ activities.

The CAO has implemented measures to address different concerns by introducing Information Certificates that aim to keep Owners up-to-date and engaged. These certificates are classified into three categories, each serving a specific purpose.

Periodic Information Certificates (PICs): A key component of this initiative, the PIC is distributed twice annually, specifically within 60 days following the conclusion of the corporation’s first and third fiscal quarters. This protocol ensures a structured and timely dissemination of critical information. The PIC provides an exhaustive summary of the corporation’s financial well-being, allocations from the reserve fund, durations of Directorship, contact details for Management, status of any legal proceedings, and nuances of insurance policies. By adhering to this biannual schedule, the initiative guarantees that all Owners receive a detailed account of the corporation’s condition at regular intervals throughout the year. Each PIC also includes the corporation’s current budget and an insurance certificate, offering a transparent and comprehensive snapshot of the corporation’s operational health and strategic direction.

Information Certificate Updates (ICUs): These are issued to notify Owners of any significant changes within the corporation, such as Board of Director changes, adjustments in insurance deductibles, Condominium Management changes, or changes of official addresses. The ICU is mandated to be distributed within a 30-day window following any change, ensuring timely updates are always accessible.

New Owners Information Certificate (NOICs): Specifically designed for newcomers, the NOIC is dispatched within 30 days of Ownership transfer. This package includes the latest PIC and the corporation’s insurance certificate, offering a warm welcome and immediate immersion into the corporation’s affairs.

These documents are not only vital for current insight but also constitute an essential part of the corporation’s core records. Owners are entitled to request these records within a year from their issuance, providing a transparent and accessible governance structure.

Further simplifying the oversight for Condominium Owners, the CAO has developed an innovative Condo Calendar Tool, accessible via their website. This tool provides a panoramic view of a corporation’s annual governance cycle, including key dates for Annual General Meetings (AGMs), notice distributions, and Directorial information, all aimed at fostering an environment of informed participation. You can access the tool by clicking here.

The introduction of Information Certificates by the Condominium Authority of Ontario represents a significant leap forward in Condominium governance. It embodies a proactive approach to addressing the informational needs of Condominium Owners, ensuring transparency, accountability, and a more engaged community.

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