Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Government of Alberta Calling

Our MLA Kent Hehr asked for details on our situation.   He committed to write the Alberta Minister responsible for the Condo Act,  Hon. Heather Klimchuk and ask for changes to the Act to deal with the high handed nonsense dealt to us by this condo board.

Not surprising, I got a call from Services Alberta and they were asked by the Minister's office to get more details on our situation.  They had also reviewed this blog.   At the end of our call, the government representative summarized our board as "dysfunctional" and suggested a number of things we could do.   Ultimately, we were told that our experience is proof that the Act needs revision and our lessons would be a great addition for consideration of the next revision.

The summary at the end of this lengthy call was that the office had heard many horror stories "but this one has to be the worst".    I was told it was "illegal" for the board to withhold pertinent information prior to our purchase.    I was also informed that we are now "stakeholders" and will be interviewed for changes to the Act this coming spring based on our experiences.    The office asked for a copy of the letter I sent to owners outlining the lessons learned.    The representative corroborated many of the points in the letter including the need for "Term Limits" for board members which is something we do not have in our bylaws nor does the board entertain even informally.  Our board gives owners no options by resigning en masse at each AGM.  You must either re-elect them to provide continuity or take steps to find 7 new members out of 95 owners.  Tough situation and one that ends up with the same directors year after year.   Split the terms with limits is the answer.

From my call I learned that a condominium corporation "can be sued regarding any matter for which the owners are jointly liable." and the representative confirmed that the Statement of Claim filed is the right way to proceed against Prince's Island Estates.

We also confirmed that the corporation must obtain "insurance for any liability incurred by the board or corporation when carrying out their duties and responsibilities."  We believe the corporation has insurance to pay for our damage caused by the corporation's contractors but it refuses to discuss claims and repayment for more than two years now.  So, this is what we're stuck with:

We discussed the need for the Act to deal with all these deficiencies but the primary point I made was that the Act does not outline the primary right to live in your home with quiet enjoyment. I argued that renters have more rights and I am partially correct. The Act protects the board and gives the board many remedies but it does not protect owners or give them any remedy. Although mediation is an option in the Act, you cannot mediate the right to live in your home. The Act considers how to resolve damage or claim issues but leaves out the most important right of ownership. This fault gives the courts less latitude to resolve out-of-control situations like this one--our three year fight and two visits to the judge with little to show proves the Act is useless in these situations.

So, we are now the poster children for the need for revisions to the Act.

No comments:

Post a Comment