Calgary

New condo regulations will help owners, managers and boards, Alberta government says

New regulations announced on Friday will bring better transparency and clarity to condominium living in Alberta, the provincial government says.

Rules designed to give owners easier access to condo documents and protect reserve funds

The Alberta government says its new rules concerning condominium living will benefit condo owners, condo managers and condo boards. (CBC)

New condominium rules announced on Friday will bring better transparency and clarity to condo living in Alberta, the provincial government says.

The regulations tighten rules around meetings, how reserve funds are managed and establish more protections for condo owners' investments, officials said at an event in Calgary.

Condo owner Bob Macleod says the changes will make a big difference when buying a condo because Albertans will now have easier access to condo documents such as minutes of meetings and the status of reserve funds.

Service Alberta Minister Brian Malkinson announces new regulations for condominium living in Calgary on Friday. (CBC)

"Oh, it's hugely important. If you're buying a car, you want to know what you are getting. Well then in this case they'll see how the corporation is run," he said.

Property manager Jennifer MacFarlane says the new rules also spell out what type of insurance is needed.

"When an owner buys a condominium, they have no idea what they need, really. They don't know if the building covers it or if they cover it. And there's so much confusion around that. Really narrowing down and specifing who covers what is going to help," she said.

The province says the new rules will:

  • Tighten rules for meetings, such as requiring more notice to attend general meetings and putting topics on the agenda.
  • Revamp voting rules "so owners can participate more effectively in meetings."
  • Provide easier access to condo documents by setting out which documents must be provided to owners, when they need to be provided and what needs to be included.
  • Mandate a fairer process when condo corporations issue bylaw fines.
  • Create more protections for condo owners' investments.
  • Strengthen how reserve funds are managed.
  • Establish new requirements for insurance and rental deposits.

The province says the new rules are the result of extensive consultations with thousands of Albertans in 2017 and 2018, including industry groups and condo owners.

"About one out of every five Albertans lives in a condo and our government has their back," said Service Alberta Minister Brian Malkinson.

"Last year, we unveiled stronger protections for condo buyers and now we're introducing new rules to improve condo living. These new regulations will make life better for everyone in the industry, including condo owners, condo managers and condo boards."

The rules start to come into force next July as supporting regulations with the Condominium Property Amendment Act, which passed in 2014.