Podcast Episode 10: “Condominium Conundrums 1/3 – Rules…, What Rules?”
This episode is a primer on the law surrounding condos in Alberta. It covers your responsibility to be in compliance with condominium bylaws, provide information to the Condo Corporation about your tenant, and your responsibility for tenant damages. Did you know it’s the Corporation’s right to evict your tenant for breach of the condominium act and/or condominium bylaws?
Rules…, What Rules?
One of our members is a long-time property manager with a lot of condominiums under management. He is amazed by the lack of knowledge amongst investors about how condominiums run, and the investor’s responsibilities as owners who rents out units. Fortunately, he says that REIN members are much better about knowing, understanding and managing their units. NOT !!
Folks, apparently we are just as bad, or worse, than the general public. We don’t know squat and if we do, we aren’t implementing and maximizing our knowledge about the relationship between our tenants and the Condominium Corporation.
Here’s a quick rundown on essential knowledge if you are renting out a condominium unit.
A. Condominiums are legally governed by:
- Condominium Property Act and Regulations, and
- Bylaws of the Condominium Corporation
You, as a landlord, must be in compliance with both of these or you may be considered in breach of either one. The Condominium Corporation can hold you accountable for any breach of either the Act and Regulations or the Bylaws.
B. Section 44 of the Condominium Property Act sets out the minimum that you as a landlord must provide to the Condominium Corporation:
- The address at which the Condominium Corporation can serve you with notices or documents,
- Amount of rent charged for your unit,
- Contact information for your tenants. You are supposed to provide all of this information before you rent the property and put a tenant in your unit.
C. You as owner are responsible for damages caused by your tenant to common property or any other units in the building.
The Condominium Corporation won’t chase your tenant. If there is a problem with a tenant, usually the Condominium Corporation will contact you first to let you as owner try and resolve the tenant problem. The Condominium Corp. doesn’t want to have anything to do with your tenants; they generally will only deal with you.
If that doesn’t work the Condominium Corporation will take care of it on their own and all the costs of taking care of the problem, (management, legal fees, repair and maintenance), will be charged back to you as owner. It can be way more expensive for the Condominium Corporation to solve a problem then for you to solve, so keep your address current. If you don’t pay the bill, the Condominium Corporation can file a caveat against your title.
D. The Bylaws of the Corporation apply to your tenants.
Tell your tenants they are bound by those bylaws. Make sure your tenant has a copy of the Bylaws. Even more important, make sure they read the bylaws to understand their responsibilities. At the minimum, give your tenants written notice of common complaints that Condominium Corporations have. Those are things like pets brought in without permission, noise complaints, loud and disturbing parties, illegal parking on the property, misuse of common areas, tenants who do not meet age restrictions. This is a non-exhaustive list.
E. The Condominium Corporation can evict your tenant for breach of the Act and Bylaws and do not have to pay attention any of provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act.
Get yourself peace of mind when dealing with Alberta condos by having a great lawyer; contact Barry now!