The governing instruments

A condominium's instruments are the legal documents that pertain to the condo corporation, mainly the description, declaration and the by-laws. The original declaration and by-laws, and any changes to them, must be registered in the lands titles division of the municipal land registry office.

The policies and rules are not instruments and they are not registered.

The condo directors are responsible for maintaining the present and future financial well-being of the property, the health and safety of all the residents and people who work on the property and insuring that all the residents respect the rights of everyone else to peaceful enjoyment of their homes.

In order to fulfill their duties, the Act gives the board a tremendous amount of power to fulfill their duties. The board must follow the following documents when making their decisions.

The Act
The directors are required to follow the provisions of the Act. Last changed in 1998, the Act can only be changed by provincial legislation.

The declaration
The declaration was written by the developer. It requires 80 to 90% of all owners, agreeing in writing, to have any changes made to the declaration.

By-laws
The original by-laws were written by the developer and may have been changed time-by-time by the condo board and ratified by the owners at an owners meeting.

Policies

The Act doesn’t mention policies. The board can make changes to the corporation policies by a majority vote on a resolution at a board meeting. The Act is silent on how and when the board must inform the owners of any changes or additions in policies.

However there has been a court judgment that states that the corporation’s policies must be reasonable and consistent with the Act and that they are binding on the owners.

Rules
The original rules were written by the developer and can be added to or amended by a motion passed at a board meeting. The owners can requisition a meeting of owners if they wish to rescind or amend a rule.

Private agreements
The condo instruments, policies and rules differ from city codes and ordinances in that they are private agreements between private citizens and are based on a specific and subjective vision for quality of life and property value.

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