Registration desk

The registration desk is manned by the management company and I can't think of a bigger conflict of interest than having a contractor who relies on the board of directors for their employment being given possession of the proxies and determining whether an owner has the right to vote or not.

At most condos there no evidence of election fraud but certain condos election fraud is as likely as winter snow.

An incident in Mississauaga
In 2012, there was a well-known case at a Mississauaga condominium where the property management company denied twelve proxies the right to vote at an owners meeting—called to remove four directors—on the pretense that the owners were in arrears for over 30 days.

These 12 proxies were crucial as the four directors would not have been removed if the owners were indeed in arrears and not eligible to vote.

The chair was replaced by the meeting and the new chair determined that the twelve proxies should be included in the vote because the records presented to her by the management company appeared inaccurate.

Her decision was confirmed by the courts.

At a requisition meeting at a townhouse complex in Brampton, many owners were denied the right to vote because management said they were in arrears. Some actually were but others made the error of writing out their special assessment cheques out to the management company instead of the corporation, others dropped off their cheques at the management company's office but failed to ask for a receipt and others were prepared to pay their arrears at the registration desk but management refused to accept personal cheques or cash and would accept only money orders or certified cheques.

Unsurprisingly, the attempt to remove the directors failed.

A second attempt
A half-dozen activists were better prepared for the elections at the AGM. When they went door-to-door collecting proxies, they got photocopies of the owners receipts or bank statements proving that they paid their fees.

However, they recieved a shock when the manager at the requisition desk rejected all 70+ proxies as he claimed they were all in arrears.

Coquitlam owners denied voting rights
24 hours
By Tony Gioventu—columnist
03 September 2014

Dear Tony:
Our strata corporation had a special meeting a few weeks ago to vote in a new set of bylaws. The changes now permit rentals and dogs. This has been a significant change in the 25 years of our strata.

We have found out after the meeting that 12 people were not permitted to vote because of claims they owed money. However, after the meeting a group of owners got together and discovered these 12 owners were opposed to the bylaw changes, and that they were never given any notice of any claims for money owing.

While we are in favour of the bylaws, we are not in favour of our strata corporation potentially violating the act by denying voting rights.

The bylaw amendment only passed by two votes.

The property manager said it was her discretion at the meeting to determine voting eligibility. Why would a hired employee have authority to determine whether we the owners are eligible to vote or not?

Clarence W.

Dear Clarence: The Strata Property Act determines the conditions for eligible voters, and the by-laws of your strata corporation must set out those limitations.

The Act determines that if a strata corporation has a by-law that relates to eligible voting, an owner may not be an eligible voter for matters that relate to a majority or three-quarters vote if the following applies.

First, the strata corporation requires a by-law that determines a person is not an eligible voter if the strata is entitled to file a lien against that strata lot.

Second, in order to be entitled to file a lien the strata corporation has to issue a written demand notice providing the strata lot owner with 14 days notice of the demand and claims allowing the person to be able to respond, remedy the claim and charges or challenge those charges. The claim may only be those types of secured debts that the Act permits. These are strata fees, special levies, a rate of interest approved in the by-laws or a resolution that does not exceed 10% per annum, the cost for repairs related to an order issued by an authority, or share of a judgment against a strata corporation, and the cost of filing or removing the lien and the applied administrative costs which are generally the legal and land title costs for filing the lien.

By-law fines, damages or insurance deductibles are claims that are not lienable and cannot be used to prevent a person from voting at general meetings.

No one, including the property manager, has random authority to determine eligible voters. A person unlawfully denied their voting rights has a credible claim against the strata corporation. If this is the case your strata council should consult with your lawyer to determine how to best remedy the error.


Tony Gioventu, Executive Director
Condominium Home Owners’ Association (CHOA)

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