In the past year, AREA’s Advocacy team has secured some big wins for REALTORS® and consumers on the Condominium Property Amendment Act. AREA strongly advocated for better consumer protection on new condo purchases and the government responded. Now:
- If builders miss their occupancy deadlines, buyers can rescind their offers and receive their full deposit.
- Deposits must be held in trust with a lawyer.
- Buyers have recourse if there is a material change to their unit
AREA us actively involved in PHASE II of the Condominium Property Amendment Act consultations, where our key position is:
Condominium owners should have a right to documents pertaining to their property, without paying additional fees.
Condos provide an important and economical option for home ownership. We know that many condo buyers are in a lower income bracket than those purchasing single-family dwellings. The costs associated with condo documents create greater stress, financially and otherwise, for consumers in what can already be a stressful transaction.
AREA estimates that, in 2018, Calgarians and Edmontonians alone will pay nearly $3.2 million for condominium documents. AREA argues that any additional document costs are unnecessary. The management companies are paid via the condo association and one of their responsibilities is maintaining condo documents. Making owners pay for access to their condo docs is double charging for something management companies are already paid to do.
Adult-Only Condominium Changes
On January 1, 2018 amendments to Alberta’s Human Rights Act took effect, prohibiting adult-only condominiums. A court order required the province to amend the Act to prohibit age discrimination. The exception is seniors-only buildings that employ an age minimum of 55 years. This change is immediate for new condo builds.
As of January 1, 2018:
- Condominium corporations may no longer institute age minimums with the exception of seniors-only buildings, which may employ an age minimum of 55 years.
- Existing adult-only condominiums with age minimums below 55 years have 15 years to change their bylaws to reflect the new legislation.
- Until a condominium corporation has updated its bylaws, owners and tenants must adhere to any age restrictions that are outlined in the current bylaws.