In a decision that could affect Alberta homeowners, Service Alberta Minister Manmeet Bhullar provided an update on the province’s ongoing condo consultation.
Following a “very successful and engaging” consultation process that gathered more than 5,000 responses, Bhullar said much of the new legislation will come next spring, although progress could be made sooner on the issue of mandatory building assessment reports.
“This is something that will be in place sooner rather than later,” said Bhullar at June 20 speech hosted by CREB®’s Political Action Committee (PAC). “The protection will be given to people very very soon. That’s something we’re working on right now.”
Earlier this year the Government of Alberta opened up the Condominium Property Act for legislative review. In February, Service Alberta began public and stakeholder consultation to gain feedback on proposed changes. In conjunction with the consultation, Service Alberta released the Condo Consultation Paper which covered a range of issues including: consumer protection for new buyers, starting and maintaining condominium corporations, governance practices for condominium boards, maintenance for bareland condominiums, management of condominiums, standards of management practice and dispute resolution.
Also amongst the issues up for discussion was insurance coverage and responsibility for repairs. According to Bhullar, one key was when warranties for new condo owners would start.
“We know that new condos will have to have mandatory warranties,” he said. “There’s some condominium developments where one owner can take possession of one unit a year before anyone else gets in. So by the time Joe gets in, Mike has been in there for a year and Joe’s got no protection left for labour and materials. That’s one of the pieces I’m working on right now.”
PAC Members have focused on raising and resolving the everyday issues both REALTORS® and consumers face during the consultation process and ensuring stronger legislation for homeowners. For homeowners, this means pushing for fair dispute resolution and stronger accountability of condo stakeholders and for REALTORS® means pushing for better access to condominium documents during the purchasing process and ensuring hassle free purchase processes for their clients.