Managing Bylaws for Ease of Use
When I bought into my project (in 2000), the redeveloper was still on site and there were no bylaws; we were provided with a draft bylaw, prepared by a well-known city condominium lawyer. At the time, the Condominium Property Act was being amended. Eventually, the redeveloper’s new bylaws were registered “… in substitution and replacement of the existing Bylaws …”. Huh?
Four years later the redeveloper left abruptly; the property manager had foreseen the need for ‘The Owners’ to get organised and assume the duties of the condominium corporation. We had a lot of work to do, including (eventually) rewriting the bylaws and enacting a more suitable set, less oriented to benefit the now-departed redeveloper and reflecting the needs of the owners.
We set about sorting out what was superfluous and deleting it, and with the relatively few owners in the 175-unit project, discussing what our wants and needs were. These were then translated into a draft set of bylaws and eventually the Special Resolution was passed. This Special Resolution specifically mentioned, “… the bylaws registered at the Land Titles Office on the 25th day of June, 2001, as No. (nnn nnn nnn), are hereby repealed and the bylaws attached to this Notice are passed in substitution and replacement therefore, …” providing the certainty not included when the ‘existing Bylaws’ mentioned above were repealed.
In 2018 the Government of Canada legalised the use and growing of cannabis, and handed the management to the provinces, which (in Alberta) handed the management to condominium corporations. People in our project familiar with the substance recommended that we should not permit growing, vaping or smoking cannabis at the project. An amending bylaw was prepared and the Special Resolution was quickly passed and registered in the Land Titles Office. The bylaw itself is a simple one-line sentence adding to the Use and Occupancy Restrictions. Read by itself, the one-line statement seems innocuous. Put into context with the long list of restrictions on what owners are not allowed to do, it has more impact.
If you order copies of the Condominium Property Act and Regulation, you will receive or download a document that shows under many sections some tiny print in what looks like code. These are the abbreviated references to the specific Acts or Regulations which were passed in the Legislature, amending the original Act. If your corporation has amended its bylaws, you should ensure that your corporation creates a similar document for ease and completeness of reference and reading. This ‘office consolidation’ is not a legal document that you can refer to in proceedings; you still need to go back to the original documents registered in the Land Titles Office.
In order to ensure you have all the registered documents, and that all the bylaw amendments have been registered, you need to search the Land Titles Office (or have your corporation solicitor or property manager do so). You can search for your documents using SPIN2 at Service Alberta. I’ll make a second post later, with more information about how to do that.
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