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Request to view Minutes Book  

  

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"Being a Board member you are privy to all discussions which have occurred since you took office. You have not specified a time frame for your request (please advise)  Is there a reason in particular that you are making this request? 

Please also keep in mind that minutes are posted to www.condodocs.com and all individuals are entitled to download the minutes at their cost."

 

This is a portion of the response I received from management company. I had requested to view the official meeting minutes book. I quoted the condominium property act, asked them to agree uoon a time that I can view these documents. I signed as a homeowner not board member.

Your help with a response is greatly appreciated

5 Answers
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Shannon, you have the right to request to view the books of the corporation at any time, however, it is customary to make an appt so you can go to your mgmt company's office and view them there and they can have them ready for you.

As a board member you are privy to all discussions that took place at anytime and an open board would just share or make copies of minutes for you to bring you up to speed on all discussions.

Transparency seems to be a huge issue in your situation and the question I would have is why is the board and mgmt company going to all these lengths to create an obstacle for you to view all documents/minutes?

This is a frequent complaint I get via emails from other condo owners and a big reason why we need the Phase 2 of the regulations updated and condo boards educated on what their roles are.  Board members are NOT above the law nor specially privileged.  They are condo owners too who have been tasked to manage their complx on other owner's behalf. Their property values are at stake too and they should be operating above board and within the confines of their bylaws and Condo Act.

Sending you to a third party document company is a way to repell owners from asking for their docs.  The costs for most docs are $10-$15 for a set of minutes.  How many owners can afford to ask for the past 1-2 years of docs?  Not many in my experience.

Others may not share my opinion but I am dead set against these third party providers of documents.  They are a huge profit center for themselves, the mgmt companies, and I believe this adds to the conflicts in complexes, not alleviates.

In any case, try to make an appointment with your mgmt company to view your documents and make a good assessment whether all looks to be above board or if there is anything suspicious. You can always take pictures with your cell phone of any pages you need or request to make copies - possibly at your cost.

Your condo docs are NOT confidential to you as a board member.

Any condo docs, unless the meeting was held in-camera, are public documents and should be available to any person with an interest in the condo.

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Yes, these documents should be available for you to review.

I cannot accept that many condos and condominium property managers require Owners to go to a 3rd party site and pay for minutes and related documents.

Why can't the condo create or have the condominium property manager create, a web-page where all documentation is available free to all Owners.  It is cost effective and fair. 

I have seen this done by good Property Managers over 10 years ago and it worked like a charm for all Owners.

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Update: In my opinion minutes should be provided as they are approved and preferably on a platform that makes access easily accessible by all owners. With the new amendment to the regulation, stage 2, makes minutes and other regularly released documents to the ownership (eg. audited financials) free of charge. Since this amendment will not be in force until July 1, 2019 we should see a transition to making these readily available. Until then, I can see them continued to being charged. 

I agree with Abe.  COF has expressed the opinion that the easiest and cheapest method is for a board to have a website/Dropbox where people can download documents.

Boards have to be careful: items that are confidential, such as an Owner being in arrears, needs to be redacted from minutes provided to Owners.

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However, Service Alberta, in their discussion on Documents, shows a concern about where these documents are stored and a permanent retrieval method for Owners to be able to obtain these documents on a self serve method. The key is for the requesting party to be able to download these on to their computer. That way they have them and are not subject to changes in how or where the documents are stored. Any website or storage site must allow downloads of this information without any sort of paid subscription.

Good morning Phil.

That’s exactly right. Keep in mind this isn’t required until July 1, 2019. Until that time corporations are being granted time to prepare and research for such a system.

In a bit more detail, I believe corporations need to start preparing for their revised methods and systems now. This includes this document management, preparing your rules and policies before they become invalidated and preparing the new AGM setting depending where that date lies (among other items). 

Assessing the right document management system now means being able to weigh the pros and cons of each system. Stephen from condopapers is creating a system called 247Condos which will be a great starting point for all to review. Don’t quote me, but last discussion I believe he was making this system available free of charge (to be confirmed). If that’s correct this will save the corporation from carrying costs and having to pass it on (ie. condo fees).

Management companies should have preexisting systems that should be able to extend to their clients as well. 

That’s my view on this anyhow. 

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Unintended consequences: Property Managers have been making a fair amount of money from CondoPapers and others selling condo documents.  They are going to be looking for increased compensation from Condo Corps to replace that lost revenue.  One condominium property manager told me it amounted to about $2.50/unit/month.  That adds up quickly.

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