Electronic service of notices and information certificates can help condo corporations manage the cost of the increasing number of communications to owners and promote green initiatives.
The November 1, 2017 changes to the Condominium Act introduced new communication responsibilities for condo corporations. For example, corporations now have to send out two information certificates each year to all owners (unless 80% of the owners consent in any given year to not receiving information certificates) and preliminary notices of meetings (in addition to the AGM package).
The cost of sending out all these communications in hard copy will have an impact on the budgets of many condo corporations, not to mention result in a mountain of printing!
Transitioning to electronic communication and encouraging owners to agree to receive notices electronically is one way condo corporations can manage their new communication responsibilities.
Condo corporations should not begin sending out notices to owners until they ensure they are following the steps required by the Condominium Act.
Delivering Notices Electronically
The Condominium Act has specific requirements for how notices must be sent to owners:
- Notice must be in writing;
- In the mandatory form provided by the Ministry (if applicable); and
- Must be served in one of the following ways:
- personal delivery to the owner;
- by mail to the owner’s address for service;
- delivery to the owner’s unit or mail box unless the owner has indicated they don’t want to receive notices this way, or, the owner’s address for service is not their unit;
- by fax, electronic mail or another form of electronic communication if
- the board has passed a resolution confirming the method of electronic communication the corporation will use; and
- the owner agrees in writing to receive service by this method of electronic communication.
The Ministry has prepared an Agreement to Receive Notices Electronically which owners can sign and corporations will need to maintain for their records. This form is NOT mandatory.
There is another option available for serving information certificates (in addition to the options listed above). Corporations can serve an information certificate by posting it on a website and providing owners a Notice of Online Posting of Information Certificate using the Ministry’s standard form, which tells owners how the information certificate can be accessed.
If an information certificate is posted on a website, owners will need to be able to view, store, retrieve and print the content. Owners may also request a hard copy of the information certificate by making a records request. (See our earlier blog post on this topic).