A condominium company is required to keep all documents prescribed in the law and regulations on the ownership of condominiums
Dear Tony: Our owners changed management companies in March. A problem arose with our boiler which was still under warranty, but our new management company cannot find any of the warranties or transaction documents relating to the boiler. With our new manager, we have reviewed the documents that have been transferred, and there is nothing relating to projects or contracts over two years old. We know that a significant number of documents are missing. Is there a mechanism to retrieve the records?
A condominium company is required to keep all the documents prescribed in the law and regulations on condominiums. The property management company acts as your contracted agent. As part of the contract, there will be defined terms for record keeping that correspond to the law and will define how the records are kept, the cost of keeping the records and, most importantly, what happens to the records. if the contract is terminated or transferred.
The law defines record retention in four sections. Records that must be current and current, those that are kept for two years, six years, and permanent or perpetual. Record keeping is a mandatory requirement of law. A board of strata will rely on their records to support operations. These will include: collection and financial reports, contracts and warranties, regulatory enforcement decisions, litigation before courts and tribunals, technical and environmental reports, parking and storage plans, agreements of amendment, all resolutions that deal with changes to the common ownership, including the designation of LCP, any decision of an arbitrator, court or judge in a proceeding to which the condominium corporation was a party, any legal advice obtained by the condominium corporation, plans and drawings, warranty documents, a list of agreements between landlords and tenants, minutes of all meetings, the annual budget and an amortization report.
Review your contract with the previous company and determine record-keeping obligations. Issue a formal written notice to the broker for all records retained during the term of their contract. If there’s no satisfactory answer, it’s time to ask the condo corporation’s attorney to step in. If there is still no resolution, contact BC Financial Services and ask the condominium board to allow a complaint to be filed against the brokerage.
When a condo company negotiates a new contract, carefully consider record keeping, transfer of records, and all costs. These transactions can be very expensive. If you are changing companies, ask your new brokerage to detail exactly what documents have been provided. To avoid this problem, many condo corporations have implemented a digital record storage service that provides access to the property manager, condo board, and owners for designated information.
Tony Gioventu is Executive Director of the Condominium Home Owners Association