All right, so I`m going to ask all my owners to send me their agreements to strengthen consumer protection, the amendments to the Condominium Act have now introduced new mandatory notices and certificates that must be distributed to condominium owners every year. These new certificates include the new Owner`s Information Certificate (NOIC), the Periodic Information Certificate (PIC) and the Information Certificate Update (ICU). In addition, the ministry has introduced two new standardized announcements that must be sent before each owners` meeting, such as the general meeting. With all these acronyms, it`s a veritable alphabet soup of certificates designed to keep homeowners informed about the financial health and condition of their condo. With the amendments to the Condominium Act of 1. In November 2017, new communication obligations were introduced for condominium companies. For example, companies must now send two information certificates to all owners each year (unless 80% of owners agree in a given year not to receive information certificates) and preliminary meeting announcements (in addition to the AGA package). Actually, no. Under the Condominium Act, notices may be sent by „email or other electronic method of communication if the owner agrees in writing that the party issuing the notice may do so.“ If consent is not given, e-mail alone is not enough as a means of sending a notification, as the package still needs to be printed and sent by post. Once you have a database of email addresses and have obtained consent from your owners, you can start distributing your email communications. For small condominiums, you can use your favorite email client to send these messages. For larger condos, it`s time to use condominium management software or e-governance distribution services to send notifications to your owners. Fortunately, the department has given some clues as to what this approval looks like.
On the website of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, you will find a document entitled „Agreement on the Electronic Receipt of Communications“. This is a simple form in which owners can agree to be served electronically by filling in their name, email address and signature. Your consent to email notifications has been given as soon as the signed form has been returned to management. Incentives for your landlords – If the personal touch doesn`t lead to more email consents, you may want to consider providing an incentive to encourage your owners. We heard about an apartment that offered a $5 gift card to a coffee shop to encourage homeowners to sign their agreements with electronic communications. This small reward was compelling enough for almost every unit of a large condominium company to join electronic communications, but consider contacting their legal counsel before applying this approach. While the cost of purchasing all of these gift cards can be high, the long-term cost savings from e-distribution will far outweigh these initial expenses. To initiate electronic distribution of messages, condominium companies must collect as many email addresses as possible from the owners.
With an updated database of owner email addresses, condominium corporations can electronically distribute meeting notification kits and new certificates instead of traditional printing and postage. Get it when they move in/check in – Whenever a new owner contacts the administrative office to register with the company, ask them to fill out their agreement to receive communications also electronically. The transition to electronic communications and encouraging owners to consent to receive communications electronically is a way for condominium corporations to manage their new communications tasks. In addition to the time it takes businesses to complete these communications, the new departmental mandates have increased the number of messages sent that must be sent each year. While a condominium can usually get by with at least two mailings per year, it may now be necessary to send up to eight messages per year. For many condos, sending a notification can cost thousands of dollars, so multiplying that number eight times is an important part of their budget. There are ways to combine some of these mandatory messages, but even when delivering shared messages, condos are still „on the hook“ to print these packages and send them to the owners. This can be a lot of effort for businesses. Electronic delivery of notices and information certificates can help condominium businesses manage the cost of the growing number of notifications to homeowners and promote green initiatives. Yes, there is a way! The solution is to use technology, but don`t let that scare you, it`s not really high-tech. In fact, it can be considered an old technology – email.
Email has become ubiquitous in everyday life. With every ping on our phones or computers, we do business, take care of bills, shop, chat with friends and family and have fun. So if we use email and we`re online for the rest of our lives, why don`t landlords get their condo reviews online? The Condominium Act has specific requirements on how notices must be sent to homeowners: try to ensure that the process of collecting email addresses and maintaining the database becomes a „common practice.“ The process of regularly updating your database can be tedious and time-consuming, but it is an exercise that, when done correctly, becomes systematic and offers huge benefits. All members of the management and administration team must understand this to ensure the long-term sustainability of the co-ownership operation. Sending notifications and electronically distributing meeting plans can be a more efficient way to keep owners informed and remind your community of upcoming meetings while reducing the cost of distributing your notification. Condominium corporations should not start sending notices to owners until they have ensured that they follow the steps required by the Condominium Act. In an ideal world, owners would return the forms to the management office in a timely manner. In the real world, the biggest challenge in getting things off the ball in electronic communications is for owners to respond to requests for information. If your condo company doesn`t collect email addresses as a routine procedure, creating a homeowners` database or updating an existing database can seem like a daunting task. .