Friday, July 28, 2017

Condo rule changes in the works for Alberta

WATCH ABOVE: More people are living in condos and Alberta is making changes to make that living easier. From bitter disputes between owners and property managers to special repair fees, there are many challenges. Vinesh Pratap reports.
The slow, bureaucratic process of making changes to the province’s condo act is underway.
“I’ve heard some heartbreaking stories of bullying and harassment,” Service Alberta Minister Stephanie McLean said. “I’ve heard stories of extreme financial loss.”
McLean spoke with Global News hours before an open house took place in Edmonton to gather feedback.
“We want to ensure that condos are a good option for Albertans,” McLean said.

READ MORE: Province hopes new act will improve condominium living in Alberta
In late 2014, the legislature passed changes to the condo act. Now, the focus is on developing new regulations for the amendments.
“It has been disappointing, though, the length of time it has taken to move these amendments into law,” said Edmonton lawyer Robert Noce, with the firm Miller Thomson.
Noce is paying close attention to see how the regulations develop.
As part of the changes, a dispute tribunal process is on the table as an alternative to the court system to deal with disputes.
“Many people cannot afford to litigate or deal with a particular issue in their building and so the issue never gets resolved,” Noce explained.
“There’s certainly no end of problems at the moment,” McLean said.
It’s estimated about one in four Albertans lives in a condo; a number expected to increase with a focus to grow up instead of out.
READ MORE: Bill aims for more condo owner protection: Alberta government
“There’s definitely a disconnect between potential purchasers and condos and fear in the marketplace about what condo life can be like,” McLean said. “I want to get rid of that.”
The changes are expected to be brought into place in 2018.

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