Under the Condominium Act, 1998 (the Condominium Act), all condominium corporations are required to create and keep adequate records. These records include:
- The financial records of the condominium corporation;
- The minute book containing the minutes of owners’ meetings and the minutes of board meetings;
- The condominium corporation’s declaration, by-laws, and rules;
- A copy of any return or notice of change that the corporation has filed with the CAO;
- All lists, items, records and other documents from your condominium corporation’s turn-over meeting;
- A list of the names of the owners of each unit in the corporation and their address for service;
- The budget for the current fiscal year;
All reserve fund studies and all plans to increase the reserve fund;
- All agreements entered by or on behalf of the corporation;
- All instruments appointing a proxy, or ballots for an owners meeting that are submitted at the meeting;
- All other records required by the condominium corporation’s by-laws; and,
- Other records specified under Ontario Regulation 48/01 (O. Reg. 48/01).
Current condo unit owners, purchasers and mortgagees are entitled to access and / or request copies of the condominium corporation’s records. Owners, purchasers and mortgagees can request access to / copies of those records by using the mandatory Request for Records form. Former owners are not entitled to request records from their former condominium corporation.
Note: A purchaser is someone who has entered into an agreement of purchase and sale for a condo unit but does not yet own the property because the title has not yet been transferred to them.
Condominium corporations must respond to a Request for Records within 30 days and must use the mandatory Board’s Response to a Request for Records form to respond.
While owners, purchasers are mortgagees are generally entitled to access the condominium corporation’s records, there are some types of records (described under section 55 (4) of the Condominium Act) that they are not entitled to access.
Examples of common records issues include:
- You submitted a Request for Records and the corporation did not respond.
- Your condominium corporation refused to provide you a record you believe you are entitled to.
- You disagree with the fee the corporation is charging.
- You believe that the condominium’s records are not adequate.
- You believe that the condominium is not keeping certain records or are not keeping them for long enough.
Section 55 of the Condominium Act establishes the legal obligations for condominiums concerning records. In general, condominium corporations are required to keep certain records, and make them accessible to current owners, mortgagees and purchasers upon request.
Records Must be Kept
Under section 55 (1) of the Condominium Act, all condominium corporations are required to keep adequate records. The Condominium Act and O. Reg. 48/01 also set out the types of records that all condominium corporations are required to keep.
A condominium corporation may also keep additional records to meet the needs of the condominium community. If a condominium corporation chooses to keep additional records, the condominium corporation could include a requirement that the records be kept in the corporation’s by-laws.
Owners, purchasers and mortgagees can request access to / copies of any record in the condominium corporation’s possession.
Looking for information, but you’re not sure what records you are entitled to? Check out the CAO Guide to Condominium Corporation Records here
Core Records and Non-Core Records
Under O. Reg. 48/01, some records that condominium corporations are required to keep are classified as core records.
Here is a complete list of the records that are core records:
- A copy of the declaration, by-laws and rules of the corporation.
- The minutes of owners meetings and board meetings from the 12-month period before the corporation receives a Request for Records or a requester’s response.
- Any mutual use agreements (see section 113 or subsection 154 (5) of the Condominium Act) entered into by or on behalf of the corporation.
- The budget for the corporation’s current fiscal year and all amendments, if any, made to that budget.
- The most recent financial statements that the board has approved under subsection 66 (3) of the Condominium Act.
- The most recent auditor’s report presented to the audit committee or to the board under subsection 67 (6) of the Condominium Act.
- The current plan proposed by the board under subsection 94 (8) of the Condominium Act for future funding of the reserve fund.
- The record of owners and mortgagees and summary of leased units that the corporation is required to maintain under subsection 46.1 (3) or 83 (3) of the Condominium Act.
- All periodic information certificates that the corporation sent to owners within the 12-month period before receiving a Request for Records or a requester’s response.
- Any other record that a by-law of the corporation specifies as a core record.
All other records are non-core records.
What is the difference between Core and Non-Core Records?
Owners, purchasers and mortgagees are entitled to access or copies of both core and non-core records.
There are only two differences between core and non-core records:
- The amount of money that condominium corporations can charge for providing access to or copies of the records.
- There are more restrictions on the costs that condominium corporations can charge for core records.
- The timeframe for providing access to / copies of the records after the requester has paid the fee (if applicable).
- Core records must be provided to the requester within 7 days of receipt of the fee, while non-core records must be provided within 30 days.
For more information, please see the Fees and Delivering or Providing Access to Records below.
Condominium corporations must keep each type of record for a specific length of time. The length of time for which a record must be kept is called the record’s retention period.
The Condominium Act and O. Reg. 48/01 set out the retention periods for the different types of records corporations must keep. For example, under section 55 (2) of the Condominium Act, financial records must be retained for six years.
Method of retention
Paper records must be kept:
- On the condominium corporation’s property;
- At another appropriate location; or,
- At the office of the condominium manager or condominium management services provider, provided that the location is reasonably close to the condominium corporation
Electronic records must be kept:
- In a system that is capable of reproducing the records or the information contained in the records in a reasonable time;
- Includes a password or other method of protecting against unauthorized access; and,
- In a way that automatically backs up files and allows the recovery of those files, or which otherwise protects against loss, damage, or inaccessibility of the records.
While it is a good practice that will save time and effort when records are requested, condominium corporations are not required to keep their records electronically.
These requirements are set out in section 13.2 of O. Reg. 48/01.
Under section 55 (3) of the Condominium Act, condominium unit owners, purchasers and mortgagees are entitled to access and request copies of the condominium corporation’s records.
Owners, purchasers and mortgagees can request access to or copies of those records us the mandatory Request for Records form.
However, section 55 (4) of the Condominium Act specifies that owners, purchasers, and mortgagees do not have a right to access records (or portions of a record) that contain:
- personal information about employees of the condominium corporation (other than an employee’s employment contract);
- records relating to current or pending legal actions, including litigation or insurance investigations; or,
- personal information about specific units or owners.
Responding to Requests
After receiving a Request for Records, condominium corporations have 30 days to respond. Condominium corporations are required to use the Board’s Response to Request for Records form to provide their response, and the response must include:
- A description of each record requested;
- An indication of if it is a core record of the corporation;
- Whether the condominium corporation will provide the requester with access to, or copies of, each record requested;
- If the requester is allowed to access a record, the fee the corporation will charge for providing access to or copies of each record requested;
- If the condominium corporation is refusing to provide access to or copies of a record, the specific provision of the Condominium Act that the corporation is relying on for the refusal; and,
- A location where the record can be accessed if no copies were requested.
Condominium corporations are also allowed to charge a fee to provide the requested records.
If the request was for core records:
- Condominium corporations can only charge requesters a limited fee for copies of or access to or core records.
- If a requester asks for a paper copy of a core record, the condominium corporation can only charge a maximum of 20¢ per page.
- If a requester asks for an electronic copy of a core record but the condominium corporation does not keep that record electronically, the condominium corporation can provide a paper copy but must provide the records at no cost. That means they cannot charge any costs, even for printing and photocopying.
If the request was for non-core records:
- Condominium corporations can charge requesters a fee to access / for copies of the requested records. This fee must represent a reasonable estimate of the labour, photocopying / printing (20¢ per page max), and delivery costs the condominium corporation expects to incur when providing the records in their requested format.
- Note: If a requester wants an electronic copy of a record but the condominium corporation does not keep that record electronically, the condominium corporation can provide a paper copy and charge the costs associated with providing the record.
These amounts are set out under section 13.3 of O. Reg. 48/01.
Delivering or Providing Access to Records
Upon receiving payment of the fee for the records, condominium corporations must provide the records to the requester. Condominium corporations must provide the records:
- Within seven days if they are core records.
- Within 30 days if they are non-core records.
The deadlines for delivering/providing access to requested records are set out under sections 13.6 and 13.7 of O. Reg. 48/01.
If your condominium corporation responded to your Request for Records, you have 60 days to either:
- return the response and pay the fee for the records; or,
- file an application with the CAT to resolve any disputes with how the condominium corporation responded to your request.
If you do not do either of these two things within 60 days, your request will be considered abandoned.
If the condominium corporation did not respond to your request, you can file an application with the CAT within six months of the date you submitted your Request for Records to your condominium corporation. If you do not file an application with the CAT within 6 months, your request will be considered abandoned.
Note: The CAT may not be able to accept an application that relates to an abandoned Request for Records, so it is important that you act quickly once you receive a response.
When a condominium corporation provides records to the requester, they must be accompanied by a written document that states:
- Whether the board has redacted or removed any part of the record, and, if so, the reason(s) why; and,
- The actual costs that were incurred to provide access or copies.
If the actual costs to produce / deliver the record were less than the requester paid, the condominium corporation must pay the requester a refund of the difference.
If the actual costs were more than the fee that the requester paid, then the requester must pay the condominium corporation the least of:
- The difference;
- 10% of the total costs incurred by the corporation; or,
- 10% of the fee they paid.
For example, if the requester paid $50 and the total costs incurred by the corporation were $60, then the owner would have to pay the condominium corporation $5 (i.e., 10% of the $50 fee they paid).