Condo law changes help Albertans

It’s not every day that the Wildrose Official Opposition can congratulate the government for a job well done. With the passing of the Condominium Property Act, I applaud this government for listening to the calls of the Albertans and Wildrose Official Opposition to take action to protect condominium owners from unaffordable special assessments.

It’s not every day that the Wildrose Official Opposition can congratulate the government for a job well done.

With the passing of the Condominium Property Act, I applaud this government for listening to the calls of the Albertans and Wildrose Official Opposition to take action to protect condominium owners from unaffordable special assessments.

These new changes eliminate costly, one-time special assessments condo boards would collect for repairs in favour of smaller, monthly fees for residents of bareland condos — townhouses, duplexes, villas and single-family dwelling developments.

I first pressured the government to take action in March, when I called for immediate changes to the Condominium Property Act to prevent sudden and unaffordable special assessments being levied against residents of townhouse-style condo developments.

The previous legislation allowed for an unfair distinction to be made between the two types of condos and it resulted in tremendous financial hardship for some Albertans.

A recent court ruling affirmed that “common property” in bareland condominium developments only refers to roads, sewers and landscaping. Other “managed property” — walls, roofs, foundations, driveways, decks, doors and windows – could not be funded out of reserve funds and had to be paid for out of special assessments.

When passed, the changes to the act now mean bareland condos can again use reserve funds to pay for condo for maintenance and improvements for managed property.

Many Alberta condo owners are young, first-time homeowners or seniors on fixed incomes who simply can’t afford large, one-time levies.

I’m happy to see the government has heeded my call to take action and protect these consumers.

This simple change in legislation will help make life more affordable for Alberta homeowners.

Rod Fox

MLA for Lacombe-Ponoka

Wildrose Service Alberta Critic