As you are aware Advantage Management has been working with our Boards to make sure all Condominium and Home Owner Associations are compliant with the Condominium and Common Interest Community Ombudsperson Act.  Effective January 1, 2019, all Condominium Associations must have in effect a written policy for resolving unit owner complaints.  Most Boards have passed the new policies either at their annual meeting or at a meeting earlier in the year.  For many of our Associations, a similar policy was in place but with the new act, it gave us the opportunity to update the policies to be compliant with the new law.

A copy of these policies can be found on our website through your homeowner login.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Act, the purpose of the this is to provide a forum to help work out disputes between Associations and their unit owners and to educate owners and Board members on how to deal with these issues.

Owners cannot apply to the ombudsperson’s office for assistance with their disputes until after they sought, and failed to achieve, resolution through their associations’ complaint policy and procedures.

Beginning July 1, 2019, qualifying unit owners may make complaints to the Ombudsperson for assistance in resolving a dispute between a unit owner and the Association that involves a violation of the Condominium Property Act or the Common Interest Community Association Act. Notably, the Ombudsperson may not accept requests for resolutions of disputes with community association managers, owner to owner issues, or of disputes for which there is a pending complaint in any court or administrative tribunal.

In order for a unit owner to make a complaint, they must meet various qualifications, including that they must not owe any outstanding funds to the Association (unless those funds are central to the dispute), the dispute must have occurred within the past two calendar years, the owner must have followed the complaint procedure within their own Association, and the owner received a final adverse decision within their own Association. The requirements of what must accompany the complaint are also outlined.

We will keep everyone updated as this and other Condo Laws change over time.

What is an Ombudsperson and what do they do?

A new word in the vocabulary of every Property Manager is Ombud and now it will be in yours too as part of your Condominium Association.  For those of you who are not familiar with the term or what they do, please allow Advantage Management to put you in the know! 

An ombudsman, ombudsperson, ombud, or public advocate is an official who is charged with representing the interests of the public by investigating and addressing complaints of maladministration or a violation of rights.

In relation to how an Ombudsperson will affect you and your Association, there are some simple things that might clarify the situation:

An Ombudsperson does – Educate unit owners and Association and their respective Boards.

But does not – Provide Legal advice or advocacy services.

An Ombudsperson does – Publish information useful to owners, Associations and their respective Boards.

But does not – Enforce any laws or regulations, including the regulation or registration of; Professions, Associations, Companies, or People.

An Ombudsperson does – Respond to relevant inquiries by providing educational materials and directing citizens to relevant resources.

But does not – Hear, Mediate or Resolve; issues between unit owners and Associations, complaints of nations, or complaints against community association managers.