Tagged: Building Maintenance
October 22, 2018 at 2:33 pm #2255
A condominium corporation has incurred and paid for a plumbing expense to repair a leaking heating line that burst as a result of a window being left open in the owner’s unit and causing it to freeze. The corporation’s property manager, once advised of the water release by the resident in the unit below, performed the necessary emergency services including ordering the plumbing repair. The corporation’s insurance paid for the ensuing remediation and repair to the affected units. The owner of the unit whose heating line burst has since refused to pay for the plumbing bill after repeated requests over the past 18 months and a meeting with the board. The corporation has paid the invoice and added it to that owner’s condo fee A/R.
Here’s the question: Can any future payments on the owner’s condo fee account be applied to the outstanding plumbing bill?
October 22, 2018 at 2:33 pm #2256
That would then leave them in arrears for their condo fees for that period, if you applied their condo fee payments to the plumbing costs. You can consult legal advise to place a caveat on the property or issue a statement of claim against the owner.
June W on July 18 2018 at 04:06 PM
October 22, 2018 at 2:33 pm #2257
Our standard practice is to only bill for the deductible. We have been successful in taking the unit owner to court in that situation and was awarded the court costs and deductible.
I’m not sure you can claim for more than the deductible but please confirm with legal.
Heather C on July 18 2018 at 04:43 PM
October 22, 2018 at 2:33 pm #2258
Chargebacks are amongst the issues that the Government has been asked to address in the amended Legislation and Regulations. So far it has not been successfully addressed, even in the draft Regulations, so anything that is said will be subject to change when and if the Regulations are amended to adequately cover the topic.
Under the Condominium Property Act, you can not treat “chargebacks” as if they were contributions (condo fees). They can not be added to the “condo fee A/R” and they can not be included under amounts caveated.
The Act (as amended in 2014) says: “(g.1) “contribution” means an amount levied under section 39;”
Section 39 says: “(2) A contribution shall not include any amount for the purpose of collecting from an individual owner
(a) a monetary sanction under a bylaw made under section 35(1), [fines]
(b) costs incurred by the corporation as a result of damages caused by an act or omission of an owner, tenant or occupant, [chargebacks] or
(c) any other amount set out in the regulations.
Section 39 also says: (6) A corporation may file a caveat against the certificate of title to an owner’s unit for the amount of a contribution levied on the owner and interest payable but unpaid by the owner.
Fines and chargebacks are not contributions so they cannot be included in the amounts protected under Caveats.
You may have a By-law that governs the allocation of monies paid by the Corporation, but considering the facts you laid out, it probably wouldn’t apply because the Owner seems to have indicated that his or her money is not to be used for the payment of the disputed plumbing bill.
At present we have conflicting case law on the issue of chargebacks. It looks as if Corporations may have to go to Court or the Tribunal to collect every chargeback. We all realize that that is untenable.
We need assistance and clarity on this point from the Government. We also need assistance and clarity regarding when an insurance deductible can be charged to an Owner. Please contact both Service Alberta and your MLA.
Victoria A on July 18 2018 at 04:54 PM
October 22, 2018 at 2:33 pm #2259
Regarding Heather C’s comment:
Under the proposed Regulations, Owners will only seldom be required to pay the deductible portion of insurance claims, even when their actions, or their property, caused the loss. Because of the wording used in the proposed Regulation, the Corporation will, in the future, have to pay the deductible portion in most cases.
CCI continues to advocate with the Government to have the proposed wording changed.
Victoria A on July 18 2018 at 05:09 PM
October 22, 2018 at 2:33 pm #2260
Regarding Heather C’s comment:
In the case where a condominium’s bylaw includes a clause that owners are responsible for costs up to the limit of the corporation’s deductible, the owner’s policy will pay the costs upon the owner receiving a demand letter from the board. The corporation or the corporation’s insurance first pays for any costs then sends the demand to the owner once all work is complete and the invoices are paid. The unit owner’s insurance policy typically has a “contingency” endorsement that will cover such an event. We manage several condominium corporations whose bylaw contains such a clause and we, on behalf of the condominium corporation, have always been successful at recovering the costs. The owners’ insurance companies have always paid upon reviewing the bylaws.
Regarding Victoria A’s comment:
Your response was very well researched and detailed and that is what I had concluded as well before I raised the issue in this forum. I guess I was hoping that someone else’s experience had had a different outcome. I agree that it is unfortunate this issue is not addressed in the Act or the Regulation.
Mark R on July 19 2018 at 12:03 PM
October 22, 2018 at 2:34 pm #2261
Get your Lawyer involved as soon as possible with a claim for the deductible.
Rod P on July 20 2018 at 07:58 AM
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