Note: The rules and law may have changed since this article was first published. It is provided for archival purposes but you should consult with your lawyer for the current state of the law
Condominium bylaws regulate the corporation and provide for the control, management, administration, use and enjoyment of the units and of the common property and common facilities. The bylaws of a corporation bind the corporation and the owners as if the owners had each signed and sealed the bylaws covenanting with each other owner and the corporation to observe, perform and be bound to all provisions of the bylaws.
The Condominium Property Regulations, 2001 include standard bylaws. The Condominium Property Act, 1993 provides that the standard bylaws prescribed in the regulations come into force and effect on the issuance of titles, i.e. when a condominium corporation is created. These bylaws remain in effect to regulate the corporation until such time as the board decides it wishes to enact its own bylaws.
There are situations where the developer will file different bylaws upon issuance of titles so that the condominium corporation is not operating under the bylaws prescribed in the regulations. These bylaws will need to be amended once the corporation is turned over to the owners.
A condominium corporation may amend or repeal its bylaws, whether these are the bylaws provided by statute or ones made by the developer or board. All bylaws must be amended in the same manner.
The first requirement to change the bylaws is that any proposed amendment to the bylaws must be approved by a special resolution of the unit owners. Under the Act, a special resolution is either a two-third majority vote of the persons entitled to vote (all owners) conducted at a properly convened meeting of unit owners, or a written resolution which has the signature of not less than two-thirds of persons entitled to vote.
The second requirement to effect changes to the bylaws is that the bylaws must then be submitted to Corporations Branch. No bylaw change is effective until this registration takes place. Corporations Branch maintains all information about bylaws and their amendments.
Section 47 of The Condominium Property Act, 1993 provides what type of bylaws can be passed by a corporation. For example, rules governing the number, qualifications, election of members of the board, regulating meetings, governing the appointment and duties of officers, governing the assessment and collection of contributions to the common expenses, governing the use and management of the assets of the corporation, governing the management, control, administration, use and enjoyment of the units and common property etc..
Section 44 of the Act provides restrictions on bylaws. It specifically provides that no bylaw can prohibit or restrict the devolution of units or any transfer, lease, mortgage or other dealing with any unit or destroy or modify any easement implied or created by the Act.
It is a good idea to have your bylaws reviewed by a lawyer familiar with condominium law, to make certain that there is nothing in your current bylaws which conflicts with the Act, and therefore which may be unenforceable.