Board refuses to share property management contract with the owner

S.A. writes:

Dear Paul: Last week, I asked for a copy of the contract between the condo corporation and the property management company. First, I asked the board president and he said I should ask the property manager. When I asked the property manager, he said I should ask the board. To make a long story short, neither of them want to give me a copy of the contract. Isn’t it my right as an owner to be able to examine this document?

Paul replies:

Dear S.A:.I am sorry to hear this. I see no reason why you should be denied a copy of the contract. The Condominium Act in Manitoba specifically states that a unit owner can request and be given a copy of any corporation document with a few limitations. This contract, to my understanding, is not an exception.

Condominium corporation must provide copies

132(1)      Upon request, a condominium corporation must, within a reasonable time, provide copies of its records to a unit owner, unit mortgagee, buyer or prospective buyer or an agent of any of them for examination. The corporation may charge a reasonable fee for labour and copying charges.

Exception

132(2)      Subsection (1) does not apply to the following records:

(a) records relating to the employees of the condominium corporation, other than records about an employee’s job classification, salary range, benefits, responsibilities or expense accounts;

(b) records relating to any insurance investigation involving the condominium corporation;

(c) records relating to any court action or proceeding or contemplated court action or proceeding involving the condominium corporation;

(d) records relating to a specific unit or unit owner, unless the request is made by or on behalf of that owner or a mortgagee of that owner’s unit;

(e) any prescribed records.

When I reviewed this question with a property manager, we could come up with only two possible reasons the board and your PM might have for not releasing the document. The first is that there is a fear that the PM’s fee will be disclosed. This is easily countered by the fact that the fee has to be budgeted and a copy of the budget must be given to each owner within fourteen days of its approval by the board.

Board to notify unit owners — change in contributions to common expenses

149(1)      Within 14 days after the board approves a budget, a condominium corporation must give each unit owner

(a) written notice of any change to the unit owner’s contribution to the common expenses; and

(b) upon request, a copy of the approved budget.

The other reason might be that they are hiding something.

They may ask you to pay a nominal fee if you want a hard copy. I don’t see why they would charge anything for an electronic copy. Good luck!

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