Dear Paul: Our condominium just recently changed from having a live-in caretaker to hiring an off-site caretaker Monday – Friday We have also rented the corporation suite that was designated from our building’s inception as living quarters for a live-in.
One of our owners has asked that all owners be provided with a full cost comparison between what the live in couple were contracted for and what our present off-site caretaker is contracted for including CPP,EI, any expenses attached to differences in responsibilities such as testing and inspecting, difference in rental revenue including the management company fee for renting the corporation suite.
This request has come about because initially we were going to have a discussion at our -in-person AGM regarding on-site versus off-site caretaker and now due to the pandemic we are having a virtual AGM via ZOOM and this discussion would be difficult to hold. Please advise your thoughts on this matter and my question would be, “Is an owner entitled to have access to this documentation and ask that it be distributed to all owners?”
As always thanks for your very valuable and essential column/corner – we all appreciate YOU!
LR: You bring about an interesting question. How much information does a Board have to share with owners? In my opinion there are two parts to this matter. First, we look at the relationship between the corporation and the service provided. I will assume that when you had a live-in caretaker, that they were considered the condo corporation’s employee. As such you would have been responsible for wages and all statutory deductions. In addition, you would have considered the cost of the dedicated part of their compensation package. This information would or should have been readily available to owners already when they received the budget package prior to the start of each. Depending on your budgeting process the wages and deductions may have been combined with the cost of the suite reported separately.
Secondly, by entering a contract with a property management (PM) company to provide caretaking services, the caretaker is the PM’s employee, not the condo corporation’s employee. As such the information that can be disclosed is at the discretion of the PM.
Since the Condominium Act states that you must provide owners with any information requested.
Condominium corporation must provide copies
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.
Subsection (1) does not apply to the following records:
- 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.
As you know, I am not a lawyer, but this would appear to say that the information about a caretaker who is the condo corporation’s employee must be disclosed with the exception of performance appraisals, sick notes, reprimand letters and the like.
Also, a copy of the agreement with your property management company is not protected and would have to be provided if requested. Depending on the details contained in the PM Agreement, it may contain specific information regarding the employee’s wages, benefits and more, or simply provide a lumps sum amount of the cost to provide you with a live-in caretaker.
In either case, the comparison could be global in nature. I would provide a before and after global comparison.
- Total wages, including benefits.
- Cost of providing the suite.
Please note that it is the responsibility of the PM to provide any information about its employee beyond the contents of the PM Agreement. The information should only be provided to the owner requesting the information in writing. One owner cannot appoint themselves as representing all the owners of the corporation.
Keep in mind that only business matters that have been provided in the Notice of AGM can be addressed officially.
Be Well! Be Safe!