The condo legal proceedings have begun.
I and another unit owner visited the lawyer this morning, bringing with us a small mountain of supporting paperwork related to the balcony repairs. It sounds like we have more than a solid position to start from, but let me back up to fill in the blanks from my last rant about balconies a few months ago.
September the Condo Board announced a sudden meeting - just a week or so later they held it, and said here's what we're doing: an $880,000 repair to all the balconies. Oh, and effective in 2 weeks you have to pay $200 bucks more a month towards those repairs. *edit* And in March you'll each have to pay $6400 in addition.
By October we had consulted a lawyer asking advice because we all felt we should have the right to VOTE on said repairs. In November we sent letters to the Board asking (a) to see the engineer's report that apparently validated the need for these repairs and (b) for a special meeting in which we could vote on them. We had to consult our lawyer to GET the engineer's report and once we saw it, we continued our legal counsel. In a nutshell the report says sure some repairs are required and we suggest in the next 12 months you deal with them, but "overall the balconies appear to be in good condition". No safety issue, no structural issue, no hey by law you have to fix this or the building will collapse. Nada.
December rolled around and we received a FAQ letter from the Board saying actually we don't HAVE to hold a meeting, we don't NEED your vote and the repairs are going to happen. They did, however, hold an impromptu "information meeting" Dec 22nd (where no notes were taken) to further calm down any irate unit owners by stating THEY had seen a lawyer too, and hey, they feel THEY are right in their actions.
Fast forward to today and our legal appointment. The Manitoba Condo Act states clearly that a vote is required for any "substantial alteration" to the building a vote IS required and it must receive 80% support from unit owners to pass. Furthermore our Bylaws and Declarations state ANY repair over $1000 requires a vote. The Board sneers at this and says that Bylaw is ridiculous so we don't have to abide by it. Oh okay, so next time I run a red light I'll tell the cop that red lights are ridiculous and I shouldn't have to stop. Think it'll work? I mean, it's only a LAW.
Anyhoo, we're filing this week to complain that our Board doesn't follow the law. We're asking the Court to step in and require they comply with all Bylaws and Condo Acts regardless of whether they agree with them or not. They should at least get the message.
If this does not work, each unit owner (81 units) will be forced to pay $6400 each next month towards this now $1.1 million dollar project (including engineers fees etc that were previously not reported) that our Board will force down our throats.
We shall see who wins.