Monday, 11 April 2016

Board of Directors & Criminal Records



Following the publication of the article titled “Freedom of Speech & Defamation”, a unit owner emailed me the following questions:
-      Can a person with a criminal record pursue the goal of becoming a member of a Condominium’s Board of Directors?

-      Can a person, who belonged to a regulated profession, convicted by “The Professional Conduct Tribunal”, and expelled from the professional institution, pursue the goal of becoming a Board member?

Before I voice my personal opinion (not authoritative verdict), I find it extremely useful to reproduce the portion of The Condominium Act that has a direct relevance to the answer at stake:
Condominium Act, 1998, S.O. 1998, c. 19

Qualifications

29. (1) No person shall be a director if,
(a) the person is under eighteen years of age;
(b) the person is an undischarged bankrupt; or
(c) the person is incapable of managing property within the meaning of the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992. 1998, c. 19, s. 29 (1); 2009, c. 33, Sched. 2, s. 17 (1).

Disqualification

(2) A person immediately ceases to be a director if,
(a) the person becomes an undischarged bankrupt or incapable of managing property within the meaning of the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992; or
(b) a certificate of lien has been registered under subsection 85 (2) against a unit owned by the person and the person does not obtain a discharge of the lien under subsection 85 (7) within 90 days of the registration of the lien. 1998, c. 19, s. 29 (2); 2009, c. 33, Sched. 2, s. 17 (2).


The answer to both questions is YES. Obviously the Act doesn’t care if you are a criminal or not, and how long your rap sheet is. If you are eighteen-year-old and above, you haven’t declared bankruptcy or managed to obtain a discharge for a declared bankruptcy, there is no lien registered against the unit owned by the Board member, and no medical authority has labelled you as a person with “Diminished Mental Capacity”, you can become and remain a Board member as long as unit owners are endorsing your candidacy during elections.

I should highlight also that the Condominium Act, 1998”  was the subject of a long list of changes last year, and lawmakers in Ontario passed in December 2015 (Third Reading) Bill 106 - Protecting Condominium Owners Act. Organizations/Associations representing Condominium Owners in Ontario lobbied The Government Relations Committee to introduce legal barriers that would disqualify condo owners with a criminal record for which a pardon was not issued to seek election, and limit the candidacy of directors to 2 terms of 3 years only, but several groups from the “Condo Industry” with deep pockets prevented successfully the introduction of such desirable amendments to the law. In other words, even under the new Act, the info provided remains unchanged.

One more time, do not interpret my answer as an “Authoritative Verdict”. Consult a lawyer if the matter has a very serious impact on your most valuable investment-your condominium.

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