Handling Requests for Records from a Condominium’s Board of Directors
The Condominium Act, 1998 (Condo Act), outlines:
- The legal obligations of the condominium corporation (through its Board of Directors) related to the production, maintenance, and access to the condominium’s records
- When and how owners are entitled to access the condominium’s records
While these records belong to the corporation, the role of a condominium manager includes ensuring records are accurate, detailed, and protected, and managing the requests for records process.
From time to time, the CMRAO has observed a Board of Directors request access to owner e-mail addresses and phone numbers, or records that owners would not be entitled to under the Condo Act.
Condominium Managers Safeguard Records and Handle Requests with Caution
Under section 19 of the Code of Ethics under the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015 (CMSA), condominium managers are prohibited from disclosing confidential information to any third parties without prior written consent of the person to whom the information relates, except as otherwise required by law. That said, section 6(c) of Ontario Regulation 4/18 (under the CMSA) also requires that a manager provide these records to the corporation when requested.
In these situations, managers must ensure that the request for records is coming from the Board on behalf of the condo corporation, and not from an individual board member. If an individual board member sends a request, it should be treated the same as any other request for corporation records. The Condominium Authority of Ontario has published a comprehensive guide that outlines the records owners and condo corporations are entitled to request.
Steps Managers Should Take when Handling Board Requests
If a Board of Directors requests corporation records that include e-mail addresses or phone numbers, management should advise the board:
- they can only communicate to owners on behalf of the board
- they should obtain a legal opinion about the appropriateness of the request
- against using the records for any purpose other than conducting the business of the corporation
Condominium managers are obligated to follow a Code of Ethics when managing corporation records. Managers are prohibited from counselling, advising, or knowingly assisting any person from contravening the Condo Act. For example, if a manager were to knowingly assist a condominium board in accessing personal information for any purpose other than the business of the corporation, this could be seen as a violation of the CMSA and could result in disciplinary action or other regulatory action. If a manager is unsure about their obligations, they should consult with a condominium lawyer.