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Administrative Information

A Guide to Our Condominium

Somerset Gardens, built in 2007-2008, is registered as Ottawa-Carleton Standard Condominium Corporation No. 795 (O.C.S.C.C. 795) and is regulated by the Condominium Act of Ontario, R.S.O. 1980, Chapter 84 as amended. The major duties of the corporation include the management of the property and related assets, the preparation of budgets, the collection of common expenses and the provision of services listed in the Act, the Declaration and By-laws of the Condominium. Each owner should receive the Declaration and By-laws upon purchase of their unit and are responsible, if they have a tenant, to ensure the tenant has a copy. If you do not have a copy, ask the agent or lawyer who handled the sale to obtain one from the previous owner or contact the Property Manager or your landlord.  There are convenience copies of these documents in the document section. 

 

Somerset Gardens is a Smoke-free building. This means that smoking is prohibited in all units and in every common area of the building, as well as outside the building, including the rooftop area, the parking area and the front garden/entrance area between the building and the sidewalk. The Smoke-free status took effect February 1st, 2015.

 

Somerset Gardens is a member of the Canadian Condominium Institute (CCI). Among other things, this gives us access to their National website, www.cci.ca. To access the members only page contact us for the user ID and password.

 

Condominium Fees

Condominium fees pay the common expenses, which include various utilities, part of your insurance, maintenance of the common areas, building envelope and mechanical systems and the contribution to the reserve fund. The fees, due by the first day of each month, can be paid by bank debit (preauthorized payments arranged through the property management company) or by a series of post-dated cheques payable to O.C.S.C.C. No. 795 and sent to our property management company.  

 

By-law No. 1, Article 11.4  allows the Corporation to charge interest compounded monthly on arrears of condo fee payments. In addition the Condominium Act gives the Corporation a lien on an owner’s unit upon the owner’s default on his or her monthly condo fee payment. The lien covers not only the unpaid common expenses but all interest, legal costs and Corporation’s expenses incurred with the collection of the unpaid amounts. The Condominium Corporation also charges an administration fee in the amount of $25.00 (subject to change) for returned cheques.  

 

Directors and the Board’s Responsibilities

President

As chief executive officer of the Corporation, the President presides at all meetings of the Corporation and the Board and has the general powers and duties vested in this office, including the power to appoint committees.  

Treasurer

The Treasurer is charged with keeping accurate books of account; shall control the deposit of money; safekeeping of securities; disbursement of funds of the corporation. The Treasurer acts under the direction of the Board of Directors.

Secretary 

The Secretary is required to give notices to the owners, directors, auditors, mortgagees, etc, and shall attend all meetings, record minutes and shall be the custodian of all books, paper, records, documents and all other instruments belonging to the Corporation.

Directors-at-large: 

Directors-at-large carry out all tasks as set out by the Board.  

Meeting of the Board of Directors

The Board meets regularly to discuss the operation of the Condominium. Three Directors form a quorum in meetings. The Property Manager can, as an ex-officio Board member, attend these meetings. An owner can submit items for discussion to any Board member. 

Condominium Budget

The Board, assisted by its Property Manager, prepares and approves a budget annually estimating all expenses, charges and costs of running the Corporation including:

 

  • Electricity and fuel for common elements
  • Water consumption
  • Elevator, including service contract, phone line and license
  • Fire safety, including fire monitoring and inspections
  • Insurance for common elements
  • Cleaning
  • Garbage pickup service
  • Landscaping including annual planting and grounds maintenance
  • Legal audit and other professional services
  • Property management services
  • Repairs and maintenance for common elements
  • Snow removal

 

Any estimated revenue is deducted from the expenses. The net amount is divided into twelve to produce an estimate of the Corporation’s monthly financial requirement. Each owner’s contribution is determined by multiplying the total monthly requirement by each owner’s percentage contribution to the common elements as set out in the declaration, (include unit, parking and storage if applicable).

 

If the Board has over-estimated the common expenses, the surplus will be applied either to future common expenses or paid into the reserve. If the Board has under estimated the common expenses, or there are unexpected expenses, the Board will either prepare a revised budget or levy a special assessment to each owner for his or her portion of the deficiency.  

 

The unaudited Budget is included for information purposes in the financial statements presented annually to the owners.  

 

Insurance certificate

If you require the insurance certificate for proof of insurance, it is available here.

 

Major Duties of the Property Manager

Responds to questions and problems of owners and residents

  • Enforces the Condominium’s By-laws, Declaration and Rules and Regulations
  • Assists the Board of Directors
  • Attends Board meeting and ensures the minutes are recorded
  • Inspects the property regularly and supplies the Board with monthly reports  
  • Issues work orders and contracts for work approved by the Board
  • Collects and deposits revenues (including condominium fees) and pays accounts
  • Assists in the preparation of the annual budget
    • Fires, floods or other emergencies
    • Accidents occurring on or in relation to the property
    • Symptoms of a possible problem (e.g. water penetration, water seepage, water leaks, cracks, unusual sounds or noises, smoke or odours, etc)
    • Structural, mechanical or other defects affecting the property (e.g. problems with the water pipes or with the heating and electrical systems)
    • Moving: Provide a completed Moving Guidelines form (available from the Property Manager) prior to your moving date. No moves are to be on Sundays. 
    • When scheduling the cable and phone service, please arrange ahead of time with the Property Manager. 
    • Renting/leasing a unit to a tenant: The owner must provide a Letter of Undertaking  (available from the Property Manager) signed by the new tenant, including the name and phone number of the tenant and the unit owner’s forwarding address. 
    • Selling a unit: When your unit is sold, please provide the name and phone number of the new owner and your forwarding address
    • Problems in the common areas
    • Problems with the cleaning

    Contacting the Property Manager

Promptly contact the property manager concerning the items listed above. It is important that you follow up your call in writing to ensure a complete record of service requests is maintained. Call 911 for fires and police assistance.

 

    Call the property manager's emergency line 613-762-5704 in case of emergencies. Outside business hours call 613-762-5704, including holidays and weekends. A message centre will take your call and redirect it to a representative who will answer shortly.
 

Meetings

The Condominium holds an annual general meeting (AGM) of all owners within 6 months of year end (August 31). The Board of Directors meets more frequently, usually monthly. Special owners' meetings may be called by the Board, or a petition of owners who hold at least 15% of the common elements. The Corporation is governed by a Board of Directors, each elected for a term of 3 years. Elections for eligible seats are held annually at the AGM. 
 

Reserve Fund

In accordance with the Condominium Act, the budget also includes a reserve fund.  A reserve fund is a separate trust account which all condominium corporations are required to establish in accordance with the Condominium Act.  A portion of the common expenses paid by the owners is transferred monthly to the reserve account.  The reserve fund is an important asset to cover the long-term maintenance of the property, contingencies, working capital, deficits and replacements.  The Board may levy a special assessment to fund emergency repairs and unbudgeted capital expenditures.  
The contributions made to a reserve fund must be based on a reserve fund study which will establish the amount to be contributed.  In accordance with the Condominium Act, these reserve fund studies must be done regularly to ensure that the fund has adequate funds. 
 

Right of Entry

Under the Condominium Act, an authorized agent of the Corporation, such as the Property Manager, can enter any part of the property at reasonable times upon giving reasonable notice to inspect, repair and/or correct conditions that might result in damage to the property, or to carry out any duty imposed upon the Corporation.  In emergencies, such an agent may enter your unit without notice; however, the Corporation and its agents shall determine whether an emergency exists.  For example, in case of a fire or flood the Property Manager can enter your unit in your absence to prevent damage or loss to both your unit and other units.  

 

In case of regular repairs of common elements such as balconies, an officer or agent of the Corporation may enter a unit with prior notice.  

 

Owners who are absent should be aware of this and of their insurance risk.  Many insurance contracts are voided with absences as short as seventy-two (72) hours.  Make sure your insurance company is aware of your absences.  

 

Consequently it is recommended that you read your insurance policy.  It is also recommended that you either leave a key with the superintendent, a neighbour or engage a monitoring service when absent. No individual has a master key and none is given to members of the Condominium Board.