F.A.Q

Why Dickenson?

Dickenson Management currently has 7 full time employees to help manage your condominium corporation on a personal level. When you call Dickenson Management, you speak to human beings interested in helping you.

Dickenson Management is a Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited business and has been since 1999. Dickenson Management supports BBB’s services to the public and meets their BBB Accreditation standards. The Better Business Bureau has rated Dickenson as an A+ business.

Dickenson Management offers a full range of services that are tailored to what each corporation needs. To see what services are offered, please click here.

How are Condominiums run?

In Ontario, condominiums are governed by the Condominium Act, 1998 with each development establishing a corporation to deal with day-to-day functions (maintenance, repairs, etc.). A board of directors is elected by the owners of units (or, in the case of a common elements condominium corporation, the owners of the common interest in the common elements) in the development on at least a yearly basis. A general meeting is held annually to deal with board elections and the appointment of an auditor (or waiving of audit). Other matters can also be dealt with at the Annual General Meeting, but special meetings of the owners can be called by the board and, in some cases, by the owners themselves, at any time.

If you would like to view the Condominium Act, please visit http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_98c19_e.htm

When should I put out my garbage/recycling?

Garbage should be placed in the designated garbage/recycling area no earlier than 6 p.m. the day before garbage day. The City of London has a detailed calendar for each zone in the city. Garbage calendars are available at any City of London library or online at http://www.london.ca/d.aspx?s=/Garbage/zonemap_pdf.htm. Please select the zone in which you live to see the calendar.

Can I have a fire pit, incinerator or chiminea in my back yard?

No. All condominiums have a rule or by-law stating you cannot do anything to increase the risk of fire in the complex. It is also against the City of London Open Air Burning By-law. Please consult your condominium by-laws and rules for more information. For more information on London’s By-laws, please visit http://www.london.ca/d.aspx?s=/By-laws/default.htm.

What are the rules at my condominium corporation?

Every corporation is different with a different set of rules. Please refer to your Status Certificate package for a complete list of all By-laws and rules. You can also visit our login page which, once signed in, will allow you to view the rules.

Who can I contact when I have a concern, complaint or question?

Please call our office at 519-666-2332 if in London, or 519-681-9940 if outside of London. You can also fax our office at 519-666-2339. If you know who you would like to email, please email them with their firstname@dickenson.ca.

Can I speak to the Board of Directors directly?

The Board of Directors is a group of volunteers.  They operate with the best interests of all of the owners in mind and care about everyone’s reasonable enjoyment of the property.  If you feel you need to contact the Board, please do so through our office or at an Annual General Meeting.  Our office will be sure to pass your concerns or comments on to the Board.  This is to protect your volunteers from harassment and the potential added stress of having someone come to their door for something that Dickenson would handle.  Dickenson Management hopes you will contact them through the website, email or phone with any concerns you may have.

What is a Vacant Land Condominium Corporation?

This is covered in the Condominium Corporation Act, 1998, Part 12.

Vacant land condominiums are those where there are no buildings or  structures on the units at the time the declaration and description are registered. This allows the developer to build the individual dwelling when the vacant land units are sold. The developer may choose to permit the purchaser or other builder to build the dwelling unit.

Vacant land condominiums cannot be leasehold condominiums or common element condominiums, but they can be a phased condominium.

The declaration of a vacant land condominium will likely set out restrictions with respect to the type, design and maintenance requirements for the units. The vacant land corporation must maintain the common elements and repair it after damage while the owner of the unit must maintain the unit including the structures and repair it after damage. There is no ability in the declaration to shift the responsibility for maintaining and repairing the units to the condominium corporation. Purchasers will require typical home insurance as opposed to a standard condominium package as the act provides that the owner of the unit has the obligation to insure the unit and any structures on the unit.

The mortgage that a purchaser places on the property will indicate that the land is vacant and that any mortgage loan intended to finance the construction will be a construction mortgage as opposed to a residential mortgage typically placed on a completed home. Closing may occur without delay because once the unit is ready for occupancy final closing can occur just as in a subdivision home purchase.

The condominium rules may shift the responsibility of landscaping and some maintenance items to the condominium corporation.  Please see the rules for your Corporation for clarification.

Will my monthly condominium fees go up as a result of the need to review how much money should be in the reserve fund?

Condominium corporations must conduct periodic studies of their reserve fund to determine whether the fund and the level of contributions from owners are adequate for the expected costs of major repairs and replacement of the common elements and assets of the corporation.

It will be up to the board of directors to make sure the reserve fund has enough money in it. Otherwise, unit owners could be faced with large special assessments to cover the costs. There have been cases where the reserve fund has not had enough money in it and owners have been hit with major, unforeseen expenses.

How will individual unit holders benefit from condominium corporations being able to amalgamate more easily?

At present, each “phase” of a condominium development has its own condominium corporation, each with its own organization, record-keeping, directors and insurance policies, for example. If they amalgamate they can pool resources and possibly reduce costs for unit owners. Also, it will be easier to find people for one board of directors rather than, say, four or five boards.

Owners of at least 90 per cent of the units of each condominium corporation must consent in writing within 90 days of a meeting called for the purpose of considering amalgamation.

This is the first time I’ve heard reference to the Condo Act… Are Condos really that new?

No! The Hebrews documented separate ownership of an apartment, complete with unit boundaries and rights of sale, from 434 BC.  The Roman Empire also made use of the concept – indeed, Roman law gives us the term “condominium” (in Latin, it means ‘Joint Dominion’ or ‘co-ownership’).

In Europe during the Middle Ages, the condominium concept flourished within the confines of the protective walls of cities.  When such protection became less necessary, the use of the concept declined.  It was never lost, however, and the Napoleonic Code of 1804 provided for it, defining common responsibilities and individual responsibilities for owners.

The years after the First World War saw a resurgence of interest in the idea, and Belgium, France and Brazil introduced legislation to regulate condominiums.  Interest increased after the Second World War, and now most of Europe (except Great Britain), Japan, Australia, and New Zealand have condominium legislation.

In the Americas, such legislation was enacted in Cuba in 1952 and Puerto Rico in 1958.  In 1962, the US Federal Housing Act, based on Cuban and Puerto Rican acts, set the pattern for the legislation adopted by many states.  All had acts by 1967, and condominiums became more and more common.

In Canada, development was a little slower because of the conservatism of the financial institutions.  British Columbia and Alberta passed condominium acts in 1966 and Ontario followed in 1967, and such acts now exist in all provinces.

Ontario’s first Condominium Act was proclaimed in 1967.  It had only 27 sections, and because the only source of “user” input had been developers, it was not consumer-oriented.  A major amendment, giving condominium corporations lien priority on residential units, was proclaimed in 1978.  The 1979 rewrite of the entire Act remained in force until proclamation of the Condominium Act, 1998, which became law on May 5, 2001.

-excerpt from History of Condominiums, Condominium Administration and Human Relations, ACMO