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Overturning Previous Board Decisions

Change your mind

We’ve been asked in various situations “Can a new Board overturn a previous Boards ruling or vote?”  It usually comes in different forms, but the question remains in many owners’ minds.

In Good Faith

Technically, the Board is free to reverse earlier decisions if the later decision is made “in good faith” and is based on credible information showing that the earlier decision was wrong. For example, if the new Board receives advice from a property manager or condo lawyer that the long-standing practice or policy was legally incorrect, or for safety purposes, needs to be changed. The fact that it is time-honoured does not protect it, if it is inconsistent with the Condo Act or Corporation documents, so they are not “hand-cuffed” to the earlier decision if it is incorrect.


However, in situations where the previous Board’s ruling is not inconsistent with the governing documents, it could impact owner’s perceptions of the Board’s legitimacy, if they make a habit of overturning previous Board decisions.

If an owner has requested an alteration that has previously been denied, I would recommend the Board have a conversation with the owner and explain the reasons behind the change, to reduce potential dispute and hard feelings, as much as possible. I would also caution the Board about making exceptions to rules, since we have an obligation to uphold them, and the more exceptions that are made, the muddier the waters become.

Long Story Short

It is not a good practice, if done repeatedly, but it is within the Board’s right if the original decision was not in line with the Corporation’s governing documents, and is best addressed on a case-by-case basis.


If you have any questions about overturning previous Board decisions, please feel free to reach out to DCM!

Heather Dickenson, Author
Author of this piece