We are often asked whether condominium boards can send their AGM package by email rather than sending a hard copy by regular mail as it is often the established practice. Subject to the conditions presented below, boards are free to use email when sending notices to owners.
The package for a condominium’s annual general meeting (“AGM“) generally includes several documents: a notice of meeting, an agenda, the minutes of the last AGM, the audited financial statements, the proposed budget for the next fiscal year and a copy of all proposed changes to the declaration, by-laws, rules or agreements that are to be discussed at the meeting. This is a lot of documentation and a lot of paper depending on the number of units.
Section 47 of the Condominium Act (the “Act“) deals with notices to owners. Subsection 47(1) provides that a notice that is required to be given to owners must be in writing and must be given at least 15 days before the day of the meeting if the notice is a notice of meeting of owners.
Subsections 47(7) and (8) provides for the various ways in which notices can be served to owners. Although notices, in particular AGM Package, are often sent by regular mail at the address for service that appears in the records of the corporation, notices can also be sent by facsimile transmission, electronic mail or any other method of electronic communication provided that the owner or mortgagee agrees in writing that the notices may be given to them in this manner.
In our view, the requirement to obtain written consent for electronic communications only applies to notices mandated by the Act. There is probably no need to start knocking on doors if the document the corporation is distributing by email is the monthly newsletter.
All this to say that corporations who wish to save trees (and dollars) by sending via email their AGM notices should work with their property manager to obtain the required consent from the owners.