As we all know, COVID-19 and its financial effects have been very tough on Ontarians across the province. Unfortunately, this may well have resulted in some owners missing common expense payments back in April (and perhaps since then).
While not a pleasant task, condominiums must ensure that they take the proper steps to secure these arrears and guarantee payment, as common expenses are truly the lifeblood of condominiums. Failing to collect these arrears (or to at least secure the ability to collect them) will have an negative impact on all other owners.
Due to the importance of common expenses, the Condominium Act gives condominiums the power to register liens on the units of defaulting owners, to secure the debt. However, this power must be acted on within three months of the default in order to be valid. This means that, in order to secure any defaults from April 2020, condominiums must register liens before the end of June.
Prior to registering a lien, however, owners must be given at least 10 days’ advance notice. Accordingly, these notices must go out no later than this Friday, June 19, 2020, in order to secure any April arrears.
After a lien is registered, condominiums can enter into payment agreements to make repayment possible for owners, but it is vital that condos first ensure that they are secured by not missing the window to register the lien. Once registered, the lien has priority over any existing mortgage.
If you are unsure about any lien registration deadlines or the process to register them, make sure to reach out to your counsel to seek advice on this.