What legislation and regulations govern condominiums in Manitoba?
Warranty Programs and Insurance
Do provincial legislation and/or regulations require that developers of new condominiums provide a new home warranty to buyers?
Manitoba enacted the New Home Warranty Act in December of 2013. When the Act comes into force, which will be by proclamation, it will require that buyers of new homes in Manitoba be protected by a warranty covering construction defects.
Do provincial legislation and/or regulations require condominium corporations to carry insurance on condominium property?
Yes. A condominium corporation must maintain property insurance, on its own behalf and on behalf of all unit owners, for damage to the units and common elements that is caused by major perils or any other perils that are specified in the corporation's declaration or bylaws.
Taxes & Additional Costs
What provincial and federal taxes do condominium buyers pay on their units?
- Provincial tax: There is no provincial sales tax on new or re-sale condominiums.
- Federal tax: Buyers pay Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the price of new units.
If you are purchasing a re-sale condo, GST will apply to your purchase if:
- You are buying the unit from someone who acquired and used the unit primarily (more than 50 percent) for business purposes (unless this was to earn long-term rental income);
- You are buying the unit from someone who has claimed input tax credits for improvements to the unit; and
- The unit has been substantially renovated. To find out what qualifies as a substantial renovation, see Substantial Renovations and the GST/HST New Housing Rebate, Canada Revenue Agency.
Be sure to enquire about the above before putting an offer on a re-sale condominium.
Are there any GST/HST rebate programs for condominium buyers?
Yes. Like other homebuyers, purchasers of condominiums can apply for a GST/HST New Housing Rebate. This rebate reduces the GST and the federal part of the HST on a declining scale, depending on the purchase price of your new home. For eligibility information, see GST/HST New Housing Rebate, Canada Revenue Agency.
Are buyers of new and re-sale condominiums responsible for any charges levied by the Province?
Yes, the land transfer tax. There are different rates to calculate this tax based on the value of your home. There is no land transfer tax on the first $30,000 in value. See Land Transfer Tax, Province of Manitoba, for the various rates.
Reserve Fund Requirements
Do provincial legislation/regulations require that all condominiums in Manitoba have a reserve fund?
Yes. A reserve fund study must be prepared and updated every five years. Directors, who have a duty to act with a view to the best interests of the condominium corporation, must consider the reserve fund balance that is recommended in the latest reserve fund study or update when deciding the total annual contribution. The board must report to the unit owners on the amount in the reserve fund and review the latest reserve fund study or update with the unit owners annually. When a condominium unit is sold, the buyer must be told what the actual balance in the reserve fund is, as well as the balance that was recommended by the reserve fund study. Unit owners must contribute to the reserve fund in the proportions specified in the declaration or in the proportions specified in the declaration for contributions to the common expenses.
How is a new condominium corporation registered?
The plan, declaration, and declarant’s proposed initial condominium corporation bylaw signed by the declarant must be filed in the Land Titles Office.
The plan must be prepared by a land surveyor and show the location of the proposed condominium. If any buildings have already been constructed, their location and architectural and structural details must be shown on the plan. The plan must also indicate the boundaries between the units and the common property. This is important because many rights and obligations of unit owners and the corporation depend on whether a unit or the common property is involved.
The declaration and bylaw outline the key rules that govern the relationship among unit owners and the condominium corporation. These include matters such as how the common expenses are shared and how votes are assigned. The declaration must also include a description of a standard unit for each type of unit.
Filing these documents results in the following:
- The Condominium Act governs the land described in the declaration and shown on the plan.
- The land is divided into units and common elements as described in the declaration and shown on the plan.
- A condominium corporation without share capital is created.
- The corporation’s name is:
- the name of the land titles district in which the registration occurs,
- the words "Condominium Corporation," and
- the abbreviation "No." together with the next available consecutive number for a condominium corporation registered in that land titles district.
- The corporation’s membership consists of the unit owners from time to time.
- The bylaw becomes the initial bylaw of the condominium corporation.
- A registered instrument is no longer enforceable against the common elements, but is enforceable against all the units and their shares in the common elements.
- If the declaration is in respect of a leasehold estate in land:
- the units and their shares in the common elements are leasehold estates having the same term as the property lease, and
- the rights and obligations of the owner of the leasehold estate become the rights and obligations of the unit owners.
Sale of Units
What rules does the developer have to follow when selling units?
If a unit is sold before the declaration and plan are registered, the seller must provide the buyer with a completed Form 1 (Section 6): Disclosure Statement (Sale of Proposed Unit Before Declaration and Plan are Registered)
If a unit is sold by a seller who is the declarant, the seller must provide the buyer with a completed Form 2A (Section 7): Disclosure Statement by Seller When Seller is Declarant or Subsequent Owner of All the Units (Sale of Unit after Declaration and Plan are Registered)
If a unit is sold by a seller who is not the declarant, the seller must provide the buyer with a completed Form 2B (Section 7): Disclosure Statement by Seller When Seller is Not Declarant (Sale of Unit after Declaration and Plan are Registered)
If a unit is sold by the owner developer, the seller must provide the buyer with a completed Form 2C (Section 7): Disclosure Statement by Seller When Seller is Owner-Developer (Sale of Proposed Unit in a Phased Development Before Registration of Amendment to Declaration and Plan)
If a unit is sold by the condominium corporation, the seller must provide the buyer with a completed Form 3 (Section 7): Disclosure Statement by Condominium Corporation (Sale of Unit, or Proposed Unit in a Phased Development, After Declaration and Plan are Registered)
Buyers may request a status certificate that shows if the unit owner owes any money to the condominium corporation or is in breach of the declaration, bylaws, or rules. A form (Schedule D, Form 8) for this status certificate is provided in the regulation, and notice of the buyer’s right to receive a status certificate is included in the prescribed disclosure form.
Buyers have a seven-day “cooling off” period, during which they may cancel the purchase and sale agreement, from the time they either:
- enter into a purchase and sale agreement; or
- receive a disclosure statement, whichever is later.
Sellers must notify buyers of their right to cancel during the “cooling off” period, using the form (Schedule D, Form 4) provided in the regulation.
Buyers also have the right to cancel the purchase and sale agreement if there is a material change in the information provided by the seller. Sellers must notify buyers of this right using the form (Schedule D, Form 5) provided in the regulation. Sellers must also notify buyers of any material changes using the form (Schedule D, Form 7) provided in the regulation.
If a general meeting has been scheduled after the date the buyer is to take possession of the unit, the buyer must be given the notice of the meeting.
What documents must a condominium corporation provide a purchaser of a re-sale condominium?
Purchasers of re-sale units are entitled to receive the same information that purchasers of new condominiums are entitled to receive.
Estimating Operating Costs
Are there legislation/regulations that stipulate(s) what happens if a developer has inaccurately estimated the operational costs of a condominium?
No. Declarants who sell one or more units or proposed units must prepare a statement of financial estimates covering a 12-month period. If the financial projection turns out to have been too low, the developer will have to pay the amount of the shortfall to the condominium corporation.
Rules for Initial Reserve Fund Savings
Is the developer of a new condominium obligated to put aside reserves as soon as the condominium is registered?
Yes. Directors must consider the reserve fund balance that is recommended in the latest reserve fund study or update when deciding the total annual contribution.
Does the Province require a condominium to impose any bylaws and rules?
A proposed initial bylaw must be filed when the condominium corporation is registered.
Does condominium legislation authorize the condominium corporation to borrow money?
The Act requires the written consent of unit owners holding 80 percent of the voting rights in the corporation before a condominium corporation may acquire, encumber or dispose of real property.
Can a condominium corporation place a lien on an individual unit?
Yes, a condominium corporation can do so if the owner has not paid:
- His or her contributions toward the common expenses, reserve fund or special assessments; or
- For expenses incurred by the corporation in making repairs that the owner was obligated to make and failed to do so in a reasonable amount of time; or
- For repairs or work ordered by a public authority (such as the Fire Marshal).
A lien can be enforced like a mortgage and takes priority over other charges against a property unless otherwise stated in a condominium’s declaration (documents that describe how a condominium is organized and operated). Condominium liens are subject only to Crown claims, municipal taxes, and other interests prescribed by the regulation.
Elections & Meetings
What are the requirements for electing the board of directors and for its meetings?
A condominium corporation must be governed by a board of directors. Each condominium’s bylaws or declaration determine the number of board members, their qualifications, term in office, compensation, and other related matters.
The declarant’s board must hold the first general meeting of unit owners no later than one year after the first transfer of ownership of any unit by the declarant, unless ownership of all of the units has been transferred to a single purchaser or the declarant no longer owns the majority of the units.
The declarant’s board must call a general “turnover” meeting within six months of the date the declarant ceases to own the majority of units. At the “turnover meeting,” a new board must be elected by unit owners, and all records, documents, and other items must be turned over to the new board.
At the first general meeting, if the corporation has more than ten units, an auditor must be selected to prepare the corporation’s financial statements.
Changing the Governing Documents
How does a condominium corporation change its governing documents?
A condominium corporation can change its declaration and plan if it has the written consent of those who hold 80 percent of the voting rights of the corporation, unless the declaration stipulates that a greater percentage is required. The amendment must be presented at a general meeting of unit holders, a copy of the proposed amendment must be included with the meeting notice, and consent must be received at the meeting or within 180 days after the meeting.
Changes to a condominium’s bylaws must be confirmed by 75 percent of the voting rights of the corporation at a meeting called for that purpose. Voters must be present at the meeting in person or by proxy.
Amendments to the declaration, plan, and bylaws take effect once copies of them are registered by the district registrar. The condominium corporation must provide a copy of any amendments to unit owners.
Additional requirements for bylaws are in Part 8 of the Condominium Act. Additional requirements for meetings are in sections 110 through 130 of the Condominium Act.
Can an owner stop paying condominium fees if he/she is unhappy with the condominium’s board of directors and/or property management?
Fund for Common Expenses and Rules About Special Assessments
Do provincial legislation/regulations require condominium corporations to maintain a fund for common expenses?
A condominium corporation must pay the common expenses and maintain a fund out of which these expenses will be paid. The corporation must determine the contribution to the common expense fund of each unit owner by apportioning the amount required among the unit owners in the proportions specified in the declaration.
Do provincial legislation/regulations have rules regarding special assessments? If so, what are they?
Special assessments may be authorized by the board if the bylaws so provide. The board must specify the purpose of the special assessment, its amount, whether it will be payable in instalments, and if so, the frequency of the instalments. The board must also determine the contribution of each unit holder. Special assessments must be apportioned among unit holders in the same way as contributions to the common expenses fund.
Within a reasonable time after the special assessment has been authorized, the condominium corporation must give each unit owner a written notice setting out the following information:
- The purpose of the special assessment
- The total amount of the special assessment
- An explanation of the need for the special assessment
- The total amount to be contributed by the unit owner and, if it is payable in instalments, the amount and frequency of the instalments
- The date on which the unit owner's contribution is due or, if it is payable in instalments, the dates on which they are due
Expanding the Scope of the Condominium's Assets and Services
What about additional recreational facilities/services? Could a condominium corporation buy a golf course, for example? Could it change the services an owner expects to receive?
The condominium corporation may make substantial additions, alterations or improvements to the common elements or substantial changes to the corporation’s assets. These changes must be voted for by unit owners who own 80 percent or more of the common elements.
Substantial changes are those that change the manner in which common elements are used or enjoyed or those that increase the operating expenses of the corporation.
Other Important Things About Buying a Condominium in Manitoba
Do provincial legislation/regulations govern renting or leasing a condominium unit?
Yes. Condominium corporations are not allowed to prohibit owners from renting their units.
Unit owners must notify their condominium corporation in writing within 30 days after entering into a tenancy agreement for the owner’s unit. Notice must include the tenant's name, the unit owner's address, and the name of the unit owner's designated representative for tenancy matters, if any. The owner must also notify the condominium corporation promptly when the tenancy ends.
The Act allows for a condominium corporation to collect a leasing levy (security deposit) from unit owners who rent their units. This levy is limited to $1,500 by regulation. The levy (or unused portion of it) must be refunded to the unit owner when the lease ends. Interest must be paid at the rate specified in the corporation’s bylaws.
A condominium corporation may terminate a tenancy with notice to the tenant and owner if the tenant violates the corporation's declaration, bylaws or rules, or the tenant’s obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act with regard to the common areas or other occupants.
The Residential Tenancies Act covers the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants. For information on landlords’ and tenants’ rights and responsibilities in Manitoba, see Your Guide to Renting a Home Provincial Fact Sheet – Manitoba.
What other constraints do provincial legislation/regulations put on condominium corporations, their boards of directors, bylaws and management?
Directors of boards have a duty to act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of the condominium corporation. They must apply the care, diligence, and skill that a reasonable, sensible, and cautious person would apply in similar situations.
May condominium corporations prohibit pets?
Yes, but the prohibition does not apply to a pet already living with a unit owner or occupant at the time the prohibition is registered or takes effect, except for tenants whose landlords have not authorized them to keep pets.
Is there a process for handling disputes or complaints?
Both parties in a dispute may take the matter to arbitration or mediation provided they agree to this in writing. An arbitrator is a third party who decides its outcome. A mediator is a neutral person (someone who will not take sides), who meets with the people involved and helps them come to an agreement that all parties can live with. Arbitration is provided for under the current Condominium Act, and both arbitration and mediation are provided as an alternative to court action under the Act.
Canadian Condominium Institute (CCI), Manitoba Chapter
An independent organization that deals exclusively with condominium issues and represents all participants in the condominium community.
Residential Tenancies Branch
Administers or is responsible for The Residential Tenancies Act, The Life Leases Act and The Condominium Act in Manitoba.
Winnipeg: 302 – 254 Edmonton Street, Winnipeg, MB R3C 3Y4
Toll-free in Manitoba: 1-800-782-8403
Brandon: 143 9th Street, Brandon, MB R7A 6C2
Toll-free in Manitoba: 1-800-656-8481
Thompson: 113 – 59 Elizabeth Drive, Thompson, MB R8N 1X4
Toll-free in Manitoba: 1-800-229-0639
Manitoba Human Rights Commission
Guidelines on condominium housing under Manitoba’s Human Rights Code for condominium corporations, management companies and condominium unit owners.
Winnipeg: 700 – 175 Hargrave Street, Winnipeg, MB R3C 3R8
Brandon: 341 – 340 Ninth Street, Brandon, MB R7A 6C2
The Pas: 2nd Floor – Otineka Mall, P.O. Box 2550, The Pas, MB R9A 1M4