Amongst the various new obligations imposed on condo corporations, they will now have to regularly send to all owners various Information Certificates. In this post, we discuss the new Periodic Information Certificate – aka the “PIC”. When, how and to whom is it to be sent?

What’s in the PIC?

The amended Condo Act provides that corporations will have to regularly send to its owners the following three types of Information Certificates:

  • The Periodic Information Certificate (PIC)
  • The Information Certificate Update (ICU)
  • The New Owner Information Certificate (NOIC)

Today, we blog about the “PIC”.

Some people are comparing the PIC to an improved Status Certificate as it will serve to provide the owners with detail information about the health, finances and governance of the corporation.  This certificate will have to contain information such as:

  • the name and address of the management provider;
  • the name of the directors;
  • the number of units which are rented;
  • whether the corporation has adopted a policy on electronic communication (more on this in a later blog);
  • information on the financial status of the corporation and on its reserve fund;
  • whether the corporation has paid its CAO assessment fee (more on this here);
  • information related to insurance obtained by the corporation;
  • information on the corporation’s standard unit, if any;
  • information about any judgement requiring the corporation to pay damages, compensation or costs and, if so, the amount of it; and,
  • any other information required under a by-law adopted by the corporation.

It is a very detailed certificate and the list of information to be disclosed goes on. With a by-law, the corporation can dd to this list of information required to be disclosed in the PIC.

Finally, note that the corporation has to attach to the PIC a copy of any disclosure given by directors within the current fiscal year.

What will the PIC look like?

Good news, the province has prepared a form for the PIC.  In fact, corporations must use the form prescribed by the Ministry.  Here are links to:

Who is entitled to a PIC?

PICs only get sent to owners. Not to tenants and not to mortgagees (unless the mortgagee is in possession of the unit pursuant to a default under the mortgage).

When must the PIC be sent out?

A PIC only has to be sent out twice a year – don’t get confused by section 26.3 of the Condo Act which indicates that it must be sent out 3 times a year.  The required frequency has been reduced to twice a year in the regulations adopted under the Act.  note as well that, a corporation may, with a by-law, increase (but not decrease) the frequency at which it is to send out additional PICs.

The date at which a PIC must go out will vary from corporation to corporation.  This is because the deadlines to send PICs is based on the corporation’s year end.  Indeed, the PIC must be sent within 60 days following the end of the first and of the third quarter of the corporation’s financial year.

By way of an example, if your financial year ends on October 31 (like my condo) a PIC will be required before April 1st and before September 29 (with a potential slight variation on leap years).

What does it mean for your corporation? This chart will help you determine the deadline by which you have to send your PICs out.

So, you ask, who will be the lucky corporations to first have to issue PICs?  If my reading of the transitional provisions of the regulation is right, the corporations having their fiscal year end on August 31 or February 28 will be the first ones to have to send their PICs.  They will have until January 29, 2018 to send their first PIC out.

How are the PIC sent?

PICs, just like any other notification required to be provided by the corporation, can be delivered in one of the following ways:

  • to the owner personally;
  • by prepaid mail addressed to the owner at the address of service appearing in the corporation’s records;
  • by electronic communications (including fax or email) but only if the owner has agreed to this method of notification – perhaps this topic will be for another blog;
  • delivered to the owner’s unit or unit’s mailbox unless the owner has notified the corporation that notices cannot be given in this matter or the owner has given another address for service.

In addition to these means of communicating the PIC, the corporation can also upload the PIC on a website, as long as the corporation sends a notice to the owner indicating that the PIC has been uploaded and as long as the PIC remains accessible for at least 30 days. Owners must be able to view, store, retrieve and print the PIC.

The notice of posting on the website must be in the form provided by the Minister. The notice must state how the posting can be accessed and must state that an owner wishing to obtain a paper copy of the PIC can do so by making a request under subsection 55(3) of the Act.

Who is exempt from sending a PIC?

A corporation does not have to send a PIC if at least 80% of the units (who are not in arrears for 30 days or more) have consented in writing to dispense with this requirement.  This exemption is only valid until the next fiscal year-end of the Corporation. This means that a corporation will have to obtain that written consent every year.

These written consents can be obtained at any point in the year. Once the corporation has reached the required 80% of the units, the exemption will apply for the rest of the fiscal year. Clearly, it is best to obtain the written consents as early as possible within the fiscal year if you want to benefit from this exception.

Fast approaching deadlines

I may sound like a broken record to some but there are fast-approaching deadlines:

  • All corporations must be registered with the CAO and their  initial Assessment fees must be paid by December 31, 2017More on this here.
  • All managers must have applied for a licence by no later than January 29, 2018. After this date, it will be illegal to provide condo management unless you have a licence or have applied for one. More on this here.