Condominium Contributions: A Matter of Priority


  • Don J. Manderscheid



The author examines the inherent problems associated with the rights of condominium corporations to collect the contributions due to them under the Condominium Property Act. The Condominium Property Act allows such corporations to enforce their collection rights by an action for debt against the registered owner of the property and a legal charge against the unit title. This creates an unusual situation: the acquisition of real estate (a condo) is linked to the acquisition of personal liability for the debt of the previous title- holder. The author points out that this statutorily- created transfer of liability conflicts with and takes away from the rights of parties dealing with a unit. The special status and priority of condominium corporations with respect to collection rights creates a reluctance on the part of prospective purchasers, mortgagees, and lien holders to acquire, finance or provide supplies or services for a condominium unit. The author, having pointed out the salient flaws in the legislation, proposes various amendments to address or ameliorate the situation and to ensure that condominium-type land ownership is able to flourish in Alberta.