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Frequently Asked Questions about Property Management - London, Ontario

FAQ

Frequently  Asked Questions.

About Thorne Property Management Ltd. London, Ontario

Questions and Answers

Pre-Authorized Debit FAQ

Q: Where can I obtain a pre-authorized debit form?

A: Pre-authorized debit forms are unique to each condominium corporation and can be obtained from our office upon request. Please contact our office by phone, fax, or email your request to info@thorneproperty.com.

Q: When will payments come out of my bank account?

A: Payments will come out of your bank account on the first business day of each month.

Q: Can Thorne process my payment in the middle of the month?

A: No. If you would like funds to be withdrawn from your account in the middle of the month, you should provide us with post dated cheques dated on the 10th day of each month.

Q: Can I stop payment on my account at any time?

A: You may cancel your pre-authorized payment or choose to temporarily deactivate this service by notifying us no later than the 20th day of the month prior to deposit.

Q: What happens when I have a bounced payment?

A: When a payment is returned from the bank for reasons such as non-sufficient funds or stop payment, there will be an NSF charge added to your account. That charge, along with the unpaid condominium fee will stay on your account until you provide Thorne Property Management with cash or a cheque to cover the outstanding balance. Alternatively, you may send us written authorization through fax, return mail or email to withdraw the outstanding balance from your next pre-authorized payment.

Q: Will charges for non-contract maintenance costs be taken out automatically from my next pre-authorized debit?

A: No. Additional written authorization is required to have any amount in addition to your regular condominium fees to be withdrawn from your account.

Q: Can I have my monthly parking charges included with my pre-authorized withdrawal?

A: Yes. Please contact our office if you would like parking charges to be included with your monthly pre-authorized debit.

Q: What happens when I change bank accounts?

A: When you change bank accounts, simply fill out a "PAD change form", attach your new void cheque, and drop it off at our office or by return mail. Fax is not recommended as account numbers may become non-legible. Change forms can be requested in the same manner as pre-authorized debit forms.



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Cheque Payments FAQ

Q: Do cheques need to be dated on the 1st of the month?

A: No. Cheques can be dated for the 10th of the month if you would like them to be processed with the mid-month deposit.

Q: Who should cheques be made payable to?

A: Cheques should be made payable to your condominium corporation.

Q: Do you accept post-dated cheques?

A: Yes. Alternatively, you may also want to consider having your condominium fees withdrawn from your bank account through pre-authorized withdrawal. You may set up for pre-authorized payment by contacting our office or sending your request to info@thorneproperty.com.

Q: Can I pay my condominium fees by debit or credit card?

A: No. Our company has no provision for this avenue of payment.

Q: How long does it take for my payments to show up on my statement?

A: The "Statement of Account" for individual owners who have an outstanding account is printed in the middle of each month in our office. If you have made a payment after the 15th of the month, it may not be reflected on your statement until the next statement cycle.

**Cheques with missing information (i.e.: no date or missing payee name) will be returned to the sender. **



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Non-Contract Maintenance Charges/Late fees/NSF fees

Q: What is a Non-Contract Maintenance Charge?

A: Non-Contract Maintenance Charges to your account are for repairs done or services rendered that are not included in the contract agreement between the owner and the corporation. Examples include weed pulling or removal of garbage that is not picked up by the City of London. A letter with the invoice attached will be sent to the unit owner to notify them about these charges.

Q: I don't agree with a charge on my account. What can I do?

A: If owners do not agree with a non-contract maintenance charge to their account, they can express their concern in writing (including Email) to Thorne. A review of the charge will be carried out. The charge will stand until the review is completed and the owner will be advised of the final decision on whether the charge is to stay on the owner's account or not.

Q: How are payments applied to my account?

A: Payments are applied to the oldest charge to your account. For example, if you missed a payment in February and made one payment in March, that payment is applied to your February condominium fee. This means your account will be susceptible to late charges for March.

Q: How are late fees calculated?

A: If payment has not been made within the 30 day grace period, owners will begin to incur late fees. Any account with an outstanding amount will continue to incur late fees until the balance is paid in full. This fee is decided by the Board of Directors and varies depending on the condominium corporation.

Q: Can the corporation reverse my NSF fee?

A: No. When there is a returned payment, the corporation is charged an NSF fee by the bank. The NSF cannot be reversed because the corporation needs to be reimbursed for the bank charges incurred.

Q: What is a "Notice of Lien to Owner" and why am I being charged $84.75 for it?

A: Owners will receive a "Notice of Lien to Owner" (formerly known as Form 14) when they have failed to pay their condominium fees for 3 months. Approximately, 10 days before the lien is registered, the corporation will send a notice to the owner showing the amount of arrears, other charges owing and any reasonable legal costs and fees incurred. A charge of $84.75 is assigned for this process.





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Q. What is the role of the Board of Directors?

A:Owners elect the members of the Board of Directors. The board is made up of 3 or more members (depending on what the corporation by-laws may provide). The role of the directors is to manage the affairs of the corporation, to act honestly and in good faith and to exercise care and diligence as a reasonably prudent person would. Amongst themselves the board members will elect a president, secretary and treasurer.



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Q. How do I get involved in meetings of my corporation?

A:The Act requires that a meeting of owners be held each year within six months of the fiscal year end. The Annual General meeting is held to discuss the financial statements of the previous fiscal year, to appoint the auditor as well as for discussion of any matter relevant to the affairs and business of the corporation raised by owners. An election is held for the Board of directors at the annual general meeting. All owners of the corporation will be notified in writing at least 15 days before the meeting is to take place.



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Q. What are the Corporation's By-Laws?

A:The by-laws of your corporation are the governing documents. They regulate board meetings and functions of the board, authorize the borrowing of money, assessment and collection of common expenses, set out the standard unit finishes for insurance purposes and other issues of governance.



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Q. What are the rules of my condominium corporation?

A:Each condominium corporation has a set of rules to promote the safety, security or welfare of the owners and of the property and assets of the corporation, to prevent unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of the common elements and the units by owners. Some topics generally covered in rules are parking, pets and noise.



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Q. What information is contained in the Status Certificate?

A:The status certificate is a very important document to review before purchasing a condominium. In the status certificate you will find copies of the following:

  • Declaration;
  • By-laws;
  • Rules;
  • Budget for the corporation for the current fiscal year;
  • Last annual audited financial statements and the auditor's report on the financial statements;
  • Outline of the current reserve fund study and updates to it;
  • Statement of the amount in the reserve fund no earlier than at the end of a month within 90 days of the status certificate;
  • Certificate of Insurance for the master policy carried by the corporation;



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Q. How do I request a status certificate? What is the cost?

A:The status certificate request can be made here. (Attach link) All the required fields must be completed. All other requests must be made in writing either by fax or email (add trish's email address). The fee is $100.00 (taxes included) payable to Thorne Property Management.



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Q. What elements on the property are my responsibility to maintain?

A:>The declaration sets out what parts of the unit the corporation will maintain. The owner is generally reponsible for screens, passage sets, weatherstrip, garage door mechanisms, window cranks, exterior taps and recepticles and any owner installed changes. If you have any question of whether or not you are responsible for maintaining part of the unit, refer to your declaration (schedule ) or contact the management office for assistance.



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Q. Who is responsible for repairs?

A: Repairs to the common elements are the responsibility of the corporation, subject to exclusions included in the declaration or other corporation documents. Such repairs would include repair and replacement of roadways, brickwork or siding, roofing, foundation concerns, etc.
Maintenance to parts of the common elements which are exclusively used by the unit owner – such as the screens on window and doors – may be the responsibility of the of the individual owner or of the corporation, depending on what the builder provided for in the declaration.
If repairs must be made inside your unit – if an electrical fixture in your kitchen, for example, does not operate properly – the responsibility for repairs falls on the unit owner.



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Q. May I make changes to my unit exterior?

A: You may wish to make additions or improvements to your unit (ie. fencing, decks, skylight, etc). Before any change takes place, the condominium act requires that an owner proceed with the following:

  1. Submit a written request to the Board of Directors detailing the proposed alteration / improvement with any required drawings and await written approval;
  2. Enter into an agreement with the corporation that:
    1. Allocates any costs associated with the changes to the owner;
    2. Sets out the duties and responsibilities including cost to repair any damages to the common elements caused by the proposed change, maintenance and insurance, etc;
  3. Payment to the corporation in the amount of $170.to cover the cost of having the agreement registered on title for the unit – The changed element is the responsibility of the unit owner and any owner who should take possession of the unit in the future.



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Q. May I have a satellite dish?

A: Some condo corporations do not permit individual satellite dishes on the property in order to limit excess cables, holes in the building envelope, etc. or because not every unit could receive the signal from the patio area. Often, a common satellite system is in place in order to provide access to satellite service to owners. The rules of your corporation are the best place to look for satellite limitations, or make a quick call to your property manager. If individual dishes are permitted, a written request for permission is necessary before installation.



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Q. Where can I get a City of London Garbage & Recycling Collection Calendar?

A: The City of London sends out copies of the calendar every fall, usually in early September. If you do not have a current calendar, it is available online at www.london.ca. The calendar is a useful tool for what can and cannot be put out for the City to remove on pick-up dates and offers alternative disposal information should you need it.



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Q. Who is allowed access to my unit?

A: In a high-rise condominium it is important for the corporation to have a key for each unit. The Condominium Act states that any person authorized by the condo may enter any unit at any reasonable time in order to correct any conditions that violate the condo's insurance policy or cause damage to the property. It is necessary that all units are keyed to a master or that a unit key is available should entry be necessary in the event of an emergency.
Townhouse style condominium corporation's documents may not require that a key to every unit be kept for emergencies, however, it is a good idea for someone on the property to have access to your unit should a water-loss of fire occur in your absence.



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Q. May I withhold common element fee payments if I am unhappy with the service or disagree with a decision made by the Board?

A: No. As a condo owner you are legally bound to pay your monthly contributions to the common expenses. If an owner does not make payments the condo may register a lien on the unit for the amount owing as well as legal costs and interest. The mortgage holder will also be notified, may pay the arrears and take action against the owner to collect them. In any event, if neither the mortgagee nor owner pays the arrears, the condo corporation may initiate power of sale proceedings.



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Q. What insurance do I need?

A: The Condominium Act requires that the corporation obtain and maintain insurance, on its own behalf and on behalf of the owners, for damage to the units and common elements that is caused by major perils or other perils that the declaration or by-laws may specify. Such perils include:

  • Fire
  • Smoke
  • Lightning
  • Water loss
  • Vandalism, etc.

The insurance will cover items listed in the standard unit by-law should an insurable loss occur.
The unit owner should obtain an insurance policy for anything in the unit above and beyond the standard unit. This includes any betterments and improvements made to the unit above the standard unit. The unit owner's policy should also cover contents, sewer back-up and the deductible portion of the corporation's master policy.



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Q. My neighbours are making noise at all hours, what can I do about it?

A: A call to the London Police Non-Emergency line is your best option. The City of London's Noise By-law is in effect 24-hours a day and is enforced through ticketing by the police, 519-661-5670.
The property manager also issues letters to owners who are in breach of the noise rules of the corporation. A quick email to your property manager with a report can be confidential and effective in reminding those who may not realize the impact they are having on others.



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Q. What is the Private Property Parking Enforcement Program?

A: More and more corporations are getting involved with the City's Private Property Parking Enforcement Program to effectively regulate parking on their properties. The City works with the corporation to tag and ticket for infractions. The City collects the fine in the same manner as tickets issued elsewhere in the City.
It is very important to make your guests aware of the rules of the condo with respect to parking to avoid tickets to those visiting your home.



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Q. Who enforces the Fire Route Signs on our Roadways?

A: The City of London by-law enforcement office enforces fire routes through ticketing.





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