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Condominium buyers and owners are protected by laws that are largely attributable to a group of volunteers; members of the Canadian Condominium Institute of Canada ("CCI"). In each province, these people guide governments in drafting condominium laws and rules. They also answer phones, teach courses and staff trade show booths, unpaid. Let's look what they've accomplished, and close with a "thank you" to volunteers you've never met, yet who work to serve you.
Alberta's Condominium Property Act itself is a product of extensive consultation by the province with volunteers from the CCI. Various requirements, such as for all condominium corporations to maintain cash reserve funds and written plans for how to fund them can be credited to CCI volunteers. Together they speak nationally as "The voice of condominium", which is the CCI's slogan. From condo consultants to lawyers, from Realtors to insurance agents and property managers, CCI volunteers provide the broad experience that government needs to draw on before it can implement sensible condominium law.
But the CCI's objectives go beyond good condo law. Education is also a major focus, as CCI volunteers strive to educate the public as well as people who make their living in some aspect of the ever-growing condominium industry. In Calgary and Edmonton the CCI chapters hold regular sessions in three levels of condominium education, which can lead to certification as a condominium professional. Luncheon presentations and forums are also held, dealing with current issues of interest to condo owners and to the array of service-providing professionals that build, maintain, insure, sell and manage condominium properties.
Membership in the CCI is possible for owners and professionals alike. In fact, every one of the thousands of condominium developments in Alberta is welcome as a corporate member, which would qualify their homeowners to receive regular newsletters as well as luncheon invitations and course offerings at discounted rates. Should your condo board not want to join CCI, you can join as an individual member. If you employ a condo property management firm, an insurance agent, a Realtor, or others serving the condominium community, ask if they have taken CCI courses, and if they hold membership in the CCI, thus subscribing to its code of ethics.
Check the web sites of the north-Alberta and south-Alberta CCI chapters for course details, for luncheons, one-evening seminars, and to book your attendance at them. Those web addresses are www.cci-north.ab.ca, and www.cci-south.ab.ca, or use the south-Alberta chapter link at the end of this article. There is also a national web site, www.cci.ca with information and further web links. The web sites post the CCI code of ethics, membership information, and highlights of provincial condo legislation and regulations.
In my own line of condo work, the Alberta Real Estate Association consulted with CCI volunteers regarding changes to condominium property listing and purchase contracts. A committee of Realtors including myself proposed real-world condo-specific changes to clarify transactions and to protect condo-buying and condo-selling clients. But we needed a CCI professional-member lawyer and a consultant to advise us on the fine points of legal clarity and condominium accuracy. Those new province-wide standardized forms have become a great help to Realtors and their buying/selling clients.
If you ask me, that's one impressive list of education and activities benefiting condominium owners, professionals and service-industry people! Join the CCI to become a part of the action. Or just register for an event or a course to learn more about condominium. When you're there, thank a CCI volunteer or two for their efforts on your behalf.
CCI South Alberta web-site link: http://www.cci.ca/southalberta/HOME/default.asp