CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Edmonton lawyer Hugh Willis is conducting a research project on the increase of insurance fees for those who own condominiums in Alberta.
Willis is traveling the province speaking to managers, insurers and condominium owners in hopes of understanding what the hike in fees is attributed to.
In Fort MacMurray Willis discovered that 20 per cent of residents of one condo unit can’t pay their portion of insurance, resulting in the condo board having to cover costs.
This has led to condo boards having to take that money out of services like landscaping around the condo and maintenance.
While the cause for these insurance hikes is unclear, one of the owners Willis talked to in Fort McMurry stated that his insurance premium jumped from $500 to $4500 this year.
Willis is working alongside several other organizations including the North Alberta Chapter, The Canadian Condominium Institute, Strathcona Country Condominium Association, and Condo Owners Forum.
Lawyer and co-presenter of the research project Amber Nickel says condo owners aren’t the only ones affected by the hikes and causes a ripple effect.
“It’s a pandemic almost, people are going to lose their home over this with the amount they are increasing and the short notice that these companies are giving,” said Nickel.
To make up for lost money condo boards can choose to cut the number of maintenance workers they half, resulting in the quality of condos as the units won’t be properly maintained.
“There are a number of properties out there that are going to see a spike in properties that can’t pay that can result in foreclosure,” she added.
In Calgary, 22 per cent of residents live in condos and there are a total of 88 sites that have been under construction bringing new condos to Calgary.
Willis said his tour will end in Lethbridge on April 16th and expects to have results late may. For anyone who wants to participate in the research project, you can participate by filling out a survey that will help the team collect data across Alberta.