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FIRE CODE COMPLIANCE A MUST: In the recent Mazur case, the Ontario Superior Court ordered the Unit Owner to bring their unit into compliance with the fire inspection order of Toronto Fire Services. “To allow a unit to be in continued violation of a fire inspection order creates a serious hazard to the property and individual safety of other occupants of the Condominium Corporation.” The Unit Owner was also ordered to pay 100% of the condominium corporation’s legal fees, $21,700.00. As for the condominium corporation, it has no choice but to take steps to remediate hazards.
INSURANCE COVERAGE - REPAIRING DAMAGE INSIDE A UNIT: Basically, a Unit Owner is responsible for any damage the owner or its occupants cause inside the Unit. (1) The Condominium Corporation’s Master Insurance Policy does NOT cover damage inside a unit, and (2) Unit Owners should not expect their agent to recommend all the policy features the Unit Owner should have. Tenant insurance may only cover the personal belongings of the tenant.
EV CHARGERS: In Ontario, EV Chargers cannot be installed (i) without Board approval, and (ii) registration of a “maintenance agreement” against the condo unit. Also, the Unit Owner pays for installation and related charges.
SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST NOT ‘CUT OUT’ FOR CONDOMINIUM LIVING: Lawyer Natalia Polis of the Lash law firm, commenting on a recent Condo Tribunal decision, said: “There are a lot of people who are not cut out for condo living.” [Some people] “don’t understand that when they purchase a condo, they may have to give up some things in return for some benefits”. Source of QUOTES: Law Times: Ontario condo tribunal rules in favour of complainant over noise, but slams his aggressive behaviour | Law Times (lawtimesnews.com).
WHO CAN START A PROCEEDING BEFORE THE CONDO TRIBUNAL (CAT)? Anyone one of the Corporation, a unit owner, or a mortgage company can start a proceeding before CAT.
UNIT OWNER AND HIS DISRUPTIVE TENANTS PAY CONDO CORPORATION $26,000 IN “PENALTIES”: There were several complaints against the tenants including noisy incidents and breach of various Condo Rules. The Condo Tribunal found the tenants were causing nuisances and disturbing the quiet enjoyment of other residents. The “penalties” had to be paid within 30 days. The Corporation recovered 65% of its legal fees from the Unit Owner. The CBC headline for this case: “Condo owner must also pay for tenant’s disruptive behavior, says Tribunal”.(This is a general outline of the Ontario Micoli case.)
OWNERS WHO BREAK CONDO RULES BEWARE: To enforce its rules, a condo corporation may have to use its lawyer. Those legal costs can be specifically charged to the non-compliant unit owner. The courts look favorably on that as a way of ensuring uncooperative unit owners comply with condo community rules. Information Source: Canadian Condominium Institute (CCI)
"CONDOMINIUM AUTHORITY TRIBUNAL” NOW HEARS ALL NUISANCE CASES: The Condominium Authority Tribunal can now hear disputes between condominium corporations and unit owners relating to any nuisance. It is not necessary to proceed to private mediation and arbitration.
DOES A CONDO MEDIATION/ARBITRATION BYLAW PRECLUDE ACCESS TO THE CONDO TRIBUNAL (CAT)? This question may not have been definitively answered but apparently NOT. In other words, it seems that if CAT has jurisdiction, those disputes (pertaining to nuisances) may be brought directly to CAT. (Check with your legal adviser.)
NO HARASSMENT OR AGGRESSION AGAINST BOARD OR PROPERTY MANAGER: An Ontario Court issued a compliance and restraining order against a unit owner due to harassing and aggressive conduct in the form of email communications, telephone calls, and physical interactions directed against Board members and the property manager. Information Source and Link: 2021 ONSC 7222 (CanLII) | TSCC 2519 v. Emerald PG Holdings et al. | CanLII
Our websites contain law information which is not legal advice or opinion.
CONDO BOARD CAN SEEK COURT ORDER AGAINST OWNER BREACHING CONDO ACT: A Condominium Board is entitled to apply directly to the court without exhausting the mediation route where the Condominium Act is breached. Information Source and Link: 2021 ONSC 6574 (CanLII) | York Region Condominium Corporation NO. 794 v. Watson | CanLII
Who pays for repairs inside a condo unit? REPAIRING DAMAGE INSIDE A UNIT – GET INSURANCE COVERAGE !! (1) Normally, the Condominium Corporation’s Master Insurance Policy does NOT cover damage inside a unit, and (2) do not expect your agent to recommend all the policy features you should have. Check with your insurance company. This is general information and not legal advice.
NOT CO-OPERATING CAN BE COSTLY: A full hearing before the Condominium Authority Tribunal (“CAT”) can be costly. An application (that goes through all three stages) are now typically in the range of $10,000 - $15,000”: Information Source for summary information: CCI-Toronto - CondoVoice - Fall 2022 (ccitoronto.org).
“COMPLIANCE APPLICATION” AGAINST TENANT: This case reported in CCI CondoVoice: While the Condominium Authority TRIBUNAL can now hear disputes between the corporation and unit owners or tenants, a COMPLIANCE APPLICATION to a Court is available to address activities or conditions that pose a risk to other residents or damage to property (Condominium Act ss 117(1) & 134). The Court terminated the tenancy. Source for information summary: 2022 ONSC 1606 (CanLII) | MTCC No. 1260 v. Singh | CanLII
OFFENDING UNIT OWNERS PAY THE PRICE: What is often not reported at an AGM are the problems some unit owners cause a Board. Non-compliance with the Declaration or Rules of the Condominium are regular tasks for a Board. In the Zaman case, an Ontario Court recommends that if a Board consults its lawyers with reference to nuisances or problems caused by a unit owner, the legal fees incurred by the Board should be charged against the unit owner causing the problem. The judge said this was a way of putting economic pressure on the offending unit owner to comply. Information Sources: The Hidden Impact of New Nuisance Laws - Canadian Condominium Institute Toronto Chapter (CCI-T) (ccitoronto.org) AND 2020 ONSC 1262 (CanLII) | Zaman v. Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1643 | CanLII
Our websites contain law information which is not legal advice or opinion.
TROUBLESOME OWNERS CAN BE BROUGHT BEFORE THE CONDO TRIBUNAL: The Condominium Authority TRIBUNAL can hear complaints about noise, odors, smoke, vapour, light, and vibration AND any nuisance in the Condo Rules or Declaration. In one case, an owner’s parking that interfered with snow storage was found to be a nuisance and the owner was ordered to comply and pay all costs the Condo Corporation had incurred, even legal fees to bring the case before the Tribunal. Information Information Source for Summary: (a) Carleton Condominium Corporation No. 132 v. Evans: Carleton Condominium Corporation No.132 v. Evans - Condominium Authority of Ontario (lexum.com) (b) A Recent CAT Decision Addressed a Novel Nuisance Dispute - Davidson Houle Allen (dhacondolaw.ca)
CONDOMINIUM BOARD POLICIES: Without necessarily publicizing them, Condominium Boards can adopt various policies. These are not new rules but guides to implement Board responsibilities and duties. For example, Corporations can have policies concerning common use areas (to ensure health & safety), and for fee collection. Policies establish timeframes, steps, and procedures and reduce arbitrariness and discretion. Information Sources for Summary: (a) Can you Enforce a Policy the same way as a Rule? - Condo Adviser (b) Human Rights Policies -Does your Condominium Corporation have one? – Lash Condo Law (c) Mandatory Vaccination Policies in Condos – Lash Condo Law (d) Can condo corporations enforce Toronto’s mask policy? | Miller Thomson LLP
CONDO BOARD DECISIONS ARE “SUPREME” IF BOARD INVESTIGATES: In a recent decision, the Condominium Authority Tribunal confirms that “deference should be shown to the decisions of a condominium corporation’s board” if the Board conducts an investigation of the particular incident. Information Source: 2022 ONCAT 92 (CanLII) | Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 2208 v. Kaissi et al. | CanLII.
CONDOMINIUM AUTHORITY TRIBUNAL (“CAT”) CAN DECIDE HUMAN RIGHTS COMPLAINT: In the Karnis case, the Tribunal confirmed it can deal with human rights issues in the context of a dispute concerning provisions in a condominium’s Declaration or By-laws that restrict or prohibit owners’ activities. Information Source: Condo Law News – DHA Law Firm and the case of YCC 435 v. Karnis et al.
CONDOMINIUM AUTHORITY GUIDE ON RESERVE FUNDS: Contributions to the reserve fund (for future repairs or replacements) are mandatory. Section 94(1) of the Condominium Act requires condominium corporations to conduct periodic studies to determine whether the amount of money in the reserve fund and the contributions to the reserve fund are adequate. Link: Reserve Funds Guide (publuu.com)
TOTAL AMOUNT IN “RESERVE” BASED ON RESERVE FUND STUDY: The Condominium Act and its regulations set out who is qualified to prepare a Reserve Fund Study. (Engineers are among the qualified group.) Those qualified to prepare such a Study estimate the amount to be held in reserve. The purpose of a Reserve Fund is to ensure there are sufficient funds for “future major repair or replacement of common elements”. The reserve fund “balance amount” may fluctuate from time to time depending on major replacements paid for in accordance with the Study and what a Study foresees as required. Information Sources: Reserve Fund Study for Condominiums in Ontario (ben-engineering.com) AND Reserve fund studies | Condominium Authority of Ontario (condoauthorityontario.ca)
SOME PEOPLE NOT CUT OUT FOR CONDOMINIUM LIVING: Lawyer Polis of the Lash firm, commenting on a recent Condo Tribunal decision, said: “There are a lot of people who are not cut out for condo living.” [Some people] “don’t understand that when they purchase a condo, they may have to give up some things in return for some benefits”. Source: Law Times: Ontario condo tribunal rules in favour of complainant over noise, but slams his aggressive behaviour | Law Times (lawtimesnews.com).
“CONDOMINIUM TRIBUNAL” ORDERS UNIT OWNER TO COMPLY WITH CORPORATION’S NOISE RULES: The owner did not join the Tribunal case and did not participate at any stage, despite being repeatedly notified. Besides facing the compliance order, the owner was also ordered to reimburse the corporation $1,850 for its legal fees and costs. Source: Schnitzler v. Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 1321 - Condominium Authority of Ontario (lexum.com). See also Hovagimian at 0308_638096561554243734.pdf (keymedia.com).
CORPORATIONS MUST KEEP RECORDS of TENANCIES: In the case (linked below), a unit owner requested copies of leases held by the corporation. Section 83 of the Condominium Act requires owners who lease their unit to provide specific information to the corporation within a certain timeframe and requires the corporation to keep a record of those notices. The corporation had none although many of the units were leased. CAT ordered the Corporation to bring its records into compliance, pay a penalty of $750 to the owner (who requested the information), and ordered payment of an additional $200 for Tribunal fees. 2022 ONCAT 77 (CanLII) | Hamid-Rajroop v. Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 728 | CanLII
CONDO FEE INCREASES AN INEVITABILITY: In condo living, the only certain things are death, taxes, and higher condo fees. A unit owner campaigning to be a director on a “no-increase” condo fee platform is a detriment to the community. Information Source and Link: August-2022-Toronto-Condo-News.pdf (stackpathcdn.com) [Page 19]. (In 2022, construction inflation (due to supply chain interruptions) and regular inflation would put previous estimates for repairs and replacements significantly out of whack in just 12 months.)
Are cameras allowed in a condominium complex? CAMERAS IN CONDOMINIUMS: Condominiums come in various forms from apartment towers to detached “homes/units”. So, what will constitute breach of privacy will vary. A camera in a peep hole that sees the comings and goings of your neighbour across the hall is likely NOT permitted. But cameras in common areas installed by the corporation - entrance lobby, parking area, laundry room - for security purposes are likely allowed as the expectation of privacy diminishes in common areas. Cameras are less likely to be in breach of privacy rights if overt - out in the open - and there is signage indicating their presence. A 2019 Canadian case established that hidden cameras installed by police require a warrant. This is a developing area of law, and this is only general information. More information available at The private side of security cameras in condos - REMI Network.
THE CONDOMINIUM MANAGER IS NOT A LANDLORD AND THE BOARD DOES NOT EXIST TO SERVE OWNERS INDIVIDUALLY: “In a condominium corporation, owners are responsible for everything going on in their unit”. “The cost of not understanding governing [condominium] documents, or thinking the rules don’t apply to them, is unpleasant surprises.” Those sentences taken from the article in January’s Toronto Condo News at this link: January-2023-Toronto-Condo-News.pdf (stackpathcdn.com).
CONDO COPORATION’S INSURANCE PREMIUMS GO UP: Insurance premiums went up 9.5 percent in 2022 and represent about 4.7 percent of a condo budget. Insurers continue to leave the residential market citing lack of profitability due to property losses. Water issues and more severe weather are causing more damage in communities. Source: January’s Toronto Condo News at this link: January-2023-Toronto-Condo-News.pdf (stackpathcdn.com).
“CONDOMINIUM TRIBUNAL” ORDERS UNIT OWNER TO COMPLY WITH CORPORATION’S NOISE RULES: The owner did not join the Tribunal case and did not participate at any stage, despite being repeatedly notified. Besides facing the compliance order, the owner was also ordered to reimburse the corporation $1850 for its legal fees and costs. Source: Schnitzler v. Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 1321 - Condominium Authority of Ontario (lexum.com)
CONDO PET RULES UPHELD: In a recent case, the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) ordered that a dog be removed because the dog exceeded the weight limit in the condominium corporation’s Rules and also because the dog was a nuisance. In doing so, the CAT also held that the dog owner had not proven a right to keep the dog due to a disability. Sources: firstname.lastname@example.org AND Waterloo North Condominium Corporation No. 70 v. Sinyard - Condominium Authority of Ontario (lexum.com)
What is an "accommodation" request? How should a request for accommodation be handled by a Condo Board? The LASH Law Firm writes: “When evaluating a resident’s accommodation requests [to go against the Rules because of very special individual circumstances], condo corporations should [i] conduct their proper due diligence, [ii] obtain advice from its legal counsel, and [iii] most importantly, ensure that there is open dialogue and discussions with the accommodation seeker, and [iv] with any subsequent concerns regarding the accommodation granted.” [In the case of York Condominium Corporation No. 288 v. Tamhane, Mr. Tamhane had 2 letters from doctors indicating he would benefit from an emotional support animal and several letters from nearby neighbours saying the dog was not a nuisance.] “It is important for condominiums to implement standardized policies for responding to such requests and, should concerns arise, discuss these concerns with the individuals before taking…enforcement steps. Entering into accommodation agreements, that are approved by both parties, is an effective way to address these concerns in a standardized manner.”
Nothing on our websites should be construed as legal advice.