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Condominium Act Reform and Licensing of Managers – A Brave New World

The Condo Act has been undergoing some changes, starting early December 2015 when Bill 106 received Royal Assent, and was officially called the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015 (“PCOA”). The three main areas it covers are: (a) major reform to

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Steps Required by Condos to Allow for Electronic Service of Documents

Condo corporations are often required to send formal notices to owners. These formal communications will increase under the “new” Act. Corporations may be able to reduce cost (and save trees) by switching to electronic communications. Here is how.   Read the

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Insurance Deductibles By-laws – A Continuation (ON)

There’s been considerable dialogue across Ontario on the following: When Section 105 of the Condominium Act is amended, condominium corporations will no longer be able to pass Insurance Deductibles By-laws. But what about by-laws passed before then? Will those existing

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Licences for Property Managers

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that the government has created significant changes to the condominium landscape in Ontario. One of the biggest changes is that property managers will require licences to provide condominium management services in

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Condo Children

What do you think about raising children in condominiums? It seems everyone has an opinion about it. Most write about the perceived cons of condo living, like having no backyard. Recently, I’ve read several articles (like this one and this

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Airbnb in Condos: Focus on British Columbia

As in Ontario and many other jurisdictions, Airbnb and similar short-term leasing web-based services are big business in British Columbia. While some condo communities have embraced Airbnbs, requiring owners to provide guest information to the concierge and charging user fees

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Green Initiatives in Condos

Most people these days are making a conscious effort to reduce their impact on the environment. Some activities are so common that they have become the norm. We recycle. We turn the lights off when we leave a room. Others

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Court Order Against Abusive Condominium Unit Owner

In a recent case, YCC No. 163 v. Robinson, a condominium corporation was successful in obtaining a court order requiring that a unit owner refrain from abusing, harassing, threatening or intimidating the corporation’s employees, representatives and management staff.   The

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Insurance Deductibles By-laws – Will Existing By-laws be Grandfathered?

There’s been considerable dialogue across Ontario on the following: When Section 105 of the Condominium Act is amended, condominium corporations will no longer be able to pass Insurance Deductibles By-laws. But what about by-laws passed before then? Will those existing

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Marijuana in Condominiums- My take on the issue (ON)

Marijuana will soon be legal (for persons over a certain age). Growing marijuana at home, for one’s own consumption and limited to a certain number of plants, will also be legal. What does this mean for condominiums?  In terms of

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Amendments to the Condominium Act: Repair & Insurance Obligations in relation to Units

The coming legislative amendments will bring some changes relating to repair and maintenance obligations of condominium corporations and owners. What are those changes; and what impact will they have on condominium insurance?  The Condominium Act (the “Act”) currently indicates that,

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Court orders condo owner who harassed building management staff to cease and desist (ON)

A condominium owner who called building management staff offensive and degrading names has been ordered by a judge to cease and desist from harassing them. The decision shows that the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act’s harassment provisions can require

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Bill 109, Reliable Elevators Act, 2017 – Proposed New Ontario Legislation

Bill 109, Reliable Elevators Act, 2017 has recently been introduced in the Ontario legislature to address elevator reliability problems in high-rise buildings, including condominiums.  There are two facets to Bill 109. Before a building permit is issued to construct a

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What to Do When Condo Owners Send Insulting and Harassing Emails?

Condo owners are often the first to notice when something needs the attention of the board or management. Whether it’d be a burned light bulb or a squeaky door. Emails facilitate these service call requests. But what is a corporation

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Electric vehicles. Is your condo ready? Part 2 of Condo Disruption Series

Electric vehicles or EVs for short, are becoming more and more common on our roads with just about every car manufacturer offering a 100% electric vehicle or hybrid version. As more people purchase EVs, expectations that your condo parking lot

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Where do I plug my Tesla? Part 1 of Condo Disruption Series

If you think that disruption is only impacting taxi drivers and fast food workers, sorry folks, disruption is everywhere and that list includes changes that will impact the condo industry.  I recently worked for a ‘big-four’ accounting / consulting firm

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Owner’s Communication with Condominium’s Staff was Antisocial, Degrading and Harassing (ON)

A recent Court decision highlights a situation in which an owner’s communications were considered by the Court to be sufficiently harassing to require a cease and desist order and a compliance order.   The Court found the communication, which included

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Electric Vehicles in Condos

Today, in celebration of Earth Day (yes I know I’m late), I thought that I would write about an environmental issue that is becoming more common in condominiums: electric vehicles. An electric vehicle is one powered by electricity stored in

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Condo Arrears Include Legal Fees

In a recent unreported Ottawa case, a condo owner sued his condominium to recover the legal fees charged against his unit following his failure to pay his common expenses on time. This case reminds owners of the importance of paying

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The Final Version of the Licensing Regulations for Condo Managers is Officially Out! (ON)

The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services has just issued and posted online the final version of the Licensing Regulations for Condo Managers! You can read the final text here. While the precise education requirements for condo managers have yet

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Legislative Changes – Condominium Insurance Deductibles (ON)

Once proclaimed into force, the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015 (the “PCOA”) will amend the provisions governing the responsibility for the condominium corporation’s insurance deductible.  Under the current legislation, the deductible amount under the corporation’s insurance policy covering the common

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The Most Important Facts to Know About Common Area Warranties (BC)

As we move into our brand new homes, we are mainly focused on what is happening inside our strata lot; most owners won’t know much about warranties and how warranties work. We often ask, “Do we have separate warranties for

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Condo Arrears Include Legal Fees (ON)

In a recent unreported Ottawa case, a condo owner sued his condominium to recover the legal fees charged against his unit following his failure to pay his common expenses on time. This case reminds owners of the importance of paying

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Records Requests under the New Regulatory Framework (ON)

The new draft regulations to be established under the Condominium Act provide more detail respecting what is expected of both condominiums and owners alike in relation to the retention and production of condominium records. This blog examines the new legislative

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If you can’t say something nice…

…don’t say anything at all. This is one of the first lessons most people learn as preschoolers. If they continued to say negative things about others, there were usually consequences, like a timeout or their favourite toy was taken away.

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Disaster Planning: Before, During, and After

If you’ve read the headlines, you know the risks are real. From wildfires to raging floods, and corporate fraud to cyber attacks, there any number of ways disasters can take an organization offline. Recognizing these risks is important, but for

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Can a condo owners’ meeting be discriminatory?

Condominium corporations are a microcosm of society, made up of individuals with divergent beliefs, practices and needs. What if boards of directors were required to select dates for annual general meetings (AGMs) or special owners’ meetings that all unit owners

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Court Certifies Class Action Lawsuit by Condo Purchasers Against Developer

An Ottawa condominium unit owner has commenced a class action lawsuit against a condominium developer, claiming that the developer breached the disclosure obligations set out in section 72 of the Condominium Act, 1998 when it turned out that the forced

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Is your Condo Ready for the Legalization of Marijuana?

Last week, the government of Canada introduced legislation to legalize and regulate the possession, production and use of marijuana in Canada. What does that mean for your condo corporation? It may be time to update your rules.   Read the article………….

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Recap – Motions at Meetings

It is AGM season again. Rather than re-invent the wheel, I decided to highlight a post from two years ago about motions at meetings using Robert’s Rules of Order. I posted a Chart that I had made summarizing the motions

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Recap: Requisition Meetings

I’ve had a few questions about requisition meetings recently so I thought I would take some time today to make a few comments about them.  First, a requisition does not always mean that the owners distrust the board or think

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Accessing Justice from Your Smartphone: The Civil Resolution Tribunal (BC)

Starting June 1, 2017, certain small claims disputes will be adjudicated online rather than in a traditional courtroom in British Columbia, thanks to the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT), the first online tribunal of its kind in Canada.  The CRT is

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A property manager’s guide to roof inpections

At least twice per year, property managers should inspect and conduct maintenance on their roofs. An inspection in the spring will identify any damage that occurred over the winter months, and an inspection in the fall will ensure the roof

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When To Retain a Licensed Engineer

It is commonplace for businesses and community associations to retain an accountant, or a lawyer, or a financial advisor; but how often does one think about retaining a Professional Engineer?  Engineering oversight on your technical projects pays for itself in

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Court refuses to order Medical Examination of Misbehaving Owner (ON)

A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court shows that Courts can be reluctant to Order a medical examination of a misbehaving owner – unless there is some real evidence of a mental health issue.  In the case of Toronto

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Accommodating disabilities: What medical evidence is required?

It is well known that condominiums owe a duty to accommodate persons with disabilities. It is less clear, however, what constitutes adequate proof of a disability. Ambiguous medical notes containing no meaningful details are often the only documentation given to

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Case Study: Harrison West Tower Re-pipe

The Harrison West Condominium Association required a re-pipe of their historic 24-floor residential tower situated in the desirable PSU area of Portland Oregon. Community Engineering Services, PLLC formed a team with engineering specialists Dan Robles, PE, David Coles, PE, Architect

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Galvanized Pipe Condition Assessment

Community Engineering Services, PLLC was retained by a home owners association representatives to support a Galvanized Pipe Condition Assessment for a high-rise condominium in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. The results published here were presented to a

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Addressing Water System Failures Before They Happen

In the heyday of the real estate bubble, developers flipped tens of thousands of apartment structures into condominiums – with little regard for the condition of the potable water system. Many of these galvanized steel or early copper systems are

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Service Life of Building Components

The standard reference for service life of building components such as HVAC systems, Plumbing, air handlers, Digital Controls, and elevators, etc. may come from many different reference books whose authors have deduced, observed, or tested a sample of similar components

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Correcting HOA Maintenance Dysfunction

Here’s How The Problems Start:  The board of directors of a homeowner’s association is entrusted by the residents to hire a contractor to perform a complicated reconstruction project. Unfortunately, condominium board members are not very good at writing contracts or

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5 Questions About Reserve Fund Studies

The Reserve Study is one of the most important documents that a shared asset community can own. Coengineers, PLLC complies with the more stringent standard of the Canadian Reserve Study Act combined with the ASTM E2018-08 standard for building condition

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New Condo Authorities Launch their Websites!

The “new” Condo Act and the new Condo Management Services Act are expected to be implemented in phases over the next few months. While proposed regulations to this legislation are still in draft form, the new “Condo Authorities” expected to

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When private interests infiltrate the condo board

Why does one become a director? It’s generally not the applause, the pay cheque, or the pleasure of being bombarded in the elevators by other residents’ questions. Some directors cite interest in playing their part to help their home thrive,

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Changes are Coming: Voting (ON)

Big changes are coming to the voting procedures for owners’ meetings. I’ve previously written about the changes for notices and pre-notices, but you’ll also need to familiarize yourself with the new requirements for voting at owners’ meetings.   Read the article…………

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Pick or Pass: What You Need to Know About Pre-Construction Condos

Toronto’s housing market is as diverse as its people: ranging in price, size, and location. I pick a Toronto listing or trend to focus on each week and review it with a professional’s eye. What makes a property a great

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Major Changes to Condo Insurance and Repair Obligations

The province of Ontario is in the process of adopting sweeping changes to the Condominium Act. In this post we discuss how the new provisions will drastically change who is responsible to repair (and therefore who is responsible to insure)

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Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees, or Does It?

What can a condominium do when it is facing a large deficit or an unexpected repair project has depleted the reserve fund? Typically, the condominium would levy a special assessment or increase the monthly fees. In some cases, a loan

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Aging Condominium updates for an Aging Population

Condominiums are not just for young people, there are many elderly condo residents that bought their units in the 1980’s. Many early construction condo buildings are now facing challenges of providing amenities to owners who are 65 years or older.

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Proposed New Condo Regulation – Mandatory Training and Disclosure for Condominium Board Directors

Being a condominium director is a volunteer position. However, it comes with considerable responsibility, as the board of directors of a condominium corporation has the responsibility to manage the affairs of the corporation. For many unit owners, their condominium unit

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