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Competition Bureau Investigation: How Should Corporations Respond?

It’s no secret that there has been a significant rise of condominium living in Canada, particularly in the Greater Toronto Area. It is estimated that three-quarters of all new homes purchased in the GTA are condominiums. The increase in number

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Ontario Court of Appeal Recognizes that “Business Judgment Rule” Applies to Condominium Board Decisions

In a couple of prior blog posts, we blogged about a case (3716724 Canada Inc. v. CCC No. 375), where the Ontario Superior Court of Justice found that a condominium corporation had unfairly disregarded the interests of a commercial parking

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Neighbour vs. Neighbour

Lifestyle clashes are inevitable when people of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds live on top of each other in a forced community. When different priorities collide, a siege mentality can set in.

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Condo Water Leaks

Often when there is a leak in a condominium unit, there is an assumption that the leak emanated from the unit directly above. However, this may not necessarily be the case.  In a recent case, Roa v. TSCC No. 1764,

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Halloween in Condos: It Doesn’t Need to be Frightening?!?

Yes, it is a bit early for this topic, but I love everything about Autumn, including Halloween! If you have any Halloween enthusiasts in your complex you’ll likely see the decorations out in the next few weeks (if your rules

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Costs – When An Owner Sues The Condominium Corporation And Loses

There have been some recent cases where condominium owners have sued the condominium corporation in Small Claims Court – and lost. See for example the following: Wexler v. CCC 28 (currently under Appeal), Wu v. CCC 383 and Pearson v.

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Defining “Repair”

A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court, Middlesex Condominium Corp. No. 195 v Sunbelt, again highlights the importance of defining “repair”, and particularly distinguishing between “repair” and “maintenance”.  The MCC 195 case dealt with two issues:  Responsibility for certain

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‘Business judgment’ rule extends to condo boards, appeal court says

Condominium directors challenged in court by unit owners can take comfort from a unanimous Ontario Court of Appeal ruling that endorses curial deference and expressly extends the “business judgment” rule to condo boards.  The business judgment rule, created in the

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CRTC Ruling on Telecom Service Provider Access to Condo Buildings

In a recent decision, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (“CTRC”) threatened to cut off all telecommunications services to a condominium building if the condominium corporation did not provide timely access on reasonable terms and conditions to a fourth telecommunications

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Can a Condo Board Prevent New Telecommunication Companies from Offering Services?

Condominiums in Ontario are self-governed by an elected Board of Directors. This leaves condominium Directors with a significant amount of discretion and autonomy to make decisions relating, amongst other things, to the kinds of services that are utilized by each

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The “5 Ws” of a Condo AGM

Fall is often a good time for condominium corporations to hold their annual general meeting (“AGM“) of owners. Owners are back home after the summer holidays and snowbirds have yet to migrate to warmer weather for the winter. My condominium

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Airbnb: Does Your Condo Have a Rule Prohibiting Short-term Leasing?

The controversy continues over hotel-like nightly rentals of residential condominium units through the Airbnb website. This may be the hottest topic in condominium law right now (in addition to the revised Condominium Act, of course)! Every week there appears to

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Defibrillators in Condominiums

One of the question we are increasingly being asked by our condominium clients is whether they should consider installing automated external heart defibrillators and, if so, what liability may be associated with the installation and use of such defibrillators.  It

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Trespassing in Condos

Trespassing is an issue many condominiums have to address at some point in time. Maybe the condominium is located beside a local hangout, like a school, a mall, or a park. Maybe the common elements include features that attract people

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Ambiguous Condo Docs Cause Another Dispute

I’m often asked to review condominium documents because the language used is not clear. One reason is the legalese used by many lawyers when drafting the documents. (“Now herewithin witnesseth” really?). Do we think it makes us sound smart? Whatever

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Human Rights Complaint About Condo Board Meetings in Mandarin Settled

In a prior blog post we wrote about a group of condominium unit owners in British Columbia who filed a complaint with the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, claiming that they were being discriminated against because the condominium board (the

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Passing Bylaws

Meeting quorum for the election of Condo Board of Directors means gathering representation from at least 25% of owners. Just meeting this minimum can be difficult for some Corporations. So imagine having to pass a bylaw where not only does

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Electric Vehicles Are No Longer a Passing Fad (ON)

Electric Vehicles (EV) sales, particularly in Ontario, are poised for a big jump in the next couple of years. Up until now fully electric cars fell into two categories: lower range and lower priced cars such as the Nissan Leaf

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Can Condo Directors be Sued for Conspiracy?

An interesting case came out of Toronto last week where the owner of three commercial condominium units commenced a claim against the condominium corporation and the directors personally, claiming conspiracy, nuisance and intentional economic interference. This raises an interesting question:

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On-line Condo Dispute Resolution in British Columbia

Effective July 13, 2016, strata (condominium) disputes in British Columbia can be submitted on-line to the Civil Resolution Tribunal (“CRT”). The CRT has been established as a cost-effective and timely way to resolve disputes. “CRT encourages a collaborative, problem-solving approach

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Drone Regulations in the US

In a prior blog post we reported about an out-of-control drone that crashed into a Florida condominium.  The Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) in the US recently announced that it had enacted regulations governing the commercial operation of drones. The new

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The First Year in the Life of a Condominium Corporation

The first year of a condominium corporation is a big one. In addition to dealing with ongoing construction work, construction deficiencies and perhaps budgetary issues, the board of directors has to take important decisions in terms of management of the

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How to Calculate the First Year Budget Deficit

Unfortunately, many budget statements are grossly inadequate, which leads to significant deficits in the first year and sharp increases in fees in subsequent years. The fees are kept unreasonably low and/or expenses are estimated at unrealistic amounts to make it

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Court finds that strata owners in Victoria cannot make rules to prevent the use of an apartment for short-term lettings (BC)

In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court of Victoria has found that planning law, not strata law, is to govern short-term lettings of strata apartments.  Specifically, in Owners Corporation PS 501391P v Balcombe [2016] VSC 384, Justice Riordan found that

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Owner not oppressed by by-law restricting use of parking spaces

I recently read an interesting case about parking rights in a commercial condominium. The applicant was the owner of three units, which were leased for use as a restaurant. The owner commenced an application against her condominium after it passed

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Police Search Rights on Condominium Common Elements – An American Case

We previously blogged about an Ontario case where a man accused of drug trafficking was acquitted, as the police had on three occasions entered the common elements of the condominium in which the accused resided and owned a unit, without

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Condo Unit Owner Awarded Damages for Condo Corporation’s Breach of Repair Obligations

In a recent case, Ryan v. YCC No. 340, a condominium unit owner was awarded almost $70,000 in damages plus pre-judgment interest, after the Ontario Superior Court of Justice found that the condominium corporation had breached its repair and maintenance

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Woodpeckers Cause Unexpected Condominium Expenses

A condominium in Kelowna B.C. is facing considerable unplanned expense ($225,000) to repair damage caused by woodpeckers to the exterior of the building.   Read the article………..

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Courts taking note of unreasonable positions (ON)

“Life would be much neater if all disputes could be terminated unilaterally,” wrote Justice F. L. Myers in the recent Couture v. TSCC No. 2187 decision.  What started as a relatively simple dispute with respect to the lease of a

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Improper Use of the Indemnification Clause

Many declarations contain a clause that requires the owners to indemnify the corporation for a loss, cost, damage or injury to the common elements or units if it was caused by the owner, his family, tenants, guests etc. Many condominiums

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Court Rules That Condominium Declaration Governs

In a recent case, a couple of parking unit owners challenged the common expense allocation for their parking units that was set out in the condominium declaration.   Read the article……………..

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How to Get Involved in a Condo Association Committee

Many Owners want to get involved in their Condo Association, but they don’t know where to start. Condo Associations are daunting and often have an ill repute. Condo Committees are a great way for you to start giving back to

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Gardening on high: Balconies, decks and rooftop terraces

Backyard gardens to die for are great if you have a backyard. If you’re a condo or apartment dweller, or even an urban homeowner with more deck than back forty, it’s a different story. Your outdoor space is limited. It

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Defeating an Application to be Added as a Defendant (BC)

The Owners, Strata Plan KAS 2971 v. American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida, et al., 2016 BCSC 581  Most actions commenced by a strata corporation[1] alleging negligence in the design and construction of their condominium development name multiple parties as

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How to manage shared facilities in condos without getting into a war

Unlike squabbles over who gets the last scoop of ice-cream (summer is here!), conflicts over shared common facilities between multiple communities can’t be easily resolved through just a game of rock-paper-scissors. We’ve seen how ugly it can turn out to

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The Challenges of Managing a High-Rise Building: What Every Property Manager Needs to Know

Nearly every Toronto property management company offers administrative services, condominium services, financial services and maintenance management services. While most multi-unit properties will have the same requirements, the action plan will differ depending on the type of building.    Read the

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Court Declares That Owners’ E-Mail Addresses Are Not Condominium Records

In a recent case, Wu v. CCC, a condominium unit owner sued the condominium corporation after the corporation refused to provide the owner with the e-mail addresses of all of the unit owners. The owner claimed that the corporation had

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Considering Amalgamation?

Amalgamation is simply the process of combining of two or more existing condominiums to create a new condominium.Sometimes it is two condominiums, other times it is ten or more.     Read the article………….

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Can a Condominium Corporation Prohibit the Display of the Canadian Flag?

With Canada Day just around the corner and important festivities expected to take place next year for the 150th anniversary of the Confederation, Canadian flags will start popping up everywhere and condominium corporations may be faced with situations where owners

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A Reminder About Reserve Funds and Status Certificates

If a condominium corporation is aware of any circumstances that may result in an increase in the common expenses (that is, an increase beyond inflation), this must be disclosed in Paragraph 12 of the status certificates. Therefore, something may need

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Condos Do Not (Always) Have to Disclose Sewer Backups in their Status Certificate

In a recent Ottawa case, the court had to determine whether the condominium corporation was responsible for the damage caused by repeated sewer backups originating from common elements, which damaged an owner’s unit basement. As unfortunate as the situation was

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Owner’s Refusal to Co-Operate With Fireplace Maintenance Requirements – An Expensive Lesson (ON)

In the compliance proceeding case MTCC No. 634 v. Adamo, a condominium corporation had asked that fireplace maintenance be completed; however, one owner steadfastly refused to fix the problems with his unit’s fireplace to bring it into compliance. Prior to

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Court Orders Access to Condominium Unit

In a recent case, YCC No. 922 v. Lu, the owners of a condominium unit were ordered by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to permit the condominium corporation to enter the unit for the purpose of inspecting and repairing

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Five things that drive you nuts about strata living

We all know about the big issues in apartment living – pets, parties, parking, smoking and short-stay lets.  But what about those little irritations – the ones that are no big deal but still drive you nuts? Here are a

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Case wades into excessive water use in condos (ON)

The news that the recently elected federal Liberal government plans to legalize marijuana may leave Canadians happy, sad, or just very, very mellow. However you feel about it, the changing landscape is bound to create unintended dilemmas for condo corporations.

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3 Things Property Management Must Consider Before Hiring a Security Company

Living in a condominium building isn’t like living in a detached home, where it’s up to residents to install a security system or where they have the option to decide which security measures they want to enforce. A major reason

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Unreasonable Owners + Reasonable Board = Costs for Condo

A recent decision of the Superior Court of Justice illustrates how the conduct of the parties can sway a judge when it comes to the issue of costs. The case is York Condominium Corporation No. 922 v. Frank Lu et

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Another Interesting Court Decision about Condominium Collections

There was another interesting case in December last year about the rights of condominium corporations to collect common expenses.     Read the article………..

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Condo Directors Have a Limited Right to Privacy

One of our readers asked me to elaborate on how this right to privacy may apply to condo directors. Are they entitled to have the same expectation of privacy or is it all “fair game” considering that they have stuck

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Some Things Stay the Same (Bill 106)

In this blog, we’ve written about several things in the Condominium Act, 1998 (the “Act”) that are to be changed once Bill 106 – the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015 – comes into effect. But there are a number of

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