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Not-so-super superintendent?

Many high-rise condominiums have superintendents or “supers”. In some condominiums the duties of the super are limited to basic maintenance obligations. In others the super is more like superman, with duties ranging from handyman to complaints investigator.  Sometimes the super

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The future of cleaning (part 2): Condo Disruption Series

Years ago in the early days of my professional life I was sharing a place with a friend. We knew each other well enough to know we needed a cleaning lady. Both of us were clean by nature, but as

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The future of cleaning (part 1): Condo Disruption Series

Cleaning services. Probably not the first subject that comes to mind when thinking about disruption in the condo world. But there is a lot in store for condos that will require serious thought from boards and management.   Read the article……………

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When is a developer not a developer? The Owners Strata Plan No 66375 v Suncorp Metway Insurance Ltd (No 2)

The plaintiff is the Owners Corporation in respect of a mixed residential and commercial strata development in Camperdown (the development). The development involved the conversion of a warehouse complex owned by Mr and Mrs King (the Kings). The Kings had

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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 this year for the 150th anniversary of the Confederation, Canadian flags will start popping up everywhere. How are condominiums to deal with requests from owners wishing

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Time-saving tips for better board meetings

In the condominium world, meetings take place several times a year — often monthly, but sometimes more frequently if there are contentious or pressing items that require a decision. Most board members have probably attended meetings slated to last one

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Update: New Dates for Condo Act (ON)

You’ve probably heard by now that the dates have changed for implementing changes to the Condominium Act, 1998 (“Condo Act”), and various other pieces of legislation under the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015 (also known as “Bill 106”). The start

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Court Orders Sale of Abusive Owner’s Condo Unit

In a recent case, The Owners, Strata Plan NW 1245 v. Linden, the Supreme Court of British Columbia ordered a noisy, abusive condominium owner to vacate and sell his unit within 30 days. In the event that the unit owner

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Drone use comes with flight risks for condos

Anyone who has attended a condo trade show in the past few years has no doubt seen the wonderful new array of tech gadgets available for the condo community. They range from super high-resolution cameras to commercial drones that can

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NEW Dates for the Implementation of the Condo Act (and the Condo Management Services Act)

The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services has just announced the dates by which most of the changes to the Condominium Act and to the Condominium Management Services Act will come into force.     Read the article…………..

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Condo Act Amendments and Common Expense Increases

At the ACMO / CCI EO Condominium Conference on June 2nd, I offered my view that the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015 (including amendments to the Condominium Act and the introduction of mandatory licensing for condominium property managers) will likely

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10 Tips to Improve the Lives of Condo Owners… and of Condo Directors

Condo democracy has had a fair bit of bad press recently. Vote rigging, fraudulent proxies and director collusion made headlines in May. But is it really all gloom and doom in condos under Ontario skies? In this post, we provide

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Ontario Government Mandates Elevator Reliability Research

In a prior blog post, we reported that Bill 109, Reliable Elevators Act, 2017, was introduced as a private members bill to address elevator reliability in high rises, including condominiums.  With the growth in the development of high-rise residential condominiums

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Development: Unique Condo Uses

I’ve been working on a large number of condo developments in the past few weeks so I thought I’d take a few minutes to discuss some interesting uses for the condo concept.  Before the Act was amended in 1998 there

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Countdown to your Next AGM (Under the New Condo Act)

The clock is ticking towards the implementation of the “New” Condo Act! The implementation of this new regime will be done in phases over the next few months. Some of the early changes will affect how condo corporations give notice

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Strategy – Your condo can do better

Annual revenue approaching $1 million, market valuation of $50 – $60 million, 4-6 full or part-time staff members, a management team and a board of directors. It’s a typical 100 unit condo in a Canadian urban area, but you can

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Is lien work really for lawyers only?

This post is likely to be unpopular with my colleagues, but it needs to be said.  Lien work is gravy work for lawyers. It takes us very little time from start to finish, it can be easily delegated to staff,

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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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