Canada Articles

Back to homepage

Condominiums Have a Duty to Accommodate Individuals with Disabilities

Owners and occupants of condominiums have a duty to comply with the Condominium Act, the declaration and the corporation’s other governing documents. In fact, the board of directors has an obligation to take reasonable steps to ensure that all owners

Read More

Can Condominiums Prevent Short-term Leasing of Units?

Recently, owners living in an exclusive condominium complex downtown asked me whether there was anything that could be done to prevent short-term leasing of condo units in their complex.  Short-term rentals can indeed be quite problematic for a condominium corporation

Read More

Election Act 101 for Apartment and Condominium Owners and Managers (AB)

Alberta’s provincial election is fast approaching and that can only mean two things: bright-eyed candidates door-knocking across the province, and an increasing number of calls to our office from landlords and property managers asking us if they actually have to

Read More

Pet Eviction: A Tenant Does Not Have More Rights Than an Owner

The Residential and Tenancies Act, 2006 is the legislation presently applying to landlords and tenants. It provides that “[a] provision in a tenancy agreement prohibiting the presence of animals in or about the residential complex is void.” Consequently, a landlord

Read More

Common expense collections policy redux

We published a piece last May recommending that condominium corporations enact policies to collect common expenses in an orderly, systematic way. Unfortunately, we continue to see condo boards deliberately delaying the commencement of power of sale proceedings on liened units.

Read More

Superior housekeeping at Superior Court (ON)

Though the weather suggests otherwise, spring has finally sprung in Ontario. As many condo corporations begin their seasonal cleaning and maintenance routines, our courts are likewise gearing up for significant housekeeping.  Recent changes to the Rules of Civil Procedure will

Read More

When Hoarding In Condominiums Becomes A Hazard For The Other Residents

This case involving a housing co-operative provides a good (but sad) example of the difficulties faced by a corporation (be it condominium or co-operative) when faced with a hoarder. In this case, the co-operative appears to have taken all required

Read More

When Hoarding Becomes A Hazard For The Other Residents

This case involving a housing co-operative provides a good (but sad) example of the difficulties faced by a corporation (be it condominium or co-operative) when faced with a hoarder. In this case, the co-operative appears to have taken all required

Read More

Condo lien enforcement hits the highway

Until now, mortgagees could commence their enforcement lawsuits anywhere in Ontario they pleased, regardless of where the mortgaged property is located. That option is now gone.  On March 31, 2015, rule 13.1.01 of the Rules of Civil Procedure is amended

Read More

How Long Will Condos Last?

Every time I am approached by condo buyers and owners alike, the most asked question is on the future of condominiums.  Practically speaking, condos will exist as a real-estate ownership option for as long as there are buyers willing to

Read More

Security precautions for condo dwellers

Living in a condominium means sharing space, including a building’s entrances, elevators, hallways and parking lots.  While those common spaces can be important for interactions between neighbours, they can also create security issues, as residents don’t always know who else

Read More

Condo Owners Must Pay for the Unlawful Conduct of Their Directors

Who should pay the bill when condominium directors act unlawfully and take justice in their own hand? According to the Court of Appeal it may be the owners having elected them!  We blogged already on the Ottawa case where condominium

Read More

Errors in the Declaration or Description?

Despite being reviewed by a number of people during the development phase, sometimes a declaration or description is registered with an error or inconsistency in it. For instance, where two condominiums are mirror images of each other and the documents

Read More

Conflict of Interest: Better Safe Than Sorry

With ethics and governance being such a hot topics in the corporate and political world, you won’t be surprised to hear that condominium corporations are no stranger to these concepts. Directors must be conscious of the standard of care expected

Read More

When the Keyboard is Mightier than the Sword: Mandatory Online Resolution of Strata Disputes

As readers of this blog will know, as a result of changes implemented by the Land Title and Survey Authority on November 1, 2012, almost all documents and plans submitted to the land title office for registration must now be

Read More

A Settlement to Accommodate a Disability Must Be In Writing

Mr. Taite’s initial Application before the Tribunal was dismissed last February. At the time, he was alleging that the responding condominium corporation violated the Human Rights Code by failing to accommodate his disability, which required him to drive a modified

Read More

Update on the Condominium Act Review

In September 2013, the Ontario government, in conjunction with Canada’s Public Policy Forum, published a working paper on changes to the Condominium Act of Ontario. The current Condominium Act in use in Ontario was prepared in the late 1990s and

Read More

How do green condo occupants actually use the ventilation sytems?

Many residents of new condominiums don’t fully understand the technology available to them and aren’t taking advantage of the mechanical ventilation systems in their suites.     Read more……..

Read More

The common expenses conundrum

Many people who work with condominiums raised an eyebrow after reading a recent Toronto Star story entitled “Maintenance fees take a toll on Toronto condo owners.”  The piece highlights the divergent philosophies about the interplay between common expenses and market

Read More

Move towards online dispute resolution gathers steam

A report prepared by legal futurist Richard Susskind for Britain’s Civil Justice Council suggests online dispute resolution is emerging as the latest threat to lawyer participation in the provision of legal services.     Read more………

Read More

Ontario judge applies correctness standard to Condominium Act arbitrations

On an appeal from an arbitration under the Condominium Act, in 90 George Street Ltd. v. Ottawa Carleton Standard Condominium Corporation No. 815, 2015 ONSC 336, Justice Patrick Smith applied a correctness standard of review.       Read more………

Read More

Special Assessments – What is the Limitation Period?

How much time does an owner have to commence a claim against a condominium and/or the directors if he disagrees with an action taken by the board of directors? In Ontario, the answer is normally two years from the date

Read More

Noisy Neighbour or Overwhelmed Owner?

The Court has had another opportunity to rule in the never-ending saga of Dyke v. Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 972. The owner brought a motion for contempt and other relief.   Read more……..

Read More

Heeding Professional Advice in Good Faith

they also receive the personal benefit of protection from liability if it turns out that such advice was not as accurate, appropriate or reliable
as it ought to be.

Read More

Scheduling owners’ meetings: Did you check the date?

An interesting case is before the Human Rights Tribunal right now. Three owners have filed a claim against their condominium and property manager alleging discrimination because of creed, which is contrary to the Human Rights Code. The owners are Muslim

Read More

The final frontier: smoking bans in apartments, condos

Remember when restaurants had smoking sections? Or when going out to a bar inevitably meant coming home smelling like an ashtray, even if you never took a puff on a cigarette?   Read more………

Read More

“We want to remove the board because we want to fire the manager”

So, this won’t be like my usual posts where I share a recent case or discuss a section of the Condominium Act, 1998. Today I’m going on a rant about the relationships between owners, directors, and managers.     Read more……….

Read More

Chargeback or Fine?

I’m often asked by directors if they can fine owners for unruly or disruptive behaviour, like excessive noise or improper parking. The simple answer in Ontario is no. While a condominium cannot fine an owner, it may be able to

Read More

Top 10 condo law cases of 2014 (Canada)

Happy New Year.  Our picks for the top 10 condo law cases of 2014 is an all-Ontario batch, with half being important Court of Appeal rulings. Some of them highlight the dire need for significant revision to our condo law.

Read More

Single Family Use

Most declarations for residential condominiums restrict the occupation and use of the units to residential use. Some go further and restrict the occupation and use of the units to “single family” or “one family” residences. The typical language used is

Read More

Status Certificate Error Costs Condo, Lawyer, and Others

The Court of Appeal has released its decision in Orr v. Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 1056. I encourage a full reading of the case, but here is a summary of the important facts and findings.    Read more………

Read More

Do you know your condo ABCs?

If you are a first-time condominium buyer, there may be certain terms that aren’t familiar to you. Here are some of the terms you may encounter when shopping for a condo.     Read more………

Read More

Registration of Condominium Liens

As discussed in my blog, Introduction to Condominiums, the term “condominium” refers to a system of ownership where a unit is owned separately by the individual who purchases it, while the common elements (hallways, elevators, lobby, walkways, swimming pool, front

Read More

Top Condo Cases of 2014

The courts have been busy this year! While that is good news for law bloggers, it means far too many condominiums are spending money on lawyers when they could be spending it on solutions. Here are the highlights from cases

Read More

New CRA view on whether condominium corporations are exempt from tax (Canada)

n August 18, 2014, CRA issued a new document that deals with the tax implications of a leasing arrangement between a condo corporation (the “Corporation”) and a company proposing to install solar panels on several rooftops of the condominium complex.

Read More

Dispute over landscaping repairs results in personal penalties against condo directors and a fascinating governance war story

Court decisions holding corporate directors personally liable for acting in bad faith tend to be few and far between in Canadian jurisprudence. The recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Boily et al v Carleton Condominium Corporation 145 et al,

Read More

Dispute Over Landscaping Repairs Results in Personal Penalties against Condo Directors and a Fascinating Governance War Story

Court decisions holding corporate directors personally liable for acting in bad faith tend to be few and far between in Canadian jurisprudence. The recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Boily et al v Carleton Condominium Corporation 145 et al,

Read More

Board Member Defamation

The appeal decision in a recent defamation case involving two board members of a residential co-op (Van Sickle v. Conlon, 2014ONSC 4337) provides a wake-up call to condominium board directors. Ms. Van Sickle and Mr. Conlon were both board members

Read More

Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Ontario

I am sure many of you have heard about the law requiring carbon monoxide detectors in most homes in Ontario. Here are a few key points about the law as it relates to condominiums:    Read more………

Read More

Quick Primer on Reading Reserve Funds Studies – Deficits! Deficits! Deficits!

It shocks me how regularly I find underfunded reserve funds in condominiums.  I don’t mean that from a perspective that based on the depreciated value of the asset, in accordance with the assessment of experts, that condominiums do not have

Read More

New Duty of Honest Performance of Contracts

The Supreme Court of Canada released a decision yesterday that should be read by every person doing business in Canada. While the law in Canada required parties to act in good faith in performing a contract in some instances (i.e.

Read More

Condo Dispute Wastes a Million Dollars? (Canada)

The Court of Appeal released its decision in the Boily saga in late October. For those of you that are unfamiliar with Boily, it is the case where the board and a group of owners disagreed on various changes to

Read More

Watch Out: Developers limiting their liability for building defects

As the buying frenzy for new condos continues, a growing trend threatens to leave purchasers poorly protected against construction deficiencies. Purchasers and their lawyers should pay attention.    Read more…….

Read More

Condo can’t revive lost lien right using section 134

The Court of Appeal released another condominium case this month: Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1908 v. Stefco Plumbing & Mechanical Contracting Inc. As a refresher, this is the case where the declarant refused to release control of the condominium

Read More

Airbnb changing condo landscape (ON)

Over the past few years, Airbnb has exploded as a web site that connects people with spare rooms to travellers looking for short-term rentals.   In 2011, the site listed 50,000 rooms, a number that has grown to more than 555,000

Read More

Developer Board Entitled to Waive Developer’s Liability on behalf of Condo

The Court of Appeal released its decision yesterday in Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 2095 v. West Harbour City (I) Residences Corp. This is the case where the first board of directors appointed by the declarant adopted a by-law requiring

Read More

The Condominium’s Duty Regarding Hoarding (Part 2)

I know what you are thinking: “Now that I know what hoarding is and why I should care about it, how do I fix it?” Well, like I said in my last post, there is no one size fits all

Read More

The Condominium’s Duty Regarding Hoarding (Part 1)

We have probably all seen an episode of, or at least a commercial for, one of the various hoarding shows on television these days. The shows depict a person or family living in unimaginable conditions with piles of goods, garbage,

Read More

Reader Feedback Q and A (re Robert’s Rules)

Over the past few weeks I posted about the types of motions under Robert’s Rules of Order. I had several comments and questions about my previous posts so I thought I would take a few moments to respond today.   Read

Read More

Shared Facilities Dispute Requires Med/Arb Despite Oppression Claim

The Court recently had to determine whether a dispute with respect to a shared facilities agreement must proceed to mediation and arbitration or whether it could be heard in court (see Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 965 v. Metropolitan Toronto

Read More