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Refresher – How to Make and Consider a Motion

Earlier this week I described the five types of motions under Robert’s Rules of Order: main, subsidiary, incidental, privileged and previous. Some motions have their own specific requirements, which you can read about in detail in Robert’s Rules of Order.

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The end of neighbours

It’s a new day in the neighbourhood all across the Western world. More than 30 per cent of Canadians now say they feel disconnected from their neighbours, while half of Americans admit they don’t know the names of theirs. An

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Refresher – Robert’s Rules of Order (Part 1)

love the fall season. Thanksgiving, Halloween and AGM season (?). All jokes aside, another AGM season is quickly approaching and many notices have already been sent to the owners and mortgagees of record. This week I will provide a quick

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Oppressed condo owners force changes to the declaration

We often think that democracy is the ultimate decision-making process in a Condominium Corporation. Well, it isn’t so simple. A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court forced a Condominium Corporation to amend its Declaration to protect the interests of

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What’s that Smell? Smoke and Odours in Condos (ON)

It seems that smoking and odour problems are on the rise these days in condominiums. The reason? Likely a combination of municipal planning departments approving more high density developments and our growing intolerance for smoking (cigarettes at least). The solution?

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Learn to terminate condo corporations like a pro

It is estimated that almost 9,000 condo corporations have been created in Ontario since 1967, but no more than a half dozen have ever been terminated.     Read more……..

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Requisitions – Not all bad!

Section 46 of the Condominium Act, 1998 (the “Act”) permits the owners to demand a meeting of the owners (often called a “requisition meeting”). To prevent a single owner from causing unnecessary cost and disruption, the Act requires the demand

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Recommending new condominium rules

Pablo Picasso once said: “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” While this philosophy served Picasso well in his creative endeavours, a property manager would never want residents of his building to apply

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Good news for strata resorts in BC

The Supreme Court of British Columbia, in its recent decision in 585582 B.C. Ltd. v. Anderson, upheld as valid and enforceable a mandatory rental pool restrictive covenant registered against strata lots in a resort development. The covenant in question was

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Bad Faith and the Costs of Ignoring a Court Order

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently released its much anticipated decision in the ongoing Boily saga.  You may recall from previous blog posts that the directors of an Ottawa condo corporation were held in contempt of court for violating a

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Directors may disqualify another director without a vote of the owners (ON)

You may recall a case from last summer where a board of directors disqualified one of the directors for violating the condominium’s by-law, which included a Code of Ethics. The lower Court found that the condominium’s by-law permitted the board

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How are condominiums run?

Condominiums provide a ready-made community: rules set out in the condominium’s by-laws or declaration can tailor the neighbourhood to specific lifestyles and create a social atmosphere that appeals to you. With condos, finding the right community is as important as

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A checklist for hiring a property manager

The selection of a property manager is an important decision that needs to be weighed carefully and planned wisely, as management plays a crucial role in running the day-to-day operations of a condominium.    Read more………

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Senior Living In Condominiums: 7 Things That Condo Corporations Need To Know Right Now (Canada)

It is no secret that Canada’s population is aging.  We have all heard the news that more and more baby-boomers (born between 1946 and 1965) are retiring, or will be retiring, in the coming years. Right now, one in seven

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Rejecting meeting requisitions on minor technical grounds is a major foul (ON)

The recent Ontario Superior Court case of Hogan v. MTCC 595 demonstrates that some condo boards have not yet read the memo about being responsive to unit owners and exercising common sense. Headshaker cases like this one are worth highlighting

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Keeping condo life classy: Basic balcony etiquette

In a big city, relations between condo dwellers are not usually as warm as they are between the McConveys and Moore. Metro talked to an etiquette expert, who offered some tips to making sure it’s only the humidity creating sticky

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Condo glass panels may look great, but you’ll pay more for heat and AC

Condo buildings consist of thousands of individual components. Over time, due to wear and tear, those components need repairs and replacements. Knowing how old the complex is and when certain components were last repaired or replaced will give you an

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Notes On The Management Of BC Strata Corporations With Sections

Over the course of 2013 it came to the attention of the Real Estate Council of British Columbia (“RECBC”) that the legislative requirements related to the management of strata corporation sections were not fully understood by much of the strata

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Barking dogs can also bite: condo corps may be on the hook for dog attacks on common property (Canada)

In most cases, cohabitation between condominium residents and “a man’s best friend” go without a hitch. Society has accepted that pets form part of many families and owners are, for the most part, responsible and respectful of their neighbours. To

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Court and Tribunal Roundup

The first half of 2014 brought a bumper crop of condo-related court and tribunal cases from across Canada. The race for the top 10 cases of the year is heating up!     Read more……..

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Removing Unit Owners from Condo Units (Canada)

What does it take for a condominium corporation to force the removal of a unit owner from a unit? We have previously written blogs on this topic, highlighting the unusual nature of the facts that give rise to a situation

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The condo biz is changing, and adapting to a new generation of buyers that are staying downtown

There are a lot of people who say that millennials are just like anyone else and will want to move to the suburbs when the kids come along and that this idea that people actually want raise families in downtown

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Condo ordered to amend declaration by court

In Grigoriu v. Ottawa-Carleton Standard Condominium Corporation No. 706 [2014] O.J. No. 2218 two owners of a unit applied to the court for an order amending the condominium’ declaration under section 135 of the Condominium Act, 1998. The owners claimed

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Policy prescription for pain-free collections

Some of the most uncomfortable conversations that condo directors, managers and lawyers have with unit owners take place when owners cannot afford the monthly common expenses for their unit. While it is natural to show compassion to someone in trouble,

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Notes on the management of BC strata corporations with sections

Over the course of 2013 it came to the attention of the Real Estate Council of British Columbia(“RECBC”) that the legislative requirements related to the management of strata corporation sections were not fully understood by much of the strata management

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Restrictive Covenants in Common Elements Condos

There was recently an interesting decision by the Superior Court of Justice regarding the enforcement of two sets of restrictive covenants in a common elements condominium. A restrictive covenant is a legal obligation registered on title to land and runs

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Condo hell

Thanks to neighbour disputes, crazy restrictions and incompetent boards, condo dwellers are increasingly finding themselves boxed in    Read more……….

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Powers of attorney essential for condo unit owners

A power of attorney (“POA”) is a legal document that gives someone else the right to act on a person’s behalf. These documents can be used to oversee personal care or to handle assets and property, and can be customized

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Status certificate error costs condominium

What happens when a condominium fails to set out the monthly fees associated with a parking unit in a status certificate? That is was what apparently happened in 1716243 Ontario Inc. v. Muskoka Standard Condominium Corporation No. 54. The unit

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BCCA (Canada) Overturns Decision Allowing Post-Closing Rescission Of Pre-Sale Condo Contracts

On March 4, 2014, the B.C. Court of Appeal released its judgment in Woo v. Onni 2014 BCCA 76, reversing the decision of the court below which was the first to allow purchasers to rescind their contracts under the Real

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Top 10 condo law cases of 2013 (Canada)

In response to popular demand, here are our picks, presented in no particular order. Almost all of them have at least one lesson that can and should be picked up by the ongoing Condo Act Review being undertaken by the

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Leaky Condos – Lessons from British Columbia – A Few Things Every Property Manager Should Know

As promised in my January 25, 2014 post – the following is an article I wrote that was originally published in the Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario’s (ACMO) CM Magazine in 2009:     Read more……

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E-Cigarettes and Vaping: To Ban or Not to Ban

Boston, New York, and Chicago have already banned electronic cigarettes in all places where conventional cigarettes are. Los Angeles seems like it will soon follow suit. Although advocates claim that e-cigarettes are not dangerous to bystanders because they emit vapor

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Elected to the Board…now what?

Now that you’re on the board, what is expected of you.   Read more……..

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Second-Hand Smoke In Condominiums

What are the responsibilities of a condominium corporation where second-hand smoke is emanating from one unit to another? Are there additional responsibilities where the complaining owner is allergic to cigarette smoke?   Read more………

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Another Difficult Condominium Resident

In a recent post, we blogged about an owner who had engaged in inappropriate and abusive behaviour. In another recently-reported case, Wentworth Condo Corp. No. 34 v. Brendan Taylor and Samantha Jones, we see another condominium resident engaging in confrontational,

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Avoiding winter slip-and-fall negligence claims (Canada)

Given the weather in Calgary lately, with warm and cool days interspersed with an exceptionally large amount of snow, Calgarians – and probably individuals all across much of Canada – should be aware of the current status of the law

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Do homework about strata living

First-time buyer? Downsizer? Just someone tired of all the yard work that goes with owning a detached home? There are many reasons to consider strata living. But if you’re thinking about it, be sure to go in with your eyes

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Avoiding Winter Slip-And-Fall Negligence Claims (Canada)

Given the weather in Calgary lately, with warm and cool days interspersed with an exceptionally large amount of snow, Calgarians – and probably individuals all across much of Canada – should be aware of the current status of the law

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Accommodating A Disabled Condominium Unit Owner

The Ontario Human Rights Code provides protections and rights to persons with disabilities. Where a condominium resident provides sufficient evidence that he or she suffers from a disability attracting the protection of the Human Rights Code, then a condominium corporation

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Fallen trees – Don’t be a sap

The massive ice storm that recently devastated the Toronto area felled whole trees and large branches. This damage to the urban canopy knocked out electrical service to hundreds of thousands of people and caused untold property damage. With the post-storm

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Focus: When can court force condo owners to sell? (Canada)

A home is one’s castle, but even castles have rules. ‘There are decisions where the court will require an owner to sell their unit, but it’s only in the rarest of circumstances,’ says Joseph Salmon. ‘There are decisions where the court

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Strata Property Act (BC) Amendment Offers Remedy For Deadlocks On Special Levies

On December 12, 2013, amendments to section 173 of B.C.’s Strata Property Act, SBC 1998, c 43, came into force that allow strata corporations with majority support to apply to the BC Supreme Court to require strata owners to pay

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Getting Rid Of A Difficult Condominium Unit Owner (Canada)

In a recent case, Peel Condominium Corporation No. 98 v. Pereira, a condominium corporation made a court application pursuant to section 117 of the Condominium Act (the “Act”) seeking an order that a unit owner be required to sell and

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Strata Property Act amendment offers remedy for deadlocks on special levies (BC)

On December 12, 2013, amendments to section 173 of B.C.’s Strata Property Act, SBC 1998, c 43, came into force that allow strata corporations with majority support to apply to the BC Supreme Court to require strata owners to pay

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Are Condo Balconies Overrated?

Having the chance to work with many condo buyers in the Square One area, I have noted that the majority of condo shoppers have balconies on their “wishlist”. Buyers believe that balconies are an essential part of any condo because

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Canada: The Condominium Corporation And The Developer Board

Upon the registration of a condominium plan at Land Titles (or the first phase of a condominium plan in the case of a phased development), a condominium corporation is created. The condominium corporation is the vehicle by which the owners

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Evict thy neighbour: B.C. Court of Appeal upholds forced sale order under the Strata Property Act

The British Columbia Court of Appeal recently upheld an unprecedented order for the immediate sale of a condominium unit following the “outrageous behaviour” of the unit’s owner and her son towards their neighbours. The decision in The Owners Strata Plan

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Court and tribunal round-up to December 4, 2013

While mediation and arbitration have been mandatory for most types of condo disputes for over 12 years, it seems that there are still plenty of condo cases finding their way into the courts. According to the scuttlebutt, the judges are

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Condominium Act update on stage two recommendations – governance

The Stage 2 Solutions Report on the Condominium Act review (the “Report”) identifies five key areas for improvement relating to condo governance. The key areas and recommendations are summarized below:    Read more……

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