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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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Allocating Risk When Hiring Professionals

We frequently review contracts between associations and licensed professionals, like Architects and Engineers. One common provision that many of these professionals are inserting to their contracts is to limit any liability they have for performing their services. We have several

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Focus: Lawyers optimistic about condo changes (ON)

Significant legislative changes in the works may help resolve disputes between condominium boards and unit owners more smoothly, lawyers say.  Read more……

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How to avoid condo board breakdowns

When a condominium community goes to war, everyone loses. The owners lose trust in the board of directors’ ability to manage the condominium. Necessary repairs go undone. Not enough money is collected to pay for future repairs. Nothing gets accomplished, and

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What is a Reserve Fund Study?

A reserve fund is a separate fund that is maintained by the condominium corporation. The reserve fund is funded by condominium owners, and is used to pay for the major repair and replacement of common elements and assets of the

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How to run a condominium meeting

Are you the Director of a Condo Association or Condo Board? Efficiently and effectively running a Board Meeting can be harder than it sounds. To ensure you are making the most of everyone’s time, follow these easy tips. As always,

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Introduction to Condominiums

Condominiums have become increasingly popular in recent years among all age groups, including younger first time buyers and empty nesters. A condominium is actually a legal definition that refers to a method of ownership, not a type of building.  

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Different Types of Condominiums

In Ontario, there are a number of types of condominiums that may be developed. Under the Condominium Act, 1998, the types of condominiums provided for fall into two categories: leasehold and freehold. There are then four subcategories of freehold condominiums:

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Toronto condo fraud: Embezzlement, kickbacks and bid-rigging

“Condo owners in Ontario lose millions of dollars a year, because of bid rigging and fraud,” alleges Anne-Marie Ambert, a retired York University sociology professor who was recently on the expert panel of the Ministry of Consumer Service’s review of

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Canada: Service Animals In No-Pet Condos

Pets in condominiums is a very controversial topic. Some condominiums prohibit pets and other condominiums allow them. Prudent pet owners should be checking the condominium’s documents before buying a condominium to ensure that pets are permitted.   Read More…..

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Condominium Dispute Resolution Model for Ontario

In early 2012, the Joint Government Relations Committee of the Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario (ACMO) and the Toronto & Area Chapter of the Canadian Condominium Institute (CCI) formed a Dispute Resolution Sub-Committee.  Following is their report:

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How can condo directors avoid personal liability?

We have, in the recent past, blogged about the Boily case. In this Ottawa case, a board of directors was found to be in contempt of court and was ordered to personally pay in excess of $96,000 in legal costs.

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The key to safety in a condo fire? Be prepared

Do you know what to do if there’s a fire in your condo? Though there are codes to ensure buildings are constructed to a high standard of safety, there are other things you can do as a condo resident to

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Welcome and wisdom to new condo directors

Dear New Board Member(s): I wish to extend my congratulations and gratitude for accepting what is a major responsibility, that is, serving on the board. The purpose of my letter is to offer some words based upon my own experience

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How to Tame a Rogue Condo Board Member

Have you ever dealt with a bullying or disruptive board member? Sometimes referred to as a “rogue”, this director can arise almost unsuspectingly, wreaking havoc on board meetings and threatening the effective and efficient business of your condo corporation. Sound

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Condo Scene: Keeping safe in a condo fire

Do you know what to do if there’s a fire in your condo? Though there are codes to ensure buildings are constructed to a high standard of safety, there are other things you can do as a condo resident to

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How should a strata deal with the owner from hell? – part 3

In my January 2012 and July 2012 blog posts, I discussed the ongoing saga of the Jordisons, arguably the epitome of strata owners from hell. For a period of years, the Jordisons continually behaved in an obnoxious and outlandish manner

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Canada: Condo cost rulings tilting away from generous awards

Several court decisions dealing with cost recovery have emanated out of condo land lately. While the ratios vary, the scattering takes on a distinct shape when viewed as a group that’s trending away from generous cost awards for condominium boards

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Time to abolish the owner-occupied director position

It is rare for us at Ontario Condo Law Blog to beat up on an underdog, but the owner-occupied reserved position on condo boards is decidedly worthy of that honour. That reserved position (set out in the Condominium Act, 1998, subsections

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Crime at the Condo

A disjointed sense of personal violation follows a crime. Are condos targets for all manner of malfeasance?  Read More……

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Condo owners may find disputes covered by provincial Condominium Act

Q: Our board failed to specify the reason for a special assessment, as required by our bylaws. A request for the reason was unsuccessful and I contacted the Ministry of Consumer Services. A ministry representative advised they do not enforce

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Condo culture: Rules are rules and they apply to all residents

Q: I just moved into a high-rise condominium. I found out after I moved in that there’s a weight limit on dogs. The dog I was going to buy is 4.5 kilograms over the limit established by the condominium rule. It

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Condo Etiquette – the power of please and thank you

Do you ever have days when everyone seems downright rude? I have no idea what the cause is — perhaps it’s the barometric pressure or the phase of the moon. But when you try to keep calm and carry on

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Ontario: Directors personally responsible for costs of litigation to quash owners’ rights

Noteworthy costs awards were recently released in Middlesex Condominium Corporation No. 232 v. Owners, which we cited as number 6 in our top 10 condo law cases of 2012 as follows: Faced with an increasingly unhappy ownership, the board commenced

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To condo owners – speak up

I hate to harp, but while the fallout over the provincial budget is astounding and distracting, there is other business to attend to that may have an immediate effect on the life, liberty and bank balance of hundreds of thousands

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Asbestos in the condominium – now what?

The Condominium Act, 1998, SO, c.19 (the “Act”) is sometimes inaccurately viewed as addressing all things related to the function and maintenance of a condominium corporation. The common law and other legislation greatly affect how a corporation must be managed

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5 things you don’t know about condo fees

For many homebuyers, the issue of condo fees is as contentious as they come. In one camp are those who can’t see past paying money into an association that may or may not use that money effectively; in the other

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The challenge of condo design upgrades ever-growing

In a prior column on ‘The Southampton’, a condominium located in the west end of Toronto, I indicated that it is a noteworthy example of a property that has been maintained in outstanding condition throughout its current lifespan of nearly

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Canada: Fraud forces condo owners to pay thousands

Their fears are coming true. Hundreds of people across Toronto who own units in condo buildings allegedly defrauded of millions of dollars by a former property management company are now coughing up big bucks for special assessment fees.  Read More……

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Canada: Realtor rallies disgruntled condo owners

While condominium owners love to moan and groan about the problems with the developments in which they live, getting them to join an industry consumer action group is like trying to pull teeth.  “We’ve been trying to have condo owners

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