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Condos will Have to File Yearly Information Returns

Ontario is seeking your input on another set of proposed regulations. This one deals with proposed annual Information Returns, which corporations would have to file with the Condo Authority. Most of the information in these returns would be added to

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Another Draft Regulation Is Available for Comment (ON)

On July 7, 2017, another proposed regulation was released for comment. The regulation addresses the returns and notices of change to be filed by condos and the public database to be created by the registrar created by the Condominium Authority

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Failure to Enforce Condo Rules – Noise “Lack of rules/enforcement results in more problems than rules some oppose”

Love them or not, condo rules are necessary.  Many people share ownership of a condo building. Condo rules exist because not everyone conducts themselves in a manner that gives proper consideration to their neighbours.  Lack of rules and weak enforcement

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Buying A Pre-Construction Condo Is All About Risk And Reward

The pre-construction phase is a popular time to buy a new home or condo, for a number of reasons. Usually at this stage in the game, the home builder offers more competitive pricing to raise the funds needed to get

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CAO and CAT Proposed Fees

We now have the proposed fee (payable by all Ontario condominium owners) for the new Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO). We also have proposed user fees in relation to the new Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT).  Here are the proposed Fees,

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How Much will the Condo Authority Cost Condo Owners?

As you certainly know by now, the new Condo Authority of Ontario will be designated as the condominium authority as of September 1, 2017. The CAO will provide education and information and will oversee the Condo Authority Tribunal. But how

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Health & Safety: Major Repair Projects

The summer months are busy construction months as anyone who travels on any 400-series highway in Ontario can attest to (and probably curse)! For condominiums, it might be a window replacement, EFIS system installation, major landscaping project, or parking garage

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Court of Appeal Confirms Deadline for Registering Condominium Liens

In a recent decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal (CIBC Mortgages Inc. v. YCC No. 385), the Court confirmed the deadline by which a condominium corporation can validly register a lien pursuant to section 85 of the Condominium Act,

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Toronto’s condos are bursting with babies — and the city needs to accommodate them: report

Many of Toronto’s downtown condo buildings are now brimming with children — and the pressure is on to transform those concrete blocks into family-friendly neighbourhoods.  City council will debate draft guidelines next week that could prompt developers to include larger

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3 Tips To Avoid Pet “Headaches” and Issues In Your Condo

Pets are part of the family. But what happens when someone’s four-legged family member urinates in your condo lobby? Once the mess is cleaned up, how do you prevent Fido from making it a morning ritual? Beyond that, what actions

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Access to Condo Records – No Fishing Expeditions

In a prior blog post published several years ago, we reported about a condominium unit owner, Mr. Lahrkamp, who successfully obtained a court order requiring his condominium corporation to provide him with redacted copies of board minutes and proxies.  

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Will Toronto’s Proposed Airbnb Regulation Help Condos?

Last week, Toronto’s Executive Committee approved a draft plan to regulate Airbnb. Amongst important changes, Toronto proposes the creation of a new zoning by-law and the adoption of new licensing and registration requirements. It also proposed to limit short-term rentals

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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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