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Draft General Regulation under the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015 available for public review

Just in time for your leisure reading over the holidays, the Ontario Government has introduced a consultation draft of the General Regulation under the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015, for public review and feedback.  The proposed General Regulation focuses on

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My Favourite Condo Lessons of 2016

As 2017 approaches I find myself reflecting on the most important news, cases, and other events from this past year. Here are my favourite condo lessons for 2016: 10. Property Managers may be liable for errors in status certificates. The

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Regulations Under the Legislation to Regulate Condo Managers Are Out For Consultation!

The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services has posted today a draft of the first set of proposed regulations to be adopted under the new Condo Management Services Act. This Act is the legislation which will regulate and provide for

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Japanese Condominium Bans Greetings Within the Condominium Property

It was recently reported that a Japanese condominium has implemented a rule that prohibits residents from greeting each other while on the condominium property. This rule was adopted out of concern for the safety of elementary school-age children living in

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Not So Common Knowledge: BC Supreme Court Clarifies Process for Enforcing Liens against Common Property (BC)

A recent BC Supreme Court decision has clarified the parties that must be named in an action to enforce a builders lien involving common property.  In Primex Industries v. The Owners, Strata Plan LMS 1751, 2016 BCSC 2092, the BC

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Defending (My) Our Castle: A Look at Gun Regulation by Community Associations

On September 6, 2012, David Merritt, president of the Spring Creek Homeowners Association, called a homeowners association meeting to order. Approximately 30 minutes later, Merritt, and former president of Spring Creek Marvin Fisher, would be fatally shot by their neighbor,

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Why Directors and Officers (D&O) Insurance Is A Must For Homeowner Associations

Did you know that volunteering as a board member for your condo or HOA could jeopardize your personal financial security? You’re actually at risk from lawsuits against the board—whether they have merit or not. Having an indemnification clause in your

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The Rights Of Smokers And Non-Smokers Continue To Evolve

The rights of smokers and non-smokers in condominiums continue to evolve across Canada.  The Smoke-Free Ontario Act prohibits smoking in the interior areas of the common elements of all condominiums, and also prohibits smoking on outdoor patios of bars and

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Board given a bumpy ride over bicycle storage: Condo Law

I am the president of our condominium corporation where a bicycle shed is now needed to store a riding lawnmower. The current board had a new shed built for bike storage to support the existing ban on keeping bicycles on

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When Developers Abandon Unsold Units

I’m sure some of you have experienced it before. For whatever reason, sometimes developers have units that they have not sold. Typically, it is the parking units or storage lockers. Other times the developer fails to transfer telecommunications, mechanical, or

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Airbnb Is Incompatible with The “Single Family Use” Provision of Most Condo Declarations (ON)

With the growing interest in the “sharing of economy”, Airbnb and other short-term rental websites are often causing headaches within condominium communities across the province and beyond. In many cases, condominium corporations have had to adopt rules to attempt to

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Condominiums Battle Against Short-Term Rentals

With the growth in the “sharing economy”, many condominiums have been forced to turn their minds to the issue of short-term rentals. While some investor owners are listing their units on short-term rental sites in order to maximize the revenue

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Can Condo Owners Lease Out Their Parking Space?

CBC news recently reported on a Uber-style app that connects drivers looking for parking with people who want to lease their parking space. The article warned that the City of Ottawa zoning by-law does not allow the rental of residential

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How to Make Good Governance Policies for Condo Boards

Policies may not seem like an exciting topic, but they are crucial to the success of any condo board. I divide policies into three areas: governance, financial, and communications. An earlier post described best practices in communication. In this post,

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Key takeaways from the 20th annual condo conference

This year marked the 20th anniversary of the annual ACMO/CCI-Toronto Condominium Conference. Taking place from November 11-12, 2016, the theme of this year’s conference was “Shaping the Future”.  With the regulations under the amended Condo Act expected to be rolled

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Condo Owner’s Request for Administrator Denied by Court

In a prior blog post, we reported about a case, (Middlesex Condominium Corp. No. 195 v. Sunbelt Business Centres (Canada) Inc.) involving a hydro expense dispute in a mixed-use commercial/residential condominium. In that case the condominium corporation was successful in

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The Condo’s Lien Right – When Does Default Occur?

Recently, the court released an interesting decision on cost awards against owners and the right to lien.The facts are lengthy, but it is important to understand the background.  The condominium brought a compliance proceeding against one of the owners. The

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Using a By-law to Control Parking (ON)

A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court confirmed the validity of a condominium’s by-law, which was passed to control parking on the common elements. See the case of Cheung v. York Region Condominium Corporation No. 759.  Here’s my summary

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How Much Time Does a Condo Have to Register a Lien? (Part 2)

In Ontario, condominium corporations can register liens against the unit of an owner who defaults in paying his or her common expenses. Once the lien is registered, it grants the condominium priority over the mortgage. This very powerful tool to

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Probe underscores need for good record-keeping (ON)

Taking minutes for condo board meetings is a task that not everybody enjoys, but one that needs to be done in order to meet Condominium Act requirements. As most board members and managers understand, minutes serve to protect unit owners,

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BC’s Civil Resolution Tribunal’s first decision: move along, not much to see here

The Civil Resolution Tribunal of British Columbia is one of the most world’s most advanced online dispute resolution projects within a formal court and tribunal structure. As such, it has attracted much interest and analysis – not least in previous

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Condo Unit Owner Appeals $20,000 Costs Award

In a prior blog post, we reported about a case (Wexler v. Carleton Condominium Corp. No. 28) where a unit owner who had unsuccessfully sued the condominium corporation for harassment was ordered to pay costs to the condominium corporation in

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Board of Directors in Condo Corporations Rule (ON)

In the recent decision, 3716724 Canada Inc. v Carleton Condominium Corporation No. 375[1], the Ontario Court of Appeal found that the “business judgment rule” applies to decisions of boards of condominium corporations. As such, in applying the “business judgment rule”,

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Condominium Declaration, By-laws and Rules: What’s the Difference?

I was speaking this weekend at a Condominium Director’s Course given by CCI-Eastern Ontario. One of the participants asked me to explain the differences between a condominium declaration, by-laws and rules. While the more seasoned condominium directors have become familiar

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Case Law Highlights

We’ve had some exciting court decisions in the condominium field over the past year or so. Here are my Five Favorites.    Read the article…………..

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The Ups and Downs of Elevator Maintenance Contracts

Recent articles about the decrease in elevator service and the increase in entrapments in the GTA would normally concern us… but PSCC 888 has a solution… they have an Elevator Consultant!  During budget preparation in September 2015, PSCC 888 realized

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3 Useful Tips on How to Deal With a HOA Resident Like Donald Trump

Don’t get us wrong. We’re not taking any political positions. It’s just the reality of living in a multi residential community. We live with all sorts of people and among them are those who exhibit strong personality quirks like The

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Case Law Highlights

We’ve had some exciting court decisions in the condominium field over the past year or so. Here are my Five Favorites.     Read the article………

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Register Your Condo Lien Early or Risk Losing It

Timely collection of common expenses by condominium corporations is essential to the safeguard of their financial viability. For this reason, the Condominium Act permits condominiums to register liens against the unit of owners who are in default of paying their

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Condo law reforms to roll out as early as summer

Ontario’s condo law reforms, passed late last year, are expected to start to roll out as early as next summer.  Updates at the ACMO/CCI-T Condo Conference in Toronto last week clarified comments in Premier Kathleen Wynne’s September mandate letter to

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New Authorities Under Bill 106

These two new provincial authorities won’t start performing their various functions just yet. We are all still waiting for the new regulations (under this legislation) and for the legislation to be proclaimed in force. We’re now told that these steps

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How do you choose your lawyer?

Most of my clients retained me without me ever meeting the board. To be honest, it is easy for me that way. I’m not spending time driving or preparing for the meeting. Instead, I spend time serving my existing clients.

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Tendering and the New Condominium Act: Gazing into a Crystal Ball

In May 2015, following a comprehensive review of the Condominium Act, the Ontario government introduced Bill 106, the Protecting Condominium Owners Act (the “Act”). In the debates that followed in the legislature, a number of MPPs highlighted, as a key

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Courts Will Protect Condo Board Decisions… made in good faith

You may recall our blog on an Ottawa case opposing a mixed-use condominium corporation to the owner of a public parking business within this corporation. The Court of appeal reversed the original decision and concluded that condo board decisions taken

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Reasonable Doubt: the dos and don’ts of attending your first condo board AGM

There is no shortage of new condominium buildings in Toronto. Many of the people purchasing units in those buildings may be first-time unit owners who aren’t familiar with condominium governance and procedure. To this end, first-time unit owners who have

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What if my prospective condo corporation is involved in litigation?

What should a buyer do when the status certificate for their condominium purchase shows that the corporation is involved in litigation?  That was the question a client of mine faced last month after I reviewed a status certificate for his

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Are You Rolling the Dice When Hiring a Contractor?

Experts believe you are taking a huge gamble if you have not completed a comprehensive background check on a contractor before you hire them.  Selecting and hiring a contractor is the most important step in any home renovation project. Therefore,

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Why Are Reserve Fund Studies Wrong 18 Out Of 25 Times?

Sounds like a university math problem, but it isn’t. Math problems have answers. Reserve fund studies are subject to numerous assumptions beyond anyone’s reasonable control. One such assumption made by far too many reserve fund planners (one that has been

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Update on Implementation of Protecting Condominium Owners Act

The Ontario Government has announced the appointment of first directors to serve on the boards of the Condominium Authority of Ontario and the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario. These two authorities will be responsible for ensuring that once proclaimed

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First-Year Deficit of a Condominium Corporation

One of the first challenges of a new condominium board of directors is the survival of the first fiscal year on a budget set by the builder. When there is a shortfall between this first-year budget and the actual operating

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Condo Owners Sue Developer Over “Secret” Tunnel

After the discovery of a “secret” tunnel beneath a condominium building, the condo owners are suing the condominium developer, the City of Toronto, Enbridge Gas, the architect and two engineers for damages in the amount of $3 million.    Read

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BC Court Imposes $16.8 Million Levy on Condo Owners to Remediate Water Leak Damage

The British Columbia Supreme Court has ordered a Vancouver strata corporation to impose a $16.8 million special levy against the unit owners to pay for repairs necessitated by water leaks in the condominium for over two decades. The Court also

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Condo installs private well it cannot use

I don’t often write about municipal law decisions involving condominiums, but a recent decision of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) should remind condominiums that they need to rely on their professionals. A condominium had a private well drilled on the

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New research investigates condo governance – Study finds communication, director education and sense of community lacking

New research into condominium governance found that board members, property managers and unit owners have a number of familiar topics on their minds. Lack of community, lack of director education and poor communication were among seven themes identified by Dr.

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Owners Sue Condo Association Over Condo Rules Restricting Co-ed Swimming

Several condo owners in New Jersey have commenced a lawsuit against the community association after it instituted rules that restrict mixed-gender swimming in the association’s pool.  The majority of the unit owners are Orthodox Jews, whose faith prohibits men and

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Medical Marijuana – The Next Issue

Medical Marijuana has arrived. Someone with a medical need is now able to obtain a prescription for marijuana. And, as we all know, legalized marijuana is also on the way!  In early 2016, a Court decision (Allard v. Canada) confirmed

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Condo Owners And Managers Need To Be On Guard Against Fraud

The victims of a Toronto property management company executive who borrowed millions of dollars against several condominium corporations then fled to his native Bangladesh are struggling with the aftermath of his fraud. Manzoor Moorshed Khan, president of Channel Property Management,

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Five top talking points for condo communities: Make the most of communication spending with money-saving campaigns

The number one complaint at a condominium corporation’s annual general meeting (AGM) is quite often poor communication. On the one hand, owners feel left out of the decision-making loop and on the other, board directors lament that residents don’t know

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Coming back from reserve fund shortfalls: Why the account might dip below adequate levels, and ways to replenish it

In an ideal world, condominium owners are satisfied with the way their corporation is run, fees are comparable to the condominium down the street, major repair and replacement projects are well-managed, and the reserve fund maintains a healthy balance. Then

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Technological innovations in condominiums: The future of drones, robotics and software in building envelope inspections

Technology is one of those things that never stops moving, and sometimes it can be daunting to keep up with all the latest advancements out there. If leveraged correctly, though, it can provide great amounts of value to those that

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