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Condo board can set eligibility terms for directors

Q:  We have discovered that two of our five directors are not unit owners, despite our corporation’s bylaw requiring them to be owners or spouses of owners. The property manager advises that the corporation’s lawyer believes the bylaw to be

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Condo Smarts: Be sure to review depreciation reports every year

Dear Tony: Our council recently put two items on our agenda at our annual general meeting to approve contingency funds for repairs and upgrades. One was the roofing on our eight townhouses and the other was a scheduled upgrade to

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Condo sewage issue goes to court today (AB)

Three local condo associations will ask a judge today to rule whether the City of Medicine Hat is liable for a sewage station that’s been a point of controversy for about a decade.  The ownership and operation of the lift

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What is a non-conforming strata?

Dear Tony: We purchased into a triplex last year. Each owner was basically dealing with their own units until we have suddenly come up with major roof repairs as there is a leak between two units and our owners are

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B.C. woman fights strata to keep children’s therapy dogs

A B.C. woman claims her daughters faced discrimination when the company that manages their strata unit fined them for keeping two therapy dogs.  According to a summary recently posted on the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal website, the woman’s two daughters

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Owners caught in legal crossfire at north London condo complex (ON)

Anna Schmidt says she’s trapped in her own condo complex.  The wheelchair ramp she uses to get into the building was torn out in August, during construction, and she’s been out only once since then.  “I’m a prisoner in my

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Condo disputes can now be resolved online (ON)

Ontario’s 1.6 million condo residents have a new avenue for settling disputes in their buildings and neighbourhoods. Last week, the province launched its first online tribunal to help resolve the complaints that arise in 10,000 condo corporations.  The Condominium Authority

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Condo Smarts: Woman told one of late mother’s two dogs has to go

Dear Tony: My strata corporation’s annual general meeting took place in September. At the meeting, the corporation adopted a pet rule that prohibits more than one dog per strata lot. My mother recently died and, in addition to dealing with

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How is a special levy calculated?

Dear Tony: We are a seven-unit townhouse complex that share the same roof. The roof needs to be replaced urgently and a special general meeting has been called to vote on a large special levy. However, my strata council has

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Not all condo residents treated equally

The Toronto skyline is a long way from the suburban utopia of manicured lawns and white picket fences.  While Toronto once spread out, it’s now also rising up, and since almost no one is building new apartment rental units, the

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HOA Homefront: Can a board grant exclusive use in common-area space?

Q:  My homeowners association has a board that changes all the time. People with agendas run, and many times they leave after one year. The question is whether the HOA can continually “grant” various owners rights into the greenbelt/common area.

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High River condo honoured with award

High River’s The View at Sunrise condominium was presented an award, an honour which is a source of pride for board members and residents—many working hard to further enhance camaraderie.  Darryl Peterson, president of the board, told the Times the

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Vivagrand lawsuits offer glimpse into murky world of condo pre-sales (BC)

A series of lawsuits by Vivagrand Developments against the buyers of its Langara West condo project is offering a rare glimpse into the murky world of condo pre-sales.  Vivagrand is suing 19 out of the 72 buyers of its Cambie

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Condo Authority launches Ontario’s first online tribunal and new training for condo directors

Condominium communities across the province now have access to new services to support condo living available through the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO).  The CAO has launched the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT), which is Ontario’s first online dispute resolution service,

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Battle over electric cars in condos rages on, despite upcoming policy shift (ON)

Condo residents across the province are locked in power struggles with their management boards over charging rights for electric vehicles, even though incoming regulations are supposed to simplify the process.  It’s a problem that an Ottawa woman is all too

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Alberta moves to ban adults-only apartments, condominiums

Alberta is proposing changes to its laws on condominiums and apartments to prevent age discrimination.  Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley introduced amendments Wednesday to the Alberta Human Rights Act.  “We’re fully committed to enhancing every Albertans’ ability to fully and equally

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The Condo Act Forms are Available! (ON)

The moment we have all been waiting for is almost here! The first phase of amendments to the Condominium Act, 1998, come into force on November 1, 2017. For weeks we have all been speculating as to whether the implementation

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Condo Smarts: Decorations are not allowed, strata council tells owners

Dear Tony: What types of decorations are a strata allowed to put up during the holiday seasons? Our condo has traditionally decorated our lobby and club rooms for Halloween, Christmas and Easter, but this year, our strata council has told

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Condo renters need more protection from scammers: NDP

Some in Queens Park are calling for more protection for prospective renters against fraud as the average cost to rent a one-bedroom apartment recently topped $2,000 a month in Toronto.  This comes after at least two dozen people, mostly international

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Judge fines ThyssenKrupp $500K for elevator violations at Toronto condo (ON)

One of the country’s pre-eminent elevator companies has been fined $500,000 for five violations of Ontario’s safety rules.  ThyssenKrupp had pleaded guilty to the offences in Ontario court under the Technical Standards and Safety Act.  According to Ontario’s safety regulator,

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Worried about condo fees? Here’s how to avoid getting caught off-guard (ON)

David Fleming has sold hundreds of houses and plenty of apartments, but in his 13 years as a realtor, there’s only one kind of home he refuses to sell — pre-construction condos.  “You’re buying a piece of paper,” he says.

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Condo Smarts: Strata council should review all decisions

Dear Tony: Our strata council is having a power struggle with our strata manager. We have had the same manager for six years and have been pleased with her service, but we have discovered a number of contracts that the

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North Van strata threatens Airbnb renters with trespassing charges (BC)

The strata council for 15 West, a condo building at 150 West 15th Street in North Vancouver, has posted notices at every entrance to the property warning Airbnb renters that they’ll be charged with trespassing.   Read the article………………

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Condo owners concerned about collection rates for composting as bylaw looms (AB)

A city bylaw requiring condos and apartments to separate compostable items from regular garbage goes into effect on November 1 and some say the program comes with a high cost.  The multi-family food & yard waste program covers condos, apartments,

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Toronto condo, Airbnb sign first agreement outside U.S. to regulate short-term rentals

A Toronto condo building is the first in Canada to sign an agreement with Airbnb.  Neptune condominiums, located near the city’s waterfront, is also the first outside the United States to sign on to the “Friendly Buildings” program to in

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Canada Revenue Agency Probing Pre-Construction Condo Flipping

Canada Revenue Agency is analyzing 2,810 transactions involving cases of pre-construction condominium flipping in Toronto to determine whether audits need to be carried out to find tax evaders.  In the Toronto area in particular, the federal government agency says audit

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Creepy Yorkville condo stalker terrifies women (ON)

Women living in an upscale Yorkville condo fear a stalker is using a pass key to surreptitiously enter their homes and sexually gratify himself.  Adding to their terror, they have struggled with the building’s management to alert all residents at

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Vancouver condo council develops anti-Airbnb strategy (BC)

A Yaletown strata council has developed an aggressive new strategy to try to keep Airbnb rentals out of its building.  It’s given up on going after condo owners themselves. Instead, it is targeting the online vacation-rental service itself.  The Parkview

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Condo boards can specify that only unit owners or their spouses be elected

Q: My condo corporation has a bylaw that says at any person elected to the board of directors must be an owner of a unit in the condo, or the spouse of an owner. I was told that the bylaw

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Vancouver strata lawyer fights Airbnb, one letter at a time (BC)

A Vancouver lawyer who specializes in condo strata law is preparing a class-action lawsuit against Airbnb on behalf of strata councils across British Columbia who have struggled to shut down unauthorized short term rental listings. The class action may end

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Provincial government announces new condo rules (AB)

The provincial government announced new condo rules last week, a move that aims to better protect condo buyers.  “We believe Albertans deserve to be protected when making a purchase, and no purchase is more important or large than buying a

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Changes to decades-old Alberta condo legislation ‘long overdue,’ lawyer says

Alberta has announced new protections for condo buyers, a move a real estate lawyer said will mark the first major changes to the province’s condominium legislation in over 50 years.   Read the article……………

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‘Services rebate’ sought for Brandon condo owners (MB)

A local property management company says condominium owners continue to be taxed unfairly, and urges the City of Brandon to consider a “services rebate.”  Two representatives of Brydges Property Management appeared before city council on Monday night: company president Brenda

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Kawartha Lakes residents lobby for bylaw changes to tackle unruly renters

Some residents in the City of Kawartha Lakes say their peace and tranquility are being disrupted by unruly users of short-term rentals.  In the upscale 17-lot private subdivision of Rolling Hills — just south of Bobcaygeon — the Rolling Hills

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Condo developers must meet firm move-in dates under new Alberta government rules

Condo developers in Alberta will have to set firm move-in dates for buyers and be prepared to refund deposits if they miss those deadlines under new condo regulations unveiled Thursday by the NDP government.  Service Alberta Minister Stephanie McLean announced

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Condo Smarts: Determinations of negligence can be complicated (BC)

Dear Tony: Our highrise has had a number of waters leaks over the past year relating to toilets, showers, shower enclosures and fridge water lines.  Our strata council has issued notice to owners that a plumber will be on site

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Condo Managers: Licence Application Details Now Available!

As you probably know, the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO) is set to start regulating condominium managers and management companies on November 1, 2017. The first phase will be the licensing of managers. The second phase will be

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Real estate watchdog issues public alert on Langley condo development (BC)

B.C.’s real estate watchdog has issued its first public consumer alert in four years, following a B.C. Supreme Court decision this week to send a troubled Langley condo development into receivership.  As Postmedia reported earlier in the week, longtime Metro

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Condo boards will face uphill battle in banning marijuana plants

So you’re thumb isn’t exactly green, but with laws around cannabis changing, you’ve been giving some thought to growing some plants (when it’s legal, of course).  The government has indicated homeowners will be allowed to grow up to four plants

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The Condominium Authority of Ontario launches

In its first month in operation, the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) fielded 330 calls and 130 emails from condo directors, managers and owners, and registered 524 condo corporations.  Registering the remainder of the province’s estimated 10,000 condo corporations before

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Local seniors’ home faces ageism issue (AB)

A move to expand how age discrimination applies to the Alberta Human Rights Act has left some seniors wondering if an unintended consequence could be court challenges by younger tenants against adult-only or 55-plus condo complexes.  The issue was raised

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Condo Corps Need to Deal with Marijuana Use Before it Becomes a Problem

When marijuana becomes legal next summer, landlords, tenants and condominium owners can expect an increase in disputes related to both indoor and outdoor smoking.  Effective July 2018, anyone 19 and over will be able to smoke marijuana in their units

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Pets are a growing part of condo life

I’ve seen an explosion of four-legged friends in the building over the past year. It’s not just my condo; city planners estimate there are four to eight pets per floor in Toronto. It has come to the point that they’re

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Condo corporations need to prepare plans to deal with marijuana use before it becomes a problem

When marijuana becomes legal next summer, landlords, tenants and condominium owners can expect an increase in disputes related to both indoor and outdoor smoking.  Effective July 2018, anyone 19 and over will be able to smoke marijuana in their units

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Condo Smarts: Get legal advice on hotel user fees

Dear Tony: We have an issue of fairness in our strata that is dividing our community.  Our strata is divided into two types of units. The first 10 floors are hotel use and floors 11 through 16 are residential condos.

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Free Condominium Director Training – Pilot Program Launched by Condominium Authority of Ontario

As we reported in a previous blog post, the Government of Ontario is proposing a new regulation under the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015, which imposes mandatory training for all condominium directors. Director training/education is the responsibility of the newly

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Calgary condo break-ins underscore need to keep lockboxes secured: police

Lockboxes are commonly used to give tradespersons and realtors access to large residential complexes. Under the city of Calgary’s fire code, buildings like the large condo towers in the Beltline are also required to have a lockbox so emergency services

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Condo Culture Q&A: Can rules conflict with declarations?

Q. We seem to have a condo rule in place that conflicts with our condo declaration. I’m new on the board and just discovered this fact. Can our board enforce this rule? I thought that the declaration took priority over

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Condo Smarts: Better to find solutions before a crisis occurs

Dear Tony: Our strata discovered that a pipe in a wall between my unit and a neighbour’ s unit had developed a leak.  They hired a plumber who came out and had to cut a three-by-three-foot hole in both of

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Victoria cracks down on ‘ghost hotels’; some short-term rentals not allowed (BC)

Victoria city council took action against so-called “ghost hotels” on several fronts Thursday, changing the landscape for condo owners and others who rent out suites and houses through online platforms such as Airbnb.  Changes disallowing short-term rentals of less than

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