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Proposed energy code changes target glass boxes (ON)

Fewer glass towers will be appearing in Canadian skylines if proposed changes to the National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB) are adopted. Consumer demand may be driving the proliferation of high-rise condominiums with extreme window-to-wall ratios, but recently released documentation

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Condo Smarts: Owners want strata to pay for ventilation repairs

Dear Tony: Our strata has discovered a ventilation problem in which the bathroom fans were not connected and simply blew into a wall cavity between two rooms in our townhouse complex.  We have corrected the problem by having a contractor

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Saint-Henri condo owners cry foul after city subcontractor cracks, then fixes foundation on the sly

You might think you’d be thrilled if you walked out of your home one morning to find a crack in your building’s foundation suddenly and mysteriously fixed.  But property owners in a condo association in Montreal’s Saint-Henri neighbourhood contend city

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Condo board caps pets at two — and wants their photos

Our board is changing the pet rule to limit the number of pets to two per unit, and to require the provision of pictures of the pets. Is the requirement for pictures legal?   Read the Q&A…………

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Class-Action Lawsuit Challenges BC Transfer Tax on Foreign Buyers

In prior blog posts, we reported that the British Columbia government had imposed a 15% transfer tax on residential real estate purchases by foreign nationals in the Greater Vancouver Area, and that this tax had resulted in a notable decrease

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From dream home to unholy mess

Stories of building delays are not uncommon on the front lines of Toronto’s condo craze.  But when Tracey DaSilva bought in the Union Lofts in the Junction Triangle four years ago, she expected her inconvenience and uncertainty would eventually be

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Condo Culture: Owners obliged to ensure safety of dryers

Q. Does the condo board have the authority to force owners to have their dryers inspected? Our dryer vents have not been inspected in years and the board has some concerns. We were informed that this inspection is quite involved

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Condo Questions: Transferring snow removal to owners requires bylaw amendment

Q: We are an 11-unit retail condominium. Our bylaws state that the condo association is responsible for the snow and ice removal of lots and sidewalks. As our snow removal company cannot be here around the clock, we want to

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5 Elevator DO’s and DON’Ts for Mississauga Condo Dwellers

With Mississauga transitioning into a condo community (even though some of you don’t want to admit that that’s happening), more and more people use elevators each and every day.  That said, how often have you been in an elevator and

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A step-by-step guide for managing strata improvements

Dear Tony: Our strata council presented two resolutions at our AGM last week to approve $100,000 for a new roof and $68,000 for balcony membranes. They included these as a majority vote because they were recommended to be replaced in

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Condo Smarts: Council asks for funding before getting cost quotes

Dear Tony: Our strata council presented two resolutions at our annual meeting last week to approve $100,000 for a new roof and $68,000 for balcony membranes.  The council included these because they were recommended to be replaced in 2017 and

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New standards lead to condo management program at George Brown

In response to Bill 106, which was tabled by the Ontario government in 2015 and includes an act that only licensed condominium managers will be able to provide condo management services, George Brown College is introducing its new condominium management

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Strata exemption limits potency of Vancouver’s empty homes tax

Vancouver’s empty homes tax is well on its way to getting the green light from city council, but it might not free up as much housing as expected thanks to a rule that exempts some strata buildings.    Read the

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How can we establish a code of ethics for our board of directors?: Condo Law

Q:  A majority of our directors believe they should be subject to a code of ethics. But not all of them agree. How can we establish a code of ethics without the agreement of all of the directors?   Read the

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Condo association says it was threatened with fines over damage caused by city construction (QC)

A condo association in Montreal’s Saint-Henri neighbourhood says it is being threatened with fines if it doesn’t quickly repair damage caused to its building by city subcontractors doing sidewalk construction.  “I honestly thought it was a joke — I didn’t

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Condo owners left holding the (trash) bag

The council chamber at Governor Simcoe Square was full again this week with condominium owners anxious to have Norfolk County collect their garbage.  A motion to extend curbside trash collection to condo owners died in a 4-4 vote Nov. 1.

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Condo Smarts: Council suddenly enforces bylaws

Dear Tony: We live in a 78-unit townhouse complex that was built in the late 1980s. Each unit has a carport. Without permission, several owners over time have enclosed their carports to function more like a garage, or have installed

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Condo fraudster faces four-year prison sentence (ON)

A 47-year-old con artist who stole $3 million from 13 area condo corporations while posing as a trustworthy property manager faces four years in prison.  Brett MacKenzie Leahey will also have to pay back the funds he swiped from condo

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Black Mould Found at Toronto’s CityPlace Condos

Residents of Parade, one of the sleek glass highrises on Fort York Boulevard, say they’ve seen mould in the building’s gym change rooms, mail room and at its security desk.  Pictures taken inside the building’s changing room — which management

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Condo Q&A: How do we make sure our building’s rules are enforceable?

Q. I was reviewing our condo rules and noticed that a few of the rules conflict with our condo declaration and the Condominium Act of Ontario. I am a new director and I want to make sure our rules have

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Toronto condo buyers may target Donald Trump to recoup losses

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump could be in the sights of investors who lost money on units in Toronto’s glitzy Trump hotel and condo project, even though the property is a Trump development in name only.  Mitchell Wine, a lawyer

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Condo Culture: Condo owners need own insurance for personal content

Q. Could you please explain in detail what we should be aware of regarding condominium insurance? I want to confirm that we have the proper coverage because we just purchased our condo.    Read the article…………….

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Condo concierges face off against tourists, partiers in Airbnb war (ON)

Outside the brightly decorated lobby of the 32-storey condominium tower at 600 Fleet St. stands artist Douglas Coupland’s statue of a giant British toy soldier standing over a fallen invading Yankee, commemorating the War of 1812. Inside, the building’s security

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Condo Smarts: Residents feel harassed by strata’s bylaw officer

Dear Tony: Our strata complex in Kelowna actively fines owners whenever there is a violation of bylaws, from parking in the wrong spot to late payment of strata fees, to the slightest bit of noise that may arise from normal

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Videos show events before B.C. RCMP arrest of elderly couple

The RCMP officers called to the scene of a raucous condo meeting in Coquitlam, B.C. are under investigation for their actions in the arrest of an elderly couple. The contents of a jarring cellphone video showing the elderly man dragged

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Downtown condo building evacuated. Fire confined to balcony (ON)

Insurers and fire officials warn that smoking materials should never be tossed into potting soil, which often contains flammable ingredients including peat moss, bark, shredded wood, Styrofoam and vermiculite, as well as fertilizers that can act as oxidizers.   Read the

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Board should collect proxies to ensure quorum is reached for AGM: Condo Law

If quorum was not reached at an annual general meeting, the board should have immediately advised owners of a new date. Waiting until next year is not acceptable.     Read the Q&A……………

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CityPlace condo residents worried about health as black mould found in building

Several condo residents say they’re worried about their health after discovering black mould in several places in their CityPlace tower.   Residents of Parade, one of the sleek glass highrises on Fort York Boulevard, say they’ve seen mould in the

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Condo Smarts: Information about strata was not adequate

Dear Tony: We put an offer in on a condo two weeks ago and requested a Form B information certificate. The strata we are looking at was built in 2008 and has a rental bylaw that limits the number of

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Strata must disclose tribunal proceedings on information certificates (BC)

Dear Tony: We put an offer in on a condo two weeks ago and requested a Form B Information Certificate.  The strata we are looking at was built in 2008, and has a rental bylaw that limits the number of

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Condo Smarts: Information about strata was not adequate

Dear Tony: We put an offer in on a condo two weeks ago and requested a Form B information certificate. The strata we are looking at was built in 2008 and has a rental bylaw that limits the number of

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Condo Questions: Information should be freely available to condo owners

Q: Our 25-year-old condominium complex has a board composed of original owners. Some of these board members have openly stated that the newbies are not entitled to the same level of consideration and service because they have not paid into

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Proposed Alberta condo legislation would ‘bankrupt’ industry, developer warns

A high-profile Canadian developer says he’ll stop building in Alberta if the government passes a proposed condo regulation that calls for mandatory occupancy dates.  But the head of a condo group that represents owners and consumers said if developers can’t

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SkyCity condo tower developer faces overvaluation lawsuits

The developer of what is slated to be the highest tower in Winnipeg has been slapped with three class-action lawsuits that seek tens of millions of dollars’ worth of damages due to claims of overvaluation.   Read the article………….

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Alberta proposing stricter rules to help buyers bound by condo construction delays

The Alberta government is proposing strict regulations that will help protect condo buyers frustrated with construction delays.  The rules would make an expected occupancy date mandatory for purchase agreements.  If the unit is not ready one month after that date,

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Condo Smarts: Strata seeks straight answer on quake coverage

Dear Tony: We live in a 110-unit bare-land strata in the Okanagan Valley. Our recent building appraisal increased our property valuation by more than 500 per cent because the in-ground systems of water, sanitation and roads were included in the

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Condo owner does battle with the AirBnB next door (AB)

Condo and apartment dwellers across the country are now doing battle in the hallways of their owns buildings, as neighbours grapple with a problem that didn’t exist even five years ago.  Edmonton’s Ninetta Tavano is one of those caught up

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Condo Culture Q&A: Is it legal for condominiums to be registered as adult-only?

Q. Is it legal for an Ontario condominium corporation to be registered as an adults-only building? I was told that this is illegal, but I don’t see why. Can you explain why condominiums are permitted or not permitted to be

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Opening the door for Bell Fibe may be a good idea in condos: Fixer

There are two sides to every story, including some good reasons why condo owners might consider allowing Bell to install cable for its Fibe service in their homes.  In our column last Tuesday, we made it clear that the CRTC

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How to keep downtown Toronto from going to the dogs – and their poop

There’s never been a census taken of dogs in Toronto. But an informal study based on dogs registered at a pet store near CityPlace suggests an average of at least seven dogs per floor at that condo complex.  That could

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Canadian court rules Donald Trump can face investors’ claims in Toronto tower case

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump can be pursued for some claims made by investors in a hybrid hotel-condo tower in Toronto bearing his name, according to a Canadian court ruling released on Thursday.  An Ontario appeals court reversed an

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Norfolk council members see problems ahead with condo trash collection

Be careful what you wish for.  That was the parting advice from Norfolk council last week when it agreed to provide municipal trash and recycling collection at condominium townhouse developments.  Like many municipalities, Norfolk has refrained from collecting waste at

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Condo Q&A: Why it’s a very bad idea to sue your condo corporation for lack of care

Q. My mother is fed up because the condo rules are not enforced and she feels the property is in disarray because of it. Cars are parked where they shouldn’t be, balconies have clutter on them that is not allowed,

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Condo Smarts: Owners lose right to rent their units

Dear Tony: Our strata corporation has changed our rental exemptions and we have lost the right to rent our units, even though the developer told us when we purchased that we would be able to rent for 100 years and

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Bell plays fast and loose on condo entry rights: The Fixer

Let’s get something straight: Bell Canada has absolutely no right to demand entry to privately owned condo units to install wiring for Fibe internet and TV service.  But many condo owners say they were told they had no choice but

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Condo Culture: Lack of open, honest communication creates friction

Q. I wrote a letter to our board of directors requesting that I be able to attend the next board meeting. I would like a one-on-one meeting to discuss some issues. I received a response informing me to submit my

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Condo Questions: Owners at fault for failure to comply

Q: I live in a condominium complex that recently did cleaning in our underground parking lot. A notice was posted for all residents to remove their vehicles from the parking lot by 8 a.m. on the scheduled date. I leave

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What happens when the strata is being sued?

Q: Our strata council was sued in April because of a bylaw that was allegedly not enforced properly. They contacted a lawyer to defend the strata and in the end we lost and the strata ended up paying almost $45,000

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Toronto condo owners sue after ‘tunnel’ found under building

When owners of a downtown Toronto condo went searching for a foul smell wafting through their building, they inadvertently uncovered something much more mysterious — a dark, dirt tunnel burrowed beneath their homes.  The bizarre discovery, made about a decade

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Condo Smarts: Strata not required to obtain three quotes

Dear Tony: Our strata corporation is having our deck surfaces replaced on our external balconies. The owners approved $10,000 for engineering and we are being asked to approve $300,000 to proceed with the repairs. When we asked for information around

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