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Canada condo boom rolls on as buildings fall apart

While Toronto’s housing boom rolls on, some of the housing itself is falling apart.   Canada’s biggest city has more than 100,000 units under construction as developers and investors seek to cash in on condo prices that are up 25.7 percent

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Condo Smarts: Voting rights

Dear Tony: I just received the notice package for my strata corporation’s AGM and it states no owner may vote if they are in arrears. What does this mean? What are considered arrears? My monthly strata fees are up-to-date, but the strata

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Strata Living: Owners fight over minutes

Dear Tony: Our strata council is in a major conflict over what information gets included in the minutes of our meetings. No matter what we do we don’t seem to get it right and owners are complaining. There is either

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Can this guy train his clients in our gym if they don’t live in our building?

Q We have an owner who happens to be a personal trainer. He uses our condo gym to train his clients. Our gym does not have that much equipment but is a fair size to accommodate the owners. When I

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Condo buyers seeking rule changes for lawyers

Carrying a sign that reads “law society shame,” purchasers of Toronto condominium units who lost their deposit funds held a protest last week to demand more protections for client funds in lawyers’ trust accounts.  The condo buyers collectively lost up

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Condominium responds to accusations

A controversy is looming over the Sierras of Inglewood.  For nearly three years, the St. Albert condominium complex has come under heavy criticism from one former tenant following its board’s reaction to a case of emergency.     Read more……..

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In The Age Of The Condo, Parking Is Dying

When Joe Starkman told his development lawyer his plans to build the first condominiums in Calgary without parking spaces, the response was less than encouraging. “All the baby boomers I talked to, at first glance, said ‘you’re nuts.’ To us,

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Condo Smarts: Seek advice on bulk cable buy

Dear Tony: I consider myself to be a reasonable person when it comes to community living. I pay my fees, support the council, help my neighbours and tolerate the usual noises and inconveniences that sometimes arise from living in proximity

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Condo Smarts: Strata councils and communications contracts

Dear Tony: I would consider myself to be a reasonable person when it comes to community living. I pay my fees, support the council, help my neighbours and tolerate the noises and inconvenience that sometimes arise from living in close

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There are rules for rules, declarations and the Condominium Act

Q What happens when the condominium board puts a rule into place that conflicts with a requirement of our declaration or the Condominium Act? I believe a couple of our rules go against our declaration and the condo act. Can

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Write a request to see landscaper contract

The board of directors at a recent information meeting advised that the landscaping contractor had been given a three-year contract extension. When questioned about the contractor’s responsibilities, the board replied we could not be told because of the Privacy Act.

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Strata hoards parking spots

Dear Tony: Our strata has 20 units, 28 parking spaces, and the residents have 34 cars. We have been asking council to provide us with an indication of how the parking is allocated, but they refuse to disclose the parking

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Condo Smarts: Deadbeat strata council

Dear Tony: Our strata council has not had a meeting nor provided us with any financial information for over six months.  We have a large strata corporation and our budget is more than $500,000 a year. We have been self-managed

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Winnipeg condo explosion caused by chemical in renovation work

A man burned in a condo explosion in Winnipeg was a paramedic doing renovations with a flammable chemical.   Sources have told CBC News the man was using the chemical to remove carpeting.   Read more……..

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Condo developer hit with $29 million class-action suit

Condo owner Etienne de Muelenare got so tired of waiting for the developer of his Charles St. building, Great Gulf, to fix problems with pressure valves, he spent $4,000 to have the work done himself and has now launched a

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Condo Smarts: The high cost of neglect

Dear Tony: We hope you will publish our letter for other condo owners.   I bought my unit in 2011, and I foolishly did not review all of the strata minutes and records before I purchased. I am now paying a

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Wood Buffalo (AB) officials say they ‘goofed up’ in ordering teardown of condemned condos

Wood Buffalo officials who inadvertently threatened condo owners with stiff fines and jail time if they didn’t follow an order to demolish condemned buildings say the municipality always intended to do the job.  Read more……..

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Penhorwood condo owners receive apology after being threatened with jail time

To add insult to injury, this week the condo owners were told by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo that they could face major fines or even jail time if the building isn’t demolished soon.    Read more…….

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Owners ordered to demolish condemned Fort McMurray condos (AB)

The owners of Fort McMurray’s Penhorwood condominiums have been ordered by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo to demolish the unsafe buildings with the threat of hefty fines or jail.    Read more…….

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Fire burns through Brossard condominium (QE)

Firefighters on the South Shore battled a raging fire overnight.   The fire began inside a second-storey condominium suite at 542 Stravinski Ave., Brossard, at 10:15 p.m.     Read more……..

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Board fined for defying both condo owners and court ruling (ON)

What happens if condominium board members fail to comply with the Condominium Act? That question was the focus of a case which ultimately wound up in Ontario’s Court of Appeal.    Read more…….

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Centrium condo: $9M in deposits returned to residential buyers

A law firm will return $9 million in deposit money to 180 would-be buyers of residential units in the cancelled Centrium condo development, following a judge’s order signed Tuesday.   Read more……..

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‘Creepy’ drones in Victoria (BC) raise concerns, calls for regulation

Several Victoria residents have had “creepy” encounters with drones in recent days, which has privacy experts calling for regulations around the camera-equipped, remote-controlled devices.  Serena Lee was in her second-floor condo at Mermaid Wharf with friend Julie French just after

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Strata fed up with Habitat for Humanity (BC)

Habitat for Humanity’s cleanup at a Burnaby strata complex almost two weeks ago did more harm than good, according to a whistleblower.  The volunteer, who worked on the site at 8745 Government St. and wished not to be named for

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Giving electric vehicle owners a charge (ON)

Electric vehicles have been on the market for three years in Canada. Enter Plug’n Drive, a not-for-profit whose mission is to accelerate the penetration of those vehicles into the consumer market.    Read more……..

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Condo Smarts: Stratas and smart meters

Dear Tony: As a strata manager, I am faced with many requests by service providers to obtain access to a strata corporation to either service a building or conduct maintenance or modifications to a building.    Read more………

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Condo committees must be created by the board

Q Some of us owners think a condo committee would be an asset to our community. We would like to organize one and have volunteers join us. What is the normal procedure for setting up such a committee and what

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Police arrest lawyer accused of failing to return condo deposits

Police have arrested a lawyer who allegedly bilked condo buyers out of millions of dollars in deposits after a building that was planned for North York was scrapped by the developer.   Read more………

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Montreal family forced out of dangerous Plateau condo

A Montreal family says it was forced from its home because city officials did not act fast enough after a wall of their condo building began to lean.   Read more…….

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Condo Q&A: Navigating the headaches of common area renovations

Q: Our condominium board wants to renovate some common property areas, but there is no current reserve fund study (it is two years overdue). The condominium corporation is currently repairing an outside wall, which required a special assessment, and the

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‘Casual’ strata must get organized

Dear Tony: We live in a very casual 12-unit strata corporation in Kitsilano. Everyone basically does their own thing as we are in townhouses, and whenever we need money for a project we have a quick meeting and everyone writes

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Condo Smarts: Who has to fix the water pipes in a bare-land strata?

Dear Tony: Our bare-land strata is an 88-unit mobile home park in the interior.  Each unit has a direct hookup to the main sewer line that serves our property. We have been starting to have some serious problems with damages

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When a dying hedge is a major condo repair

A 30-foot, common-element hedge planted by the developer has been dying for five years, and is presently three-quarters dead. Replacement with a similar hedge will cost in excess of ten per cent of our budget. Can the reserve fund be

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Technicality helps Chilliwack Mountie avoid paying fines to strata council (BC)

An RCMP officer in Chilliwack who was facing $16,450 in strata fines arising from an allegation he had illegally rented his condo has gotten off on a technicality.    Read more……..

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Condo Smarts: Issues of insurance

Dear Tony: Our strata council has been struggling with an issue in our building that involves insurance claims in a strata lot.   Our property manager tells us that if a claim happens in a strata lot, it is the owner’s

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James Bay condo owner challenges hefty building repair bills (BC)

A James Bay condo owner has filed a court petition demanding transparency from the building’s property management company over repair bills that he says are questionable.    Read more………..

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Shangri-La balconies off-limits after falling glass prompts test (ON)

Condo residents at Toronto’s Shangri-La hotel are being told not to use their balconies after several incidents of falling glass.     Residents received the notice on August 5 after the city issued an “order to remedy unsafe building.”     Read

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Results of CMHC’s Survey of Condominium Owners in Toronto and Vancouver

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) released the results of its 2013 Condominium Owners Survey today showing that 82.9% of the condominium owning households surveyed reside in their unit and 17.1% are condominium investors.     Read more……..

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$50M St. Albert condo complex scrapped, potential homeowners out thousands (AB)

Until recently, plans were in place for a multi-million dollar condo complex in St. Albert – but plans have fallen through, leaving potential homeowners out thousands of dollars.        Read more………

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Condo board contempt rap upheld in battle for status quo (ON)

Hell hath no fury like condo residents scorned.  A years-long legal slugfest pitting a rogue condo board against six nettled residents reached another milestone Wednesday after the province’s highest court largely upheld a judgement against the directors of a Bay

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Missing condo-fee payments could lead to mortgage default

Q. If an owner is late with their monthly condo fee, does the corporation immediately have a lien against the unit owner in default?   Read more…….

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Hot tub can be a hot issue for condo board

Is a hot-tub installation allowed in the owner’s exclusive-use common element backyard?   Read more……….

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Who pays for flood damage?

Dear Tony: There is a lot of confusion in our building about who is responsible for damage to a strata lot when there is a flood upstairs. We have had a few claims in the past five years, and most

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Condo Smarts: Whose job is it to fix the balcony?

Dear Tony: Our strata has sent a notice reminding us that we are responsible to maintain and repair our balconies, and that it includes the railings, siding and the decking. Several owners, with old balconies in a serious state of

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Who is in charge, the condo board or the property manager?

Q Who is in charge of our condo property? The manager seems to be making all the decisions and the directors are just going along with those decisions. Isn’t the board supposed to be voting on issues at board meetings?

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Damage estimate for condo fire increases to $10M (AB)

A day after a fire broke out in a west Edmonton condo building, causing millions of dollars in damages; officials with the condo board were releasing plans for residents to get their possessions back.     Read more…….

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Strata wants a spare key

Dear Tony: Does a strata corporation have a right to demand a key to my strata lot to gain access at their discretion? The owners in our Kitsilano building have been told we have to provide a key, otherwise if

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Condo Smarts: Limits to limited common property

Dear Tony: Our strata council has been struggling with the ongoing problems with one of our owners planting trees in their backyard area, which is limited common property, as well as the surrounding common property of the strata corporation.  

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Condo eyes smoking ban after devastating fire

Some of those left homeless following a massive fire that tore through a west Edmonton condo earlier this week would like to see their building ban smoking.   Read more…….

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Massive fire damages ‘multiple’ condos in downtown Kitchener

No one was hurt in a fire that ravaged a downtown Kitchener condominium complex at St. Leger and Louisa streets early Tuesday morning.   Read more……

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