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Condo Smarts: Strata hit by heavy cost of snowfall

Dear Tony: I am the president of my townhouse strata in Surrey. The snowfall that we experienced over the Christmas season will result in our year-end budget being in a deficit and our council is not sure how to handle

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Trump Tower developer sues Vancouver construction company for alleged shoddy work and bad management

The developer of Trump International Tower and Hotel is suing a local construction company, claiming that shoddy work and poor management of trade contractors delayed the high-profile project.  Holborn Developments (West Georgia) Ltd. filed a notice of civil claim on

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Condo Questions: Condo board needs clear evidence of bylaw breach to enforce penalty

Q: I have lived in my townhouse for 17 years, but our condo board and property management group of the last six years are being selective about the bylaws they enforce, and actually look like they are not enforcing any

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When do I need approval for alterations to my strata lot?

Dear Tony: I live in a 16 unit strata in North Vancouver. Several owners within our strata have made significant changes to their condos. One owner has gutted their interior and upgraded flooring, redesigned the kitchen, laundry and bathrooms. Other

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Crown urges $350K fine against elevator company for serious incident at Toronto condo

The prosecution wants a $375,000 fine imposed on one of the world’s largest elevator companies for breaching safety rules.  ThyssenKrupp Canada — part of a huge multinational — was found guilty in Ontario court in November of four offences related

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Disability could require corporation to repair water softener: Condo Law

Q: Our building has a water softener that has worked for about two of the five weeks we have lived in our unit. My husband is on dialysis and his skin is extremely sensitive to hard water. Who is responsible

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First strata wind-up without unanimous vote goes to court (BC)

British Columbia Supreme Court is considering approving the first petition to wind up a strata corporation since B.C. passed a law making it easier for condominium owners to sell their complexes without achieving a unanimous vote of all owners.  Owners

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Condo Questions: Condo board needs clear evidence of bylaw breach to enforce penalty

Q: I have lived in my townhouse for 17 years, but our condo board and property management group of the last six years are being selective about the bylaws they enforce, and actually look like they are not enforcing any

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Condo complex ‘gutted’ by early morning fire (AB)

Medicine Hat firefighters quickly knocked down a blaze at a condominium complex, preventing it from reaching neighbouring structures which could have caused the fire to spiral out of control.  “The whole unit is gutted,” said Terry Stuber, the acting platoon

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Condo Smarts: Apartment buyers get unexpected expenses

Dear Tony: Our situation is something every first-time home buyer should be aware of.  We purchased a unit in an older four-floor, wood-frame apartment building in Richmond in September of 2016. At the time, we were aware of a new

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Kitec plumbing in condos should be revealed (ON)

Should condominium corporations disclose the existence of Kitec plumbing to potential buyers on their status certificates? That was the question Natalie asked me after she had bought and sold a condominium townhouse on Kenneth Ave. last year.  Kitec plumbing is

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Condo Culture: Attend owners’ meetings to keep informed about your condo investment

Q. My wife and I are new condo owners. So far, we have not received any notices about any meetings. I heard there is an annual general meeting as well. How long before a meeting should we receive notice of

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ACMO issues service alert about fob duplication

The Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario (ACMO) issued a service alert ahead of the winter holidays about an emerging security concern. In the Dec. 21 alert, ACMO said it had recently become aware of third-party contractors in the GTA

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Condo Smarts: Owner fined for someone else’s change

Dear Tony: I have owned my strata lot for 22 years in East Vancouver.  In September, I received a notice from my strata council that I had altered my balcony without written permission, and unless I was prepared to have

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Gas leak in Maple Ridge condo forces residents out into the cold (AB)

45 residents of a condo building in Maple Ridge had a very cold night because of a natural gas leak.  Fortis BC was called out to the building on Harris Road near 124th Avenue shortly after 11:30 Wednesday night because

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Condo Smarts: Victoria residents’ holiday ruined by parties in unit

Dear Tony: Our strata experienced several parties over the holidays that were unbearable for the residents. One owner rented their unit out on a short-term basis and the renters hosted several open-house-type parties that resulted in security problems, damage to

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Little dog, big hero: Puppy credited with saving residents from West Vancouver fire

A dog has saved the day after his barking in the middle of the night alerted his owner to a condo fire.  Brittany Cosgrove was sleeping soundly in her downtown apartment in the early hours of today (sun) when she

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Carbon monoxide leak cleared out condo

A scare for residents of a condominium on the city’s waterfront Friday afternoon as firefighters were called to the scene when a CO detector went off.  Read the article…………….

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Ontario court upholds condo rule banning short-term rentals

Condo owners who rented their suite for short-term stays violated the building’s rules, an Ontario court ruled earlier this month.  The Ottawa condo’s single-family restriction, covered in the board’s declaration, was breached when the unit was rented out through websites

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Calgary condo blames 12% fee hike on minimum wage, carbon tax but economist doubts claims (AB)

A property management company is blaming Alberta’s increased minimum wage and the carbon tax for rising condo fees, but an economist who has studied both provincial policies says they appear to have little to do with the increase.  Calgary condo-owner

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Condo Culture: Board should take immediate action against owners who do not pay fees

Q. I have heard that a few owners have fallen behind in their condo fees. This worries me because I know our monthly condo fees are necessary for the operations of our condominium property. I don’t want our condo fees

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Do You Know the Rules of Condo Living in Mississauga?

The might of the heavy hand of the condo corporation has been in the news lately. Recently, a judge ruled in favor of an Ottawa condo corporation that took legal action against residents who rented out their suite on short-term

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Legal line between renovations and repairs to shared space: Condo Law

Our board has recently spent more than $500,000 in cosmetic work — such as refurbishing hallways and the lobby. Two directors are real estate agents and the refurbishing helps them sell units. Is the expenditure valid?   Read the Q&A…………..

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Vote signals first condo wind-up approval under new law (BC)

Owners of a Vancouver condominium complex have became the first in B.C.’s history to successfully vote to dissolve their strata corporation and sell their building to a developer without obtaining unanimous support.  On December 12, more than 20 owners voted

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Smoking caused Langley City condominium fire: fire chief

The Dec. 13 fire that left more than 100 people homeless in Langley City was the result of smoking, City fire chief Rory Thompson said in an email to City council members.  “We have concluded our investigation which was conducted

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Families displaced by Langley condo fire may face two-year wait to return home

He says many displaced families will spend Christmas in hotels.  “They certainly won’t be able to return to the apartment. It looks like reconstruction of it could take up to two years, so it will be at this point, really

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Developers want to buy out owners of troubled Burlington condo

Two development firms and a real estate brokerage want to buy out the owners of a structurally problematic condo on New Street to build anew on the site.  Offering fair market value will mean paying three times more than what

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Condo Smarts: Strata unit owners must repair flood damage

Dear Tony: We have an unusual situation. A flood occurred in our building and the damages were below the deductible, which is $25,000. Three suites — 301, 201 and 101 — were damaged, and each owner was instructed to contact

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Massive Langley condo fire could have been prevented by newer building practices: developer

The spectacular fire that raged through a Langley condominium complex on Sunday likely wouldn’t have taken hold if it had been built under newer practices for placing additional sprinklers in four-storey wood-frame buildings, according to the developer that built the

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Massive fire rips through large condo building in Langley

A massive condo fire has left some Langley residents without a home during a cold snap two weeks before Christmas.  It has consumed a four-storey building in the 5600 block of 201A Street.   Read the article…………

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Ontario court ruling says condo buildings can ban sharing services such as Airbnb

In a ruling that could have wider implications, an Ontario court has said that condominium corporations have the authority to ban unit owners from renting out their properties on services such as Airbnb or Expedia.  In a 14-page decision released

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RCMs may have head start in move to licensing

Registered Condominium Managers (RCMs) may be on the fast track to obtaining the license that will soon be required to manage condominiums in Ontario. Those who possess the professional designation might simply have to pass an exam on the recently

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Strata act spells out rules for potential conflicts of interest

Dear Tony: Our strata corporation is over 100 units and we are about to start some major construction.  Two of our council members have construction backgrounds and both have ongoing working relationships with the consultants, potential contractors and the suppliers

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Lack of strata agents hurting industry, insiders say

The Lower Mainland is in serious need of more licensed strata managers – but persuading people to take up the job isn’t easy, say industry insiders.  Scott Ponuick, president and senior strata agent for Surrey-based Peninsula Strata Management Ltd., said

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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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