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Condo corporations must tread carefully on status certificates

A major decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal last week has raised the bar on the level of due diligence required by condominium corporations in preparing status certificates.  The origins of the case go back to September 1997, when

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Keeping track can help condo board meetings stay on track

Q:  Who is supposed to conduct the board meeting? I find our meetings go on and on and nothing gets accomplished. Do you have any suggestions that could help us run better board meetings?     Read more……….

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Man found dead after condo fire in Estevan

A fire at a condominium complex in Estevan has claimed a man’s life.  Police say 40-year-old Michael Mure likely died of smoke inhalation after the fire broke out early Wednesday morning.   Read more……….

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Condo Scene: Buyer beware — some legal advice before you jump in

If you’re thinking of buying a condo, there are legal matters you need to consider. When it comes to condo advice, lawyers Joshua Sprague and Nancy Johnson of Burke-Robertson LLP have got it in spades. That’s why I’ve asked them

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Condo Smarts: How sections work within a strata corporation

Dear Tony: Do you have any idea what is happening with strata corporations who have sections? We are getting all kinds of pressure from our management company to sign additional agreements and divide our operations into sections: the joint operation,

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Injured condo resident’s car impounded because of expired plate

Owners and renters are being warned to read their condominium corporation bylaws carefully after an Edmonton man had his car impounded.  Taylor Getschel’s 2001 Saturn was insured for fire and theft but the sticker on his plate had expired because

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Bill 9 criticized by condo group, opposition parties (AB)

The government’s new condo act is being criticized by opposition parties and the northern Alberta chapter of the Canadian Condominium Institute (CCI).Bill 9 attempts to modernize legislation governing buyers, developers and condo boards.    Read more……….

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Condo Smarts: What to do when council walks out

What most owners who oppose repairs don’t seem to understand is that the work has to be done and the strata will eventually be forced into the work, either through the appointment of an administrator, who will manage the resolution

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Strata Living: Owners want to see minutes

Dear Tony: Our strata corporation held its AGM a couple months ago and we have yet to receive the minutes. We normally receive the minutes of the strata council meeting within a few weeks so it seems odd that we

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Do I have to pay for my ceiling repairs after building’s roof leak?

Q A water leak through the roof of our condo damaged our ceiling. The condo corporation did the necessary repairs to the roof but said it was up to me to repair the ceiling. Isn’t the condo corporation insurance responsible

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Fraud Alert: Rogue management firm at large in Halton (ON)

It is not a lawyer’s usual role to alert the public about possible crimes being perpetrated by suspected criminals at large, but we feel compelled to do so when police and government fail to take action and leave condominium corporations

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Depreciation reports critical for strata properties (BC)

Condo or townhouse living can seem like a carefree lifestyle compared to living in a house. Just pay your monthly strata fee and live your life, right?  The truth is, strata living isn’t quite as carefree as some would wish.

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B.C. condo flood leaves owner in insurance nightmare

Carmen Cheung thought her condo renovations were almost done – then a contractor punctured a pipe, sending an hour-long cascade of water through the walls of her Burnaby home.     Read more……….

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Condo Smarts: Letting the facts out of the box

Dear Tony: Our strata council is fed up with lock boxes on our common property. We have constant problems with theft and common area keys being lost, which has ended in a number of break-ins to our storage lockers and

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Pig named Ernest Hamingway lives large in Whitehorse (AB) condo

The story of an Alberta family’s fight to keep their pot-bellied pig is hitting close to home for a Whitehorse family.  The hamlet of Sherwood Park, Alta., may force the family to give up the animal it has had for

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Condo Culture: Investor controls frustrated owners

Q: We live in a condo community with 75 units. More then half the units are owned by one investor, who also happens to be president of the condo corporation. This person seems to have more control than we would

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Condo Q&A: Yes, your view can change without notice

Q: Ten years ago, we purchased a second-floor condo unit with a beautiful river valley view. The gardening committee recently had new trees and shrubs planted, including a large tree that blocks our window. We bought the condo unit specifically

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Laval condo fire seriously injures senior

An 87-year-old woman was taken to hospital to be treated for serious burns after an overnight fire in a condo building in Laval.  The woman has burns to 80 per cent of her body.      Read more……..

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Condo Smarts: Contract copies must be provided

Dear Tony: I own four rental units in a 75-unit strata corporation. I have served on council on a number of occasions, attend all the strata corporation general meetings and have maintained a close relationship with many of the owners.

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Condo Smarts: There are laws on strata management

Dear Tony: I own four rental units in a 75-unit strata corporation. I have served on council on a number of occasions, attend all of the strata corporation general meetings and have maintained a close relationship with many of the

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Airbnb causing condo conflict in Vancouver

Airbnb rentals are increasingly popular with travellers looking for cheap accommodations. The short term rentals are also a hit with homeowners hoping to make some extra cash. But what do the neighbours think—especially if you’re in an apartment building?   Read

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Water main break floods condo at York Mills and Yonge

You think you’ve had a difficult morning?  Residents on the ground floor of a condo building at Yonge Street and York Mills Road had to wade through a small lake after a water main break on Friday.       Read

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Condo Smarts: Bylaws dictate responsibilities

Dear Tony: Our strata corporation has been making repairs to the insides of strata lots when there is water damage as a result of an overflowing toilet, tub, dishwasher or some other cause, which started either from within a strata

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Winter and condo politics threaten Brampton woman’s bond with her dog guide (ON)

It was love at first sight for Tammy Walsh, 48, when she set eyes on Kiwi, her service dog. The bond however strengthened over time.   That fragile relationship may now be in jeopardy as Walsh’s condominium board has denied the

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Condo Smarts: Who pays for repairs

Dear Tony: Our strata corporation have been making repairs to the insides of strata lots when there is water damage as a result of an overflowing toilet, tub, dishwasher or some other cause, either started from another strata lot or

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Condo operating fund must pay for fitness gear

If our corporation were to purchase equipment in order to create a fitness room, would payment come out of the reserve fund or the operating fund?    Read more………

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Condo Smarts: Updating depreciation reports

Dear Tony: Our strata corporation did its first depreciation report in 2011. The result has been a significant change in how our strata is looking toward the future of maintenance, replacement of building materials and how we are saving funds.

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Strata unit owner calls for direct billing (BC)

With the municipal election fast approaching, Dr. Bryan Sweet implores fellow Courtenay strata unit owners to demand direct billing of municipal services to individual homes.   Read more……….

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Can a condominium director also be the building’s cleaner?

Q. One of our directors has offered to do the cleaning in our building. Can the board pay a fellow director for cleaning duties or is this against the Condo Act?    Read more……..

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Engineers undermined stability of Calgary condo parkade, judge says in ‘landmark ruling’

City of Calgary officials say they’ve won a “landmark ruling” against an engineering firm the city says undermined the structural stability of a downtown condo building’s parked.    Read more…….

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Land dispute possibly behind Vancouver shooting

Kendall and the Mounces lived next door to each other.  Mounce had filed a lawsuit against Kendall for violating several different homeowner association rules. “Basically, the only thing I really heard is he was renting out his property,” said neighbor Jason,

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Be sure to avoid conflict of interest

Q: Our condominium board recently learned that an owner in our townhouse complex has been renting out rooms to boarders. This is against our bylaws. Two of the three boarders have moved out, but one remains. The owner has now

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Condo technology becomes a modern amenity

The fast-changing landscape of technology is spurring condo developers to offer faster, more sophisticated services to prospective buyers.  With 4K television, home automation and high-resolution audio making a big splash at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year in Las

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Condo Smarts: Respecting privacy

Dear Tony: What happens when a strata corporation breaches private information?  Our strata council has developed a chronic habit of dealing with monthly council business through email, and this has now created a serious problem.     Read more……..

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Condo board pres. believes he was target of arson over fees dispute (ON, Canada)

The president of a Toronto condo board is in hiding with his wife after they narrowly escaped what they believe was an arson motivated by a dispute over condos fees.   The fire broke out on the first floor of a

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Condo Smarts: Respecting privacy

Dear Tony: What happens when a strata corporation breaches private information?   Our strata council has developed a chronic habit of dealing with monthly council business through email, and this has now created a serious problem.    Read more……..

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Can a condo board ignore a meeting request?

Q. We had the owners sign a petition to requisition a special meeting of owners. There are certain issues we need to discuss. The board has informed us they have no intention of calling such a meeting. Can the board

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Condo Culture: No excuse for activity outside designated play area

Q: We have a problem with children playing sports on the roads and driveways. This is very dangerous, and our condo rules prohibit this. The noise level is also very loud because of the excessive activities. There are other places

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Condo board elected at turnover meeting

I live in a retirement community made up of a number of small condo corporations. The developer, who is continuing to build new condos in the community, owns the management company and another company that owns various facilities including the

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Crews seeking cause of fire at west Edmonton condo complex

The investigation of a west Edmonton fire, that ripped through a condo complex overnight, has now begun.  The flames broke out at a building under construction, near 101 Avenue and 160 Street, around midnight and quickly spread to a neighbouring

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Condo Smarts: Strata responsible for exterior windows

Dear Tony: Our strata corporation has received its depreciation report, and our doors and windows are due for projected upgrading in 2020.   Overall, our report has been positive because our 25-year-old strata has maintained our property well and recently replaced

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Condo residents forced out by fire seek answers

People forced out of their homes by a fire in a west Edmonton condo in June are frustrated with what they say is a lack of progress on rebuilding the structure.  The fire at the South Hampton condo caused $10

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Police investigate suspicious Toronto townhouse fire

Toronto police are investigating the cause of a fire at the home of a condo board member that a witness said may be related to an ongoing dispute among residents.  A man and his wife were sleeping in their condo

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Toronto’s condo crisis: Are Tory, Chow and Ford concerned many could be slums in the making? Apparently not. (ON)

“Life is a journey not a destination.” Toronto voters appear to have adopted these words by American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson to signal their number one mayoral election issue: Transportation. But I suggest we need to shift our perspective.       Read

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Condo act (AB) reforms not dead yet, despite prorogued legislature

Proposed amendments to Alberta’s Condominium Property Act are in limbo, but for some calling for changes this may be a blessing in disguise.  The former Bill 13, tabled earlier this year, aimed at protecting condo buyers and existing owners, enhancing

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Bay Beach condo developer seeks $10 million in damages from Fort Erie

Ten months after the project was aborted, the controversial Bay Beach condo has resurfaced in the form of a $10-million statement of claim filed against the municipality of Fort Erie and four individual councillors.   Read more………

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Strata wants wood flooring removed

Dear Tony: I just bought a great condo that is 18 years old. I have decided to upgrade the unit before I move in and have changed the lighting, repainted, added granite counters and I am having hardwood floors installed.

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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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