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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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Legal Matters: Do condo owners have a say in whether or not fees increase?

Q:  Is the Board of Directors of my condominium required to obtain owners’ approval prior to increasing monthly common element fees?     Read the Q&A……………..

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Council approves rezoning of Harvest Hills golf course for real estate development (AB)

Council approved the rezoning that will pave the way for a 716-unit housing development on a closed golf course late Monday despite hearing from dozens of Calgarians who voiced their vehement opposition to the plan.  For hours, citizens detailed their

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Tenant turned Airbnb proprietor becomes landlord’s nightmare (ON)

But within days, before the rent cheques started bouncing, Tremblay’s tenancy turned into Mah’s nightmare when building staff advised the female occupant was renting the unit to multiple individuals, probably through Airbnb, a website offering short-term rentals in private homes.

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Judge orders Vancouver strata to impose $16 million levy to repair leaky condo problems

A judge has ordered a Vancouver strata to impose on the owners a $16.8 million special levy to repair long-standing leaky condo problems.  Owners first noticed water issues at Gardenia Villa, a 250-unit complex located at Broadway and Nanaimo, shortly

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Pet ban is not always valid: Condo Law

Q: The status certificate for the condo we were purchasing stated “no pets allowed.” Our lawyer told us that nothing could be done. Was he right?   Read the Q&A………….

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Strata crackdown locks out Airbnb guest (BC)

When Kyle MacDonald and his fiancé booked a five-night stay at a luxurious two-bedroom downtown suite through Airbnb, they didn’t expect to be caught in the crossfire between the owner and the building’s strata.  On their fourth day, the couple’s

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Police searching for suspect in condo rental fraud scheme

Toronto Police are searching for a 58-year-old suspect who has allegedly posed as a landlord to rent out condo units that he did not actually own to unsuspecting prospective tenants.  Investigators say the suspect has been renting condos in various

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Condo Smarts: Stratas should audit Air Space Parcel agreements

Dear Tony: Our strata is a combination of condos, a hotel and businesses on the ground floor. We share some common expenses for maintenance and repairs, on-site staff and insurance. The expenses are based on a formula included in our

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Woman with Alzheimer’s disease risks losing dog she relies on due to condo policy

“This animal isn’t a pet,” Murray said. “I had him registered with Service Dogs of Canada, as the law stated. I provided a doctor’s note stating the necessity of having this animal.”  The condo board said if Kaos was a

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Condo Questions: Owners should insure against loss of rental income

Q: My condo unit has been under repair for the past two months due to water seepage. During this time, my tenant has been unable live in the bedroom due to the mould, repairs and cleaning, so I have suffered

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Condo culture: Owners must follow rules when leasing units

Q. Our community consists of 52 condo townhouses and approximately 30 are rented out to mostly students. Our property is losing its appeal as an attractive and quiet environment. We used to enjoy our family-oriented community but that has now

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Condo owners do not get a deed to their views

Q: I read an article that you wrote in 2014 stating that condo owners do not own their view.  In our case, there is a movement afoot (mainly from first-floor owners who face a lake) to lop off existing trees

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New dispute resolution available for strata tenants and owners (BC)

Resolving strata property disputes used to involve a lengthy legal process that took up to three years and cost tenants and owners upwards of $30,000.  But not any more.  The Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) is an online portal that opened

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Condo Smarts: Commissioning of new building crucial for strata council

Dear Tony: We purchased our Burnaby condo in the spring and our strata is about to hold its first annual general meeting. One of the agenda items posed to the property manager is the requirement for commissioning of the building

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Legal Matters: How condo boards make decisions on repairs to common spaces

Question: Is the Board of Directors of my condominium required to present to owners the various financing options available when completing major maintenance or repair to the common elements, for example, the condominium’s roof?    Read the Q&A…………

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Keeping condominium owners in the loop: How to use communication committees effectively

It’s one of the most common complaints in condos — poor communication from the board or management to owners. Complaints of “We don’t know what’s going on!” or “We are paying the bills and you keep us in the dark!”

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