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Canada Article Archive

/ Owner - July 11, 2012
  • Owner Responsible for Corporation’s Deductible (ON) March 1, 2024
    In the case of Abeygunasekara v. PCC 392, the Ontario Superior Court held the owner responsible for loss falling within the deductible under the condominium corporation’s insurance policy.  In the PCC 392 case, water overflowed from the toilet in Unit 718, resulting in damage to several other units and to the common elements. According to the Court’s decision, the superintendent “checked the toilet and determined that the toilet’s flapper was ajar, and that the toilet had been clogged.” The damage ...
  • Privacy Concerns: Video Doorbells in Condos (ON) February 29, 2024
    In the age of technological advancements, the integration of video doorbells in condos have become an increasingly hot topic. Video doorbells, equipped with real-time video streaming, have revolutionized home security. While these devices offer enhanced security and convenience, the rising installation of video doorbells in condos has sparked concerns about privacy.   Read the article…………………………….
  • Top 10 Amenities Residents Want In A Condominium Corporation (ON) February 26, 2024
    Many condominium corporations have amenities that give residents even more opportunities to enjoy their community. These amenities, funded primarily through common element fees, play a pivotal role in shaping the quality of neighbourhood life. They also help a condominium corporation remain competitive in the homebuying market and increase property values. Read on to learn the top 10 amenities that today’s condominium corporation homeowners and potential homebuyers are looking for.    Read the article…………………………….
  • Smoking in condos does not always amount to nuisance (ON) February 22, 2024
    While lots of condos have become smoke free, many either don’t regulate smoking or have granted legacy rights to existing smokers. The result is that, when owners complain about smoke in their units, both sides rely on their nose to argue that the other side is wrong about the degree of nuisance. In a recent case, the CAT ruled on whether a “sniff test” constituted an adequate investigation into a smoke complaint.   Read the article…………………………….
  • Resident Permitted to Keep Dog as an “Emotional Support Animal” (ON) February 17, 2024
    In the case of MTCC 584 v. Kakish, the condominium corporation’s Declaration and Rules contained provisions prohibiting pets in the units.  One of the residents had a dog. She provided three letters from her doctor, setting out her need for the dog. She also provided a further letter from her treating psychiatrist. The letters stated that the resident suffered from anxiety and depression and needed the dog as a support animal to help decrease her anxiety and depression, and to ...
  • Condos must enforce their visitor parking rules (ON) February 15, 2024
    Here is another case involving visitor parking. In this case, the CAT ordered the condo to enforce its existing rules and to implement measures to better regulate the use of their visitor parking. Facts of the case: The condo complex at the centre of this litigation has 25 common element visitor parking spaces for approximately 200 units.   Read the article…………………………….
  • B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal Says Smokers Didn’t Have a Right to Smoke February 10, 2024
    In the case of The Owners, Strata Plan NES2613 v. Ramsay, the B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal ordered the residents of one of the units to stop smoking in their unit.  The strata corporation had passed a bylaw against smoking. The bylaw said that a resident could not smoke in any interior space, including within the units, or on exterior common property within 3 meters of a door, window, or air intake.   Read the article…………………………….
  • Condominium Corporations Are Not Authorized to Release Owners’ Emails to Third Parties Without Clear Consent of the Owners (ON) January 30, 2024
    Recently, we have received enquiries from clients about whether or not condominium corporations are required to provide a list of owners’ email addresses to owners (in accordance with a request for records) or to a third party (for instance, the Condominium Authority of Ontario). The short answer is no. Read the article…………………………….
  • The Importance of Full Disclosure in Status Certificates (ON) December 20, 2023
    A status certificate is a crucial document for prospective purchasers. This document serves as a comprehensive guide, offering a point-in-time snapshot of the condominium corporation’s fiscal health, potential circumstances which may result in an increase in common expenses, ongoing legal matters, and other potential red flags that would be of interest to purchasers.   Read the article………………………….
  • What’s next for condominium insurance? (ON) December 12, 2023
    In recent years, we navigated a challenging insurance environment known as a “hard market”. This term describes a period when multiple factors make it more challenging to secure and maintain suitable insurance coverage. In essence, the insurance companies were paying out more in claims than they were collecting in premiums.   Read the article………………………………
  • A look at the CAO’s draft anti-harassment rule (ON) December 12, 2023
    Harassment towards property managers, directors, contractors, and residents remains a significant problem within condominium corporations. It is an unfortunate reality that some individuals use verbal abuse, personal attacks, threats, and intimidation (harassment) as a means of getting what they want in their dealings with condo corporations.    Read the article…………………………
  • The Code and the CAT: Old habits die hard and old dogs don’t learn new tricks (ON) December 11, 2023
    Toronto often ranks amongst the dog-friendliest cities in the world. Sadly, this sentiment does not necessarily apply to condos in the city. Through its governing docs, condos can impose an outright prohibition on dogs from entering the premises; it can also impose weight, size or breed-related prohibitions. However, these prohibitions do not take precedence over a valid disability-related accommodation request under the Human Rights Code.    Read the article………………………………….
  • Can condo corporations put up “Christmas” decorations on common elements? (ON) December 8, 2023
    We’re fast approaching that most wonderful time of the year, with cheers of joy and good wishes… for most. You see, the holiday spirit is not universally shared by all.  To help you get into the holiday spirit (should you be so inclined but in no way obligated to), we decided to revisit this 2021 post on whether Christmas decorations on condo common elements are discriminatory.   Read the article…………………………….
  • Continuing education for condo board directors – Eight ideas for getting it right December 4, 2023
    Condominiums are complex entities to manage and yet are governed by elected directors who are not required to have any relevant expertise. Most new directors have no prior experience about being on a condo board. It is the luck of the draw if a director has expertise pertinent to the condominium.    Read the article……………………………….
  • The call for safer condos in Ontario: How boards can help manage escalating incidents November 29, 2023
    Conflicts and disputes within Ontario’s condos are fueling a conversation around safety reform and adding pressure to make residential communities better places to live and work.  Over the past year, various members of the industry conveyed how relationships among directors, managers and owners are becoming increasingly heated. Although the crux of the issue is challenging to pinpoint, there’s a flurry of reasons.    Read the article………………………………
  • Winter Safety for Multi-story and Townhouse Style Condominiums (AB) November 26, 2023
    As the winter season approaches, it’s crucial for condominium owners and property managers to prioritize safety in their multi-story and townhouse style condominiums. The combination of harsh weather conditions and unique architectural considerations requires specific measures to ensure the well-being of residents. In this blog post, we will explore key aspects of winter safety and provide essential tips for maintaining a safe and comfortable environment throughout the winter months.  Read the article…………………………
  • Tendering for Condominiums (ON) November 25, 2023
    It is not uncommon that lawyers are asked to review signed contracts from clients after the lengthy tendering process has already been completed. But there are reasons why you may want to involve your lawyer much earlier on in the process and here are the reasons why:   Read the article………………………..
  • Condo Maintenance Fees Climbing (ON) November 17, 2023
    For young families, condominiums have become reliable alternatives for homeownership, particularly in major urban centres. In Toronto, for example, the average selling price for a detached house is north of $1 million. By comparison, the average sales price for a condo suite is around $750,000. This is huge savings for the typical household residing in North America’s fourth-largest city. But while it is cheaper to acquire an apartment, there are a few costs that condo residents need to endure each ...
  • Multifamily leads uptake of EV charger funds (Canada) November 9, 2023
    Multifamily landlords and condominium corporations have claimed more than a third of the funds the Canadian government has thus far allocated through its Zero Emissions Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP) to subsidize EV chargers that are made available to multiple users. That’s largely because applicants from the multifamily sector were the most proactive among the four groups ZEVIP targeted in a effort to spur installation of 33,500 charging ports by March 31, 2026.   Read the article…………………………..
  • Condo Living with Pets: Tips for a Happy Home November 8, 2023
    Condo living doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the joy of having a furry companion. With the right knowledge and preparation, condo living can be a harmonious experience for both you and your pets. In this blog post, we’ll explore valuable tips and insights to create a happy home for your pets within a condo environment.   Read the article…………………………….
  • The Rising Cost of Condo Living in Canada: Implications and Challenges November 6, 2023
    Condo living has long been an attractive option for many Canadians, offering convenience, amenities, and a sense of community. However, in recent years, the cost of condo living has been steadily increasing, posing implications and challenges for both current condo owners and potential buyers. Understanding these issues is crucial for anyone considering condo ownership or interested in the real estate market.   Read the article……………………………..
  • Understanding Condo Fees in Alberta, Canada November 5, 2023
    Living in a condominium in Alberta, Canada, offers several advantages, from shared amenities to reduced maintenance responsibilities. However, these benefits come with a cost: condo fees. These fees cover the shared expenses of the condominium complex and play a crucial role in maintaining the quality of life within the community. Understanding how these fees are calculated, what they cover, and why they are necessary is critical for any potential or current condo owner in Alberta.     Read the article……………………………
  • Reserve Fund Studies for Condominiums: Ensuring Property Value and Financial Stability November 3, 2023
    Condominiums are not just homes; they are investments. As a condominium owner, property manager, real estate investor, or condo board member, it is crucial to prioritize the long-term maintenance and financial stability of your property. One essential aspect of achieving this is through reserve fund studies   Read the article…………………………
  • Termination of Condos – The End of the Line (ON) October 28, 2023
    Although there haven’t been too many instances of terminations of condos in Ontario, aging buildings and increasing land values can make this a feasible opportunity for some condo corporations.  Read the article (PDF)………………………………
  • CAO drafts anti-harassment rule (ON) October 26, 2023
    The Condominium Authority of Ontario has drafted an anti-harassment rule for condo corporations to consider including in their rules. The news comes as condo communities struggle with escalating issues of harassment.   Read the article………………………………..
  • How one Toronto condo got an EV charging retrofit job done — and done right (ON) October 19, 2023
    In multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs) making any sort of collective decision is notoriously difficult. And with one in eight Canadians living in condos, group action when it comes to installing electric vehicle charging infrastructure is a common problem.    Read the article……………………………
  • The CAT Does Not Have Jurisdiction to Deal With Repair and Maintenance (ON) October 14, 2023
    In the case of Tarski v. YRSCC 1179, the Applicant complained about noise from the mechanical room above his penthouse unit. The Tribunal said that the complaint fell within the condominium corporation’s duties to maintain and repair the common elements, which fell outside the Tribunal’s jurisdiction.   Read the article…………………………………
  • Tips For A More Confident Condominium Annual General Meeting Presentation (ON) October 12, 2023
    As a board member in a condominium corporation, your duties may require you to present important information and updates to community residents and other board members at owner meetings. That can be difficult if you have a fear of public speaking, also known as glossophobia, or are unsure of how to build an effective presentation. Follow these tips to ensure you’re always prepared to advocate for your community.    Read the article………………………………….
  • Complaints Must Be Reasonably Expressed (ON) October 6, 2023
    In the case of YCC 444 v. Ryan, an owner (Ms. Ryan) made complaints about another resident who was smoking. The condominium corporation dealt with the smoker, and the smoker ultimately agreed to use reasonable efforts to prevent the smoke from being transmitted to the common elements and other units.   Read the article……………………………
  • Bill 91, Less Red Tape, Stronger Economy Act, 2023 (ON) October 3, 2023
    On October 1, 2023, new amendments to the Condominium Act, 1998 and the regulations will go into force, allowing condominium corporations to hold virtual meetings and communicate with owners by email.   Read the article…………………………….
  • REMINDER: Changes to the Condominium Act, 1998 Come Into Force on October 1, 2023 (ON) September 29, 2023
    Effective October 1, 2023, changes to the Condominium Act, 1998 come into force. The changes replace the temporary provisions in the Act that expire September 30, 2023 related to virtual/electronic processes for meetings and voting with permanent provisions.   Read the article………………………………
  • Condo liens, oppression, insurance deductible and other firefighting lessons September 21, 2023
    Sadly, this case which started with eggs inadvertently forgotten on a stove ended up costing an owner his home when he refused to pay the deductible amount being charged back to his unit. In this blog, we discuss the validity of condo liens and the deference that will be granted to condo corporations who are exercising their duties.    Read the article………………………..
  • No credit for the chargeback card: Practical solutions and why improper condo chargebacks are not the answer (ON) September 13, 2023
    Condo living is unpredictable and there’s always something new…yet I write about chargebacks, indemnity clauses and Amlani all too often. The law is settled: condos cannot charge back enforcement-related costs – specifically legal letters – without a court order, despite how any indemnification provisions are drafted.   Read the article………………………..
  • Ticketing and Towing Vehicles in Condominium Corporations (ON) September 11, 2023
    There are many reasons why the Board of Directors of a condominium corporation would want a vehicle towed, including violation of parking rules, expired plates, or an inoperable or derelict vehicle.  The Condominium Authority Tribunal has recently provided some guidance on whether a condominium can legally tow a vehicle.    Read the article………………………..
  • Noise and the Jurisdiction of the CAT (ON) September 7, 2023
    In the case of Reany v. Waterloo Standard Condominium Corporation No. 670, the CAT was asked to deal with a complaint about excessive noise coming from the common element gym, located on the same floor as the complainant’s unit.   Read the article………………………..
  • Condo Amenities: 2023 Power Rankings (ON) August 29, 2023
    At a time when applications for new builds are seemingly endless, not all condo amenities are created equal.  The common denominator is convenience: amenities should remove the requirement for residents to leave the building for everyday routines and rhythms. But, as life evolves, so do the types of amenities today’s (and tomorrow’s) condo dwellers really want — and need.
  • Mastering the Strata Warranty Process (QB) August 16, 2023
    Brent and James dive into the world of strata warranties with Naomi Rozenberg, partner with Lesperance Mendes and equip you with knowledge & best practices to navigate the process with confidence. Understanding and implementing these tips will help ensure a smooth and successful warranty experience.   Listen to the podcast………………………..
  • Noise Complaints – What Are a Condominium Corporation’s Obligations? (ON) August 8, 2023
    In the case of Mermut v. York Region Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1381, the Applicant complained about noise coming from the unit above. The alleged noise consisted of “banging, knocking, dropping, bouncing, rolling, hitting, striking, ‘thunking’, throwing of heavy objects onto the hard floors, dragging of furniture and motorized sounds” “at all hours of the day and night”. Much of the sound was alleged to be attributable to a baby who was residing in the upper unit.   Read the article………………………..
  • What does the CAO do? (ON) August 2, 2023
    The Condominium Authority of Ontario is an organization that aims to improve condo living by providing services and resources for condo communities.   Read the article………………………..
  • CAT Awards Cost for Non-Participation (ON) August 1, 2023
    In the recent CAT decision, Mermut v. York Region Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1381 et al. (“Mermut”), CAT highlights the importance of diligently participating in applications and abiding by the deadlines imposed by its members. It also serves as a reminder to condo corporations of their obligation to adequately investigate and try to resolve unit-to-unit disputes.    Read the article………………………..
  • Noise Complaints – What are a condominium corporation’s obligations? (ON) July 31, 2023
    In the case of Mermut v. York Region Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1381, the Applicant complained about noise coming from the unit above. The alleged noise consisted of “banging, knocking, dropping, bouncing, rolling, hitting, striking, ‘thunking’, throwing of heavy objects onto the hard floors, dragging of furniture and motorized sounds” “at all hours of the day and night”. Much of the sound was alleged to be attributable to a baby who was residing in the upper unit.   Read the article………………………..
  • Triable Issues & Legal Clocks: Park Place Condo Roof Dispute Examined (AB) July 29, 2023
    An ongoing dispute over a leaky roof between a condominium board and the developer responsible for the condominium’s construction sheds light on the challenges faced by litigators when determining the commencement of a limitations period.  Read the article………………………..
  • Timely Commencement Of Proceedings Essential For Condominiums Collection Of Condominium Fees (AB) July 22, 2023
    For years there has been a question on the issue of Condominium’s collecting condo fees on a caveat that was filed more than two years prior to a foreclosure action filed to collect those fees. Did the caveat protect ALL of the arrears owing, as the Condominium Property Act (CPA) suggests?   Read the article………………………..
  • Legal implications of AI in condo management (ON) July 20, 2023
    The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, like ChatGPT, is becoming more commonplace, and this emerging technology is likely to continue to evolve and embed itself in business practices.  AI in condominium property management can have several legal implications, depending on how it is implemented and used. Here are some important legal considerations:   Read the article………………………..
  • 6 Condo Fire Safety Best Practices July 13, 2023
    Fire danger is something that condominium communities across North America all face. A fire can spread quickly, doubling in size or raging out of control in 30 seconds or less. And while some factors, like dry landscaping and unattended flames, can increase the risk of fires, education about fire safety is the best method of prevention. Understanding fire safety best practices can enhance community living and help residents have fun more comfortably.   Read the article………………………..
  • EV-ready bylaw tracker for condo, strata and MURB charging in Canada July 6, 2023
    There are no regulations in Canada’s national building code governing this topic. And MURB residents across Canada are struggling to understand if (and how) they may access EV charging at home.  Provinces and territories are free to create their own building bylaws and codes. But, to date, they have largely left responsibility for drafting and implementing EV-ready building rules to municipalities.   Read the article………………………..
  • New requirements for property managers starting THIS July (ON) July 6, 2023
    The Condominium Management Services Act (“CMSA”) was enacted in 2015. The Condo Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (“CMRAO”), which derives its authority from the CMSA, is the regulatory body that enforces the mandatory licensing of property managers.  Read the article………………………..
  • Strata Alert: BC Supreme Court Decision Sheds Doubt on the Practice of Developers Selling Parking Lease Assignments July 1, 2023
    In Abstract Projects Inc. v Strata Plan EPS6069, 2023 BCSC 42, Lesperance Mendes won another victory for our clients in the BC Supreme Court, preventing a developer from assigning parking spaces under a lease to themself over the objection of the residential strata lot owners.     Read the article………………………..
  • What the court said about a condo owner using his unit for Airbnb (BC) June 27, 2023
    British Columbia’s Civil Resolution Tribunal has ordered a strata corporation to direct one of its council members to stop using a unit for short-term accommodations (STAs) after finding the council member violated a strata bylaw.     Read the article………………………..
  • October 1st Condominium Act changes- How to Prepare (ON) June 27, 2023
    We previously blogged about Bill 91 and its impact on condominium corporations as of October 1, 2023.  We have been getting a lot of questions from condo directors seeking clarification as to what is required prior to October 1 to prepare for the change.   Read the article………………………..
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