Strata at Lake Okanagan Resort says they are ‘committed to rebuilding’ (BC)

“It isn’t all doom and gloom,” says one of the strata councils at Lake Okanagan Resort.  A letter forwarded to Castanet by one of the strata members, Nicole Noël, says there has been significant progress and ongoing efforts towards rebuilding homes destroyed or damaged by the McDougall Creek wildfire in August 2023.    Read the article…………………………….

Burnaby strata ordered to replace leaking skylights installed by previous owner (BC)

A Burnaby townhouse owner has won a battle against her strata over three leaky skylights above her unit.   When Hui Jie moved into her Coronado Drive townhome in 2006, it featured three skylights that had been added by a previous owner, according to a recent B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal ruling.    Read the article…………………………….

B.C. man’s $72K strata vibration claim dismissed

A White Rock man has lost his bid to get $72,000 in damages for alleged strata building vibrations he said were keeping him awake.  In her July 10 decision, B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal member Alison Wake said former tenant Christopher Konrad claimed the strata failed to investigate the vibrations. He wanted damages for loss of […]

Even more condo developments in the GTA have gone into receivership (ON)

Condo developers are having a tougher time moving units in Toronto than ever as the market for the housing type completely flops, pushing some to offer desperate incentives or even halt new builds.  One indication of the troubling landscape — prompted by high interest rates and a general lack of affordability as home prices refuse […]

Condo Smarts: Independent consultant can provide unbiased advice (BC)

Dear Tony: We are facing a significant project in our complex to replace roofing on four of our eight townhouse buildings. They were built in two phases and the first phase roofing is now at the end of its life. Two council members want to use a contractor who gave us a price six months […]

Decision reserved in case of Elliott Lake homeowners seeking help to remove uranium waste rock from properties

Arguments in a judicial review hearing involving three homeowners from Elliot Lake have concluded with Justice Ann Marie McDonald reserving her decision.  The applicants argue the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is responsible for investigating and ordering the remediation of waste rock from former uranium mines that was used as fill on their properties.    Read […]

Condo associations seek changes to criminal code (ON)

Ontario’s leading condo associations are requesting the provincial government to amend the Criminal Code of Canada and impose stricter sentencing measures on individuals who commit or attempt to engage in violent assaults against condo directors, officers, managers, and related support staff.     Read the article…………………………….

Chronic property tax arrears at Toronto condo (ON)

A downtown condominium complex is a major contributor to Toronto’s property tax arrears with 15 units collectively owing more than $10.2 million. The City’s recently released list of debtors with tax bills surpassing $500,000 identifies five different recalcitrant corporate owners at the 222 Spadina Avenue property, four of which have unpaid balances dating back to […]

B.C. changing rules as strata property insurance costs rise

The B.C. government is making changes to strata property and financial rules to deal with the soaring cost of insurance for multi-family buildings.  Amendments introduced in the B.C. legislature June 23 would require strata corporations to inform owners about insurance coverage, including increased deductibles, and allow strata councils to use their contingency funds to pay […]

Happy Canda Day

To my great neighbors to the south (Canada is south of Detroit), thanks for being a wonderful place.

Condo Smarts: Heat pumps require authorization of council (BC)

Dear Tony: We are an 18-unit townhouse complex in Richmond. Two owners installed heat pumps and removed their gas furnaces without any consent of the corporation. Both units have since sold and a neighbour is complaining they were installed without proper authorization.  The recent article about fines and removal of heat pumps and air conditioners […]

Tribunal decision reveals strata’s struggle to find strange noise (BC)

A recent decision from B.C.’s Civil Resolution Tribunal tells a bizarre tale about a mysterious noise in a concrete building that has led to hundreds of complaints, tens of thousands of dollars in fines, the consultation of acoustic engineers and the draining of a heating and cooling system.    Read the article…………………………….

Non-redeemable investments not recommended for strata councils (BC)

Q: We are in need of a special assessment to cover an emergency underground repair in our townhouse complex. We have enough funds in our reserves to cover the cost, but our strata president decided to invest the funds in a three year non-redeemable GIC, so we have no choice but to assess the owners. […]

Calgary condo complex fire displaces dozens of people (AB)

Dozens of Calgarians and their pets do not yet know when or if they will be able to return to their homes after a fire broke out at a condo complex in the city’s southeast on Sunday night.   Read the article…………………………….

Condo troubles: When is an owner so unruly, they just have to leave?

For most owners and residents, the condominium community lifestyle offers numerous advantages over freehold homes built at ground level. Occasionally, however, community living can present challenges which seldom arise in the context of single-family homes. Last year, one such situation gave rise to two court hearings in which the court disapproved of the actions of […]

B.C. strata fines owner more than $11K for installing heat pump

A Richmond, B.C., man who was fined more than $11,000 for installing a heat pump in his strata lot will have to pay significantly less, thanks to a tribunal decision.  The Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) has ordered Sina Shakibaei’s strata to reduce the fines levied against him from $11,600 to $2,600.    Read the article…………………………….

The dust won’t settle! (AB)

Big Lakes County has denied a request from Hilliard’s Bay Estates for council to provide dust control on the main gravel road leading to the residential community.  At its regular meeting May 22, council approved a recommendation by administration to reject the request to provide dust control on Township Rd. 752A between the turnoff to […]

B.C. strata ordered to reduce heat pump fines

B.C.’s Civil Resolution Tribunal has ordered a Richmond strata to remove most of the fines it levied against an owner after he installed a heat pump.  The case came down to whether there had been an agreement that the heat pump had been approved and a lack of quorum at a meeting of the council […]

Condo Smarts: Recycling issue can be decided by council vote (BC)

Dear Tony: Does the strata council require the approval of the owners at a general meeting to expand our recycling and waste management? We are a large strata community over 200 units and have been approached to do fabric and clothing recycling. It would include carpeting from renovations and all types of fabrics, as well […]

BC strata rebuked for bad handling of neighbour’s noise complaints

A fight between two neighbours in a BC condo building escalated after one of them repeatedly complained about the screaming and shouting coming through the floors. Despite their efforts to take the issue to legal channels and order the upstairs neighbours to quiet down, it didn’t end exactly as they expected.   Read the article…………………………….

Sudden $600K repair bill stuns condo owners (ON)

Residents of a condominium complex in Kanata’s Katimavik neighbourhood are facing a giant repair bill that some say caught them off guard.  In March, the 40 condo owners on Stratas Court near Eagleson Road learned repairs to railings and leaking glass solariums at the 40-year-old complex would cost them a total of $600,000.    Read the […]

Condo Smarts: What’s the law on electronic meetings and proxies (BC)

Q: Is it possible for owners in a strata corporation to determine how our general meetings are being held? Prior to the Covid era, we had in person meetings, we always struggled with a quorum, and one person always controlled the meetings with a fist of proxies. During the restrictions we held meetings electronically, our […]

Condo Smarts: Strata owners can vote on type of general meeting (BC)

Dear Tony: Is it possible for owners in a strata corporation to determine how our general meetings are being held? Prior to the COVID era, we had in-person meetings, and we always struggled with a quorum, and one person always controlled the meetings with a fist of proxies. During the restrictions when we held meetings […]

Whose sinkholes are these, anyway? City says ‘not mine.’ After a year, locals just want them fixed (ON)

What’s behind the sinkholes that have developed in a midtown condo driveway, and who’s responsible for fixing them?  That’s the $64,000 question bedevilling condo owners at 245 Davisville Ave., where two sinkholes — one of which is has been there for about a year — are putting the squeeze on their driveway.    Read the article…………………………….

B.C. woman loses $13K BBQ nuisance claim

In a March 2021 B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal complaint, former strata tenant Tamara Heitner claimed her strata failed to investigate and enforce its bylaw about an alleged restriction to allow barbecues on balconies and patios.?Specifically, the occupants of the suites around her used barbecues, sometimes nightly,      Read the article…………………………….

Condo Smarts: Vacant units a problem for stratas (BC)

Dear Tony: My mom passed away in January, and since then we have been processing the estate. The unit has been vacant since December of last year and we are in the process of selling, but there have been a number of issues pop up.  The strata council have entered the unit without any notice […]

Shuswap strata sues for $30,000 over short-term rentals (BC)

A Shuswap strata that sued for $30,000 over condos used as short-term rentals has been awarded just $400 after a Tribunal found that the only fines valid were because guests hung towels on the balcony and slammed a door.   Read the article…………………………….

Condo Smarts: No specified time period for completion of projects (BC)

Q: Our strata council is holding a $1.1 million-dollar levy that was approved in the fall of 2022, intended for roofing, and has still not been implemented. There have been many excuses, and while the owners have been patient, several owners have since sold their homes and are now challenging the validity of the levy […]

Consumer protection on Ontario’s condo agenda

Ontario’s Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) could be called on to resolve more types of disputes between condo corporations and owners. The provincial government is considering adding processes related to owner-requisitioned meetings to the online tribunal’s adjudication duties.   Read the article…………………………….

Twice-displaced Abbotsford woman calls for more disaster supports (BC)

After rising floodwaters forced Danielle Rayner to evacuate her rented townhouse in Abbotsford, B.C., in November 2021, she says she still had faith she could rebuild her life.  But just six months later, the Abbotsford condo building she had hoped would be her new “safe haven” was consumed by a massive fire that killed one […]

The Homeowner Protection Act 2024 (ON)

For condominium communities, the Condominium Authority Tribunal’s jurisdiction will be expanded to cover a broader range of disputes, giving condo owners more resolution options and improving management. Additionally, the province will be looking into protections for condo owners and purchasers to improve how condos are run, the release stated.   Read the article…………………………….

Condo Smarts: Operational elevator a basic requirement (BC)

Dear Tony: We live in a 22-floor building in Metro Vancouver with two elevators. Owners received notice a week prior that one of our two elevators will be out of commission for two to three months undergoing an overhaul. The work started last week and on Friday night our second elevator failed. The council refused […]

Visitor parking scarcity draws criticism (ON)

A visitor parking scarcity could ripple out to cause tension in many neighbourhoods surrounding new multifamily developments, a Toronto Councillor maintains. Lily Cheng, who represents the north central Willowdale ward, is calling for clearer rules that account for the differing availability of public parking options in various areas of the city.   Read the article…………………………….

Condo Smarts: No specified time period for project completion (BC)

Dear Tony: Thank you for your column last week regarding levy refunds.  Our strata council is holding a $1.1 million-dollar levy that was approved in the fall of 2022, intended for roofing, and has still not been implemented.There have been many excuses, and while the owners have been patient, several owners have since sold their […]

Pickleball courts in a legal pickle over the associated noise

Pickleball Legal Consultant is a job title that likely did not exist a decade ago, but as pickleball courts infiltrate neighborhoods to satiate an appetite for a sport whose namesake is a snack, communities take issue with the resulting influx of noise. Now homeowners’ associations and city councils face litigation by those whose lives are […]

New regulations help close loopholes for strata owners (BC)

The B.C. Ministry of Housing recently announced new regulations to close a loophole that allowed strata corporations to indefinitely defer depreciation reports.  Depreciation reports help estimate the long-term repair and replacement costs of a strata corporation’s shared property and assets, giving strata owners the ability to contribute to contingency reserve funds as required.   Read the […]

Condo Smarts: Location determines depreciation report timing (BC)

Q: As a followup to last week’s column on depreciation reports, our management team attended an information session and we were informed strata corporations can continue to exempt from depreciation reports until July 1, 2026, but at that time we are required within 18 months to have a report completed, so this extends our time […]

B.C. condo owner ordered to stop listing unit on Airbnb, fined $2K

A condo owner in B.C. has been ordered to stop using her unit as a short-term rental and will have to pay $2,000 in fines for renting it out on Airbnb and Craigslist in the past.  The Civil Resolution Tribunal’s decision was published Tuesday(opens in a new tab), representing a partial victory for the strata […]

Condo Smarts: Council must pay back unused portion of levy (BC)

Dear Tony: Our strata corporation raised a special levy of $2.2 million in 2019 to replace the roofing in our complex. With the delays from COVID and construction supplies, the project finished in the fall of 2021. There was $57,000 left from the project and owners anticipated money back, but since that time the council […]