Jason Rivait is the featured contributor in the newest Questions & Answers section of the Condo News of the Golden Horseshoe magazine. Jason discusses requests for records, the potential for labour or copying costs and time requirements for fulfilling the records requests. To read Jason’s commentary in full, please click here.
In the case of Harvey v. Elgin Condominium Corporation No. 3 an unhappy condo owner sued the condominium corporation, claiming that the corporation undertook work that constituted a substantial change without proper authorization from the owners. As the work that was done was funded by special assessment, the unit owner requested reversal of the special assessment. He also requested that the Court order the directors to take training, and appoint an administrator, and claimed punitive damages.
After several of the townhouse units experienced leaks, water damage and mould, the corporation hired a professional contractor and an engineer to investigate. The professionals concluded that the leaks resulted from construction design and implementation flaws of wooden decks constructed over the unit garages. The board concluded that corrective action was necessary to prevent harm to persons and further damage to property. Based on advice received from the contractor and engineer, there were two options available to fix the problem – replace the existing wooden decks with new wooden decks or, alternatively, replace them with vinyl decks. After having made its decision that corrective work would be undertaken, the board scheduled a meeting of owners to discuss and choose a style of the replacement decks. Votes were cast by 24 of 51 unit owners, and 20 of the owners voted in favour of the vinyl decks.
The ACMO/CCI-Ottawa Conference is a one day event that brings industry experts together in an informative and engaging series of talks and seminars designed to educate and inform Boards of Directors, condominium property managers and condo owners. Our own Rod Escayola will be speaking on Director’s liability and in particular on the Boily case. For more information and to register, please click here.
In a recent case, YCC No. 82 v. Bujold, the Court of Appeal considered the interpretation of Section 85 of the Condominium Act (the “Act”) and, in particular, the timing requirements under the Act relating to notice of the lien and registration of the lien. Section 85 of the Act provides that a certificate of lien must be registered within three months after the default has occurred and that the Corporation must give written notice of the lien to the owner at least ten days before registration of the certificate. Condo corporations that are not diligently complying with these requirements risk losing their lien rights.
In the Bujold case, the corporation served the owner with a notice of lien on June 22, 2007 relating to arrears of common expenses that had accumulated since December 31, 2006. The lien was registered on September 25, 2007. In 2009, the corporation served a notice of sale, and subsequently brought a motion for summary judgment and an order for possession of the unit.
The trial judge dismissed the corporation’s claim on the basis that the lien had expired, as it was not registered within three months as required by the Act.
The Court of Appeal confirmed that a lien automatically arises upon the date of default and expires three months after the default, unless a certificate of lien is registered. As the certificate of lien was registered on September 25, 2007 the liens that arose before June 25, 2007 had expired. However, as common expenses were payable on the first day of each month, a separate default occurred on July 1, August 1 and September 1 and the liens in respect of those defaults were potentially valid.
We previously blogged about the Boily case involving a dispute between some owners and the directors of a Condominium complex in Ottawa. This dispute revolved around the proposed alteration of the condominium’s courtyard. Last March, a judge found the corporation and the directors in contempt of a prior court order and ordered them, for a second time, to reinstate the courtyard to its prior configuration and appearance at the directors' personal cost.
This week, the same judge ordered the directors to pay, personally, in excess of $96,000 in legal costs.
The Court concluded that the board's
stubborn refusal to accept the Applicants' success set them on a path of deliberate and continual contempt that should attract a costs award on a substantial indemnity basis. The Moving Party should not have to bear the costs of those actions.
If you sold a condominium in Canada’s booming housing market, don’t count your profit just yet – the Canada Revenue Agency could soon be knocking on your door with a large tax bill.
Canadians typically don’t have to pay taxes on the profit we earn when we sell our homes – as long as the home was our “principal residence.” To qualify as a principal residence, the CRA considers factors including whether a person lived in the home, and whether it was designated as a principal residence.
However, the CRA – in what has been dubbed the “Condo Project” – is increasingly challenging Canadians’ designation of their condominium unit as their principal residence.
Rod Escayola is a contributor in the current issue of CCI’s the Condo Voice (Toronto Edition) . In his article “Noise Complaints in Condos: The Perils of Failing to Enforce Condo rules” Rod does the autopsy of a noise complaint gone wrong. Rod proposes a three-step approach to standardize how corporations and property managers deal with noise complaints.
“Compliance issues, and in particular noise complaints, can be very difficult to resolve. Tolerance to noise is very subjective. What is disrupting to someone may not be to the next person. The reality is that anyone who lives in the city, and in particular in a condominium complex, must expect to be exposed to some level of noise. The corporation should intervene, however, when there is a breach to the Act, the declaration or the rules as they pertain to noise and nuisance. Corporations and property managers must take noise complaints seriously and act on them with haste and resolve”.
Please click here to request a copy of the article.
As reported in the Ottawa Citizen, in a recent drug trafficking case the Ontario Superior Court considered whether the police could enter, without a search warrant, the common elements of the condominium building in which the accused resided.
The police investigation was focused on Yanni Papadolias, a suspected drug dealer. The police had reason to believe that illegal drugs were being stored somewhere in the condominium building that Mareth White, a colleague of Papadolias, resided in. The police entered White’s condominium building several times through an unlocked side door and, on one occasion, by following the mailman as he entered the building. On one visit, the police visually inspected White’s locker without actually entering into the locker. During one of these visits to the condominium, the police saw Papadolias leaving White's unit carrying a liquor box. It was subsequently determined that the liquor box contained illegal drugs. Based on this, the police then obtained a warrant to search White’s unit and subsequently found a large quantity of marijuana and cocaine in White’s unit.
ACMO and CCI Ottawa have teamed up for a one-day Conference and Trade Show in Ottawa on Friday, May 31st, 2013. The conference brings industry experts, from the legal sector, management companies, trades and developers together to discuss timely and relevant issues geared to condominium property managers, Boards of Directors and home owners. Our Rod Escayola is a featured speaker on the topic of Directors Personal Liability. For registration and conference information click here.
Barbara Homes is a contributor in the current issue of the Home News Magazine (Etobicoke Edition) . In her article “Five things You Should Know About Condominium Living Before You Buy,” Barbara discusses the most important things potential buyers should know before they purchase their new condominium home. She discusses the unique features of condominium living including, corporate governance, rules, budgets and reserve funds.
“Buying a condominium is a lifestyle change that on the one hand, provides conveniences and services that you don’t get when you own a house. On the other hand, condominium owners need to adapt their lifestyle to fit within the condominium community.”
To read Barbara’s commentary in full, please click here.