Is ﬁghting worth the aggravation?
If the battle is with residents who are not being good neighbours, then
most of the time the fight is definitely worthwhile. You, other owners
and the board are on the same side. That's assuming that the board is
taking up the fight.
However before you start legal action with the board, I suggest that
you carefully consider whether is is worth the time, aggravation and
costs that you will occur.
A private club
The condo industry loves to call condo boards the fourth level of
government. Yet in many ways, a condo corporation is more like a
private club. You look at what it has to offer and you agree to follow
its Declaration, by-laws and rules when you buy your unit. (Like buying
Once you have moved in and you don't like the rules or if you have a
board that will not enforce the by-laws and rules then you must find a
couple of like-minded owners (members) and the three of you need to get
elected to the board to make changes.
If you can't get elected, then you must decide to live with what you got or sell your unit and thereby quit the club.
You decide that this is your home and you are going to insist on your
rights and if it means a legal battle with the board, so be it.
In that case, then before you start, I suggest that you learn all you
can about your condo documents, read the relevant chapters on this website and most importantly, get a legal
opinion from a competent condo lawyer.
Stress & time
Talk with your family so they understand the amount of time this will
take and the stress that you and they will be put under. Your family
support will be critical in the days ahead.
Legal costs can be a killer
‘My dear Sir, it is quite impossible for me to take on your case.
lack the most important piece of evidence…that you can pay my
lithograph by Honoré Daumier, 1846
If you are contemplating going to Superior Court, you may find that you
cannot afford to lose while the board—who are not spending their own
money—do not want to lose.
See three condo law firms to discuss your case and ask what are their hourly
rates. There can be $100-250 an hour difference depending on the law
firm and how many years of experience the lawyer has.
Have frank discussions with the lawyers. Be very sure that you
have suffered measurable, deliberate harm and you can prove it. You
need to know what costs you may face and when he, or she, will need the
Then you will know if you are willing and able to proceed.