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Condo News
28 December 2017

Residents evacuated after ruptured sprinkler sends water down Toronto condo stairwell
Residents of a 58-storey downtown Toronto condo had to evacuate first four floors Monday morning after a sprinkler pipe broke and flooded parts of the building. A tenant says residents were left climbing up and down the high-rise without elevator service for 24 hours.

From twitter

Burlington homeowner baited porch pirate using fake package with dirty diaper
Burlington, Ont., homeowner set up bait for a porch parcel thief.

Veteran must surrender emotional support dog
Seventy-year-old Robert L. Brady has until Jan. 11 to give up Bane, the mixed-breed sidekick that his psychologist deemed as an emotional support dog.

His Conway-area condominium association won an arbitration order Dec. 12 requiring the Vietnam veteran to surrender the 4-year-old dog because it exceeds the community’s 35-pound weight limit for pets. Bane weighs about 41 pounds.

The situation at San Francisco's sinking skyscraper is so dire, residents are selling their condos at a loss of millions
We'll, under the conditions, I think that the sellers are doing far better than I would have thought they would.

HOAs from hell: More horror stories, more fraud — and prospect of legislative action
“It’s like you don’t own private property; you just own a time share.”

Man breaks into Norfork condo building three times in one week
The crook keeps coming back to the New Jersey condo because it's profitable. Until he gets caught or he stops stealing valuables, I doubt he'll stop. The second point is that video cameras are like the history channel; they tell you what happened but they do not stop crime as it is happening.

The inside scoop from a veteran Metro Vancouver mall Santa
Kids ask how does he get into condos when there is no chimney? Now you will know!


Condo News
23 December 2017

New condo conversions will be covered under Tarion
Effective January 1, 2018, the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act will require builders and vendors who sell units in a conversion project to be registered with Tarion.

Vertical density channels Mississauga growth
Single-family residential development lapses as green fields dwindle.

Chinese strata proceeds to B.C. Human Rights Tribunal
This small condo corporation in Richmond BC that holds its board meetings and an AGM in Mandarin will finally face a HRT hearing.

BC arthritis sufferer files HRT complaint against strata
The woman says she needs an air conditioner and the board says she doesn't.

Contractor who tried to have homeowner killed sentenced
A northern Virginia home remodeling contractor who tried to have a client killed has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The DeSario Family Chrismas
Take some time this season to visit to the The DeSario family's Christmas light show at 165 Benjamin Boake Trail (near Keele & Sheppard) which they put on every year in Downsview to raise money for Sick Kids Hospital. Visit and support!


Condo News
20 December 2017

We are not crooks
What an unusual letter for a board of directors to e-mail all the owners of a large condominium corporation.

Rentals are not condos and we need them
A very well written article why condo units make for poor long-term rental units and why Toronto needs to encourage the building of small purpose-built rental apartment buildings.

Pot smell fears prompt CityHousing Hamilton to look at a smoking ban
Other landlords are also thinking about how to handle pot smoke in their buildings.

Top 5 things that upset contractors
From a sample size of 700 tradesmen, ServiceSeeking discovered the top five issues that aggravate them to no end.

Texas HOA president accused of threatening teens with gun
The president of a Spring homeowner's association has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly threatening a group of teenagers with a gun.

Ginger Jiang sues after being forced to jump from burning condo unit
A young woman who was forced to jump from a burning building in Sydney's west is suing her landlord and body corporate (condo corporation) in the Supreme Court, alleging her apartment had an increased risk of fire because it did not have sprinklers installed and was modified without [city] council approval.


Condo News
13 December 2017

Insisting on rights claimed to be workplace harassment
Here is a recent threatening letter sent to a Mississauga condo owner. An early Christmas present from the board.

Break-ins and thefts on the rise
As more and more people move into downtown Toronto condos, so are the thieves. Bicycles are stolen, lockers broken into and mail boxes robbed.

One trick is when one or two thieves (men and women) steal bicycles and use them to cruise around looking for buildings to enter. They will look for open parking garage doors and ride down into the parking garages. Stolen bikes make for fast and reliable get-away vehicles.

More concerning is that up to 1/3 of all residents do not lock their unit doors. Since security guards can do only so much, condo boards owe it to their residents to inform them of incidents of trespassing and thefts in their buildings and in the neighbourhood.

Submission to include material to the agenda of an owners’ meeting
The latest changes to the Condo Act allows owners to have questions added to the AGM agenda if they can get the owners of 15% of all the units to sign a form requesting the additions.

A step forward but it would have been far sweeter if the owners could add motions to the agenda.

CondoMadness breakfast meeting

Last Sunday morning, CondoMadness held one of our breakfast meetings.

The participants exchanged information on the latest news from their condos. We find that these meetings are a great way for us to learn from each other. The gossip is pretty good too.

Highlights included:

A vicious Internet smear campaign against the owner of a Toronto-based property management company.

A Human Rights claim against the condo security for arresting a man for urinating in the underground parking garage.

An update on a small claims case where the owner of a property company is suing a director for libel.

A director explained how he recently went from being a single director on a board to becoming part of a majority on the board. It took a lot of work to win both open positions at the AGM.

Tenants in purpose-built rental building cause far less trouble than renters in condo buildings. Why? they are better screened.

Different ways condos can improve security.

Pest control problems and comparing contractors.
Double-billing issues show why it is important for directors to carefully check the monthly invoices.
If you are interested in joining us one Sunday morning, just send me an e-mail.

Litigious Geracis lose another court battle over dog-walker attack
Chicago: It's been nearly four years since multimillionaire-bankruptcy attorney Peter Francis Geraci allegedly threatened to "ruin" a dog-walker his wife had attacked in an elevator at their River North condo building.

Chicago condo owners vote to terminate corporation
Nearly two years after a developer first offered to buy all the condos at River City in the South Loop, the homeowners association finally has enough votes to sell, but just barely.

The $100 million sale of River City's 448 condos would be the biggest Chicago condo development by far to switch to rentals in the recent wave of deconversions.

Dandong, the gateway to North Korea
A small Chinese city, the size of Hamilton, is enjoying a condo construction frenzy especially along the northern banks of the Yula River.

New cases of silicosis in Australia linked to bathroom and kitchen stone products
In the last five years, we have seen quite a number of cases from the artificial stone industry where people are working with things like Caesarstone making kitchen countertops.

Umbrella-sharing startup loses nearly all of its 300,000 umbrellas in a matter of weeks

Only a few weeks after starting up operations in 11 cities across China, Sharing E Umbrella announced that it had lost almost all of its 300,000 umbrellas. So back to the planning stage.


Condo News
08 December 2017

Proposed changes to Condo Act to encourage electric cars
Existing condos may face higher costs over electric cars come this spring.

City of Toronto regulates short-term rentals
New rules start on 01 June 2018.

The dead cat strategy
When there are differences between the majority on a board and a single director, especially if the minority director raises issues of unethical conduct or conflicts of interest, the majority may resort to the Dead Cat Strategy. Wild exaggerations or bold face lies will come into play to discredit the lone director.

Two arrested in multi-million dollar fraud scheme at Hallandale Beach condominium
In this Florida kickback scam, a job that cost $5.5 million was priced at $14.3 million.

The case also should show condo owners that if they think their directors are misspending their money and if they are willing to do a little digging, police will stop brushing off their allegations as civil matters and start investigating them as crimes, said state Rep. Julio Robaina, R-Miami.

So you ask? What's CMRAO?

A reasonable question.

It is: "Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario" (CMRAO). Doesn't exactly roll of the tongues does it? Maybe we'll call them the CondoCops.