Condo News
31 October 2014

One of my readers tried to order Nathan's Company Meetings from CCH and found that the full price showed up when she was placing her order.

For the 50% discount:
Quote promo code LBFALL50 when ordering.
The letters must be in upper case.
Offer ends November 30th, 2014.

For phone enquires you can phone:
1-800-268-4522
Push 1 for English
Push 2 for books

I hope that all condo boards take advantage of this offer.
http://bit.ly/1zfvyFh

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Condo News
29 October 2014

An unexpected bargain

Nathan's Company Meetings is now on sale at 50% off. Every condo board, concerned condo owner and every condo community organizer (what's that?) needs a copy of this extremely interesting book.

A favourite among condo lawyers, Nathan's explains all the rules on how to run condo board meetings, the AGM and Special Owner Meetings.

It is now at an excellent price.
http://bit.ly/1zfvyFh

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Condo News
28 October 2014

Developers shifting sights to two-bedroom condos
More of units now up for sale are aimed at young families who can't afford houses, report says
http://on.thestar.com/1CXyvaX

Video series for condo owners
CCI - Your Condo Connection, a 12 episode video series touching upon an array of topics of interest for those involved in - or thinking about becoming involved in - condominium communities. This 12 part video series "CCI - Your Condo Connection" premieres October 7th and a new video will be released each week.
http://www.yourcondoconnection.tv/

Selling Your Condo While Tenanted = Leaving Money On The Table
Another great article by David Fleming.

Time and time again, David see properties sitting on the market, and eventually under-selling, because the seller, listing agent, or both, decided it was a good idea to sell the property while tenants were living there.
http://bit.ly/1vovgZI

Condo residents forced out by fire seek answers
People forced out of their homes by a fire in a west Edmonton condo in June are frustrated with what they say is a lack of progress on rebuilding the structure.

CondoMadness urges all condo owners to get sufficient insurance for your unit. Too many condo owners are not insured and that can mean a financial disaster.
http://bit.ly/ZNwNwb

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Condo News
22 October 2014

Arson caused townhouse fire at Keele & Sheppard, officials say
Was this a dispute over individual electrical metering? Or was an owner unhappy with the condo president's prformance.

A neighbour says the condo board president was a bully and residents were unhappy with him because "he's not doing anything," they told Newstalk 1010. At least two residents had concerns about water damage that had not been repaired.
http://bit.ly/1nywj82
http://bit.ly/1vKHc8t
http://bit.ly/1CTrbxc

A sad way to lose your home
A stacked condo townhouse condo corporation in Scarborough recently went into court ordered administration.

At least one unit is listed as an obvious Power of Sale.
The listing ID: E3028270
Address not available, West Hill
Three bedrooms, 2 bath two-story unit
Asking price: $59,900
Why so cheap?
Monthly fees $1,131.26 a month. (including special assessment)

Another unit in the complex is listed for $72,000, yet another at $75,000.

When the boards and owners pay low fees for years and major repairs are ignored, the good times will come to to a bad end like it did here. Property values drop like a rock and the fees, special assessments and loans become a killer.

For sure there will be more sad stories like this at other condos where the fees have been kept too low, for too long. That is the way the concrete crumbles.

Hot Hamilton condo market outperforms detached home sales
20 percent more condos sold in September as sold in the same month in 2013. Not sure if this is a news story or another plug for a condo developer.
http://bit.ly/1nsAq5D

Bedbugs hitting Toronto hard

How soon before some condos in the GTA start having monthly inspections by sniffer dogs?

Florida plumbing company's 10% referral fees

What is the difference between a referral fee and a kickback? A peek into a large-scale rotten contractor-property manager relationships?
http://bit.ly/1nqcmjU

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Condo News
20 October 2014

Hydro bills set to increase for winter
New rates start November 1
http://bit.ly/1nsbJWV

Fears that shoddy Toronto condos could become future slums
The trouble is, many buildings are so poorly constructed that some residents fear that the money-spinners of today could become the slums of the future.
http://bit.ly/1xLPQCO

Owner Roles and Responsibilities featuring Bill Thompson
A CCI YouTube video on the owners rights and responsibilities. Short and to the point explanation of what may happen to owners who do not follow the declaration, by-laws and rules and why those documents are important.
http://bit.ly/ZvHd2Y

‘Flippers’ and bubble fears: Toronto scares off big U.S. home builder
“We saw a lot of people buying with no intention of living there – they just planned to flip,” Mr. Yearley said. “When you have a lot of flippers, that’s when a bubble comes.”
http://bit.ly/101k8GG

Mink Mile makeover takes Yonge and Bloor from low-rise to luxe
Developer Sam Mizrahi has bought several low-rise properties on the southwest corner of Toronto’s Bloor and Yonge Streets, including the venerable Stollerys men’s wear store for an estimated total of nearly $300-million. In their place, he plans to build a luxury condominium tower with space for high-profile international retailers on the main and lower levels.
http://bit.ly/1vRta4s

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Condo News
17 October 2014

On Wilson Avenue a billboard suporting Gus Cusimano for Ward010 councillor urges voters to support Ford or Tory for mayor.

This is a sign of weak support for Doug Ford.

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Condo News
16 October 2014

What The Board Of Directors Spends Your Money On
A David Flemming blog on how a board's priorities affect how your condo fees get spent.
http://bit.ly/1tNwLMv

Clearing the Air: Boards Must Respond When Residents Complain about Secondhand Smoke
Kim and Kai Chauncey complained to the board of their Trabuco Canyon Condominium community that their neighbours ─ tenants renting an adjacent unit — smoked “incessantly” on their patio and on the sidewalk in front of their unit. They said the “constant infiltration and presence of secondhand smoke” created a health hazard for their son, who suffered from asthma.

When the board failed to respond, the Chauncey’s rented an apartment elsewhere and sued the association and the management company, seeking $120,000 in damages. A jury found in their favour, awarding them a total of $15,000 ― $6,000 for economic damages and $9,500 for emotional distress.
http://bit.ly/1x9vfIb

Vancouver developers go to the dogs
Roof-top runs, dog-washing stations: Demand from pet owners drives a trend to condo and rental complexes that allow pets and provide dog-friendly amenities
http://bit.ly/1wtr4cD

Condo takes down endangered peregrine falcon’s nesting box
A Central Park West condo — with the blessing of the state agency charged with protecting wildlife — has destroyed the man-made nest a pair of endangered peregrine falcons used to breed and raise two rare chicks.

Comet and Cruiser’s nesting box had been secured to the penthouse windowsill of animal advocates Steve Nislick and wife Linda Marcus at 25 Central Park West. But construction workers on scaffolds removed the box without warning on Monday, Marcus said. Shortly after, the condo board sent a letter to her apartment saying the board authorized the removal because of the “dangerous condition” it posed to pedestrians and residents below.

Experts say losing the box means the 17-inch-tall predators may not breed successfully. Once a peregrine finds a perch to call home, it will typically return there. But eggs laid on building ledges often break.
http://bit.ly/1todMrL

Mississauga East—Cooksville  Seniors
Just a reminder that you are invited to Dipika's Seniors Bingo
THIS Thursday, October 16, 2014. Please see below for details.

I urge all seniors to contact your municipal councillor, MPP and MP's office to see what community activities you can participate in. Also check out your local library.
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Condo News
14 October 2014

Please publish this news in your Condo News.

"Once oppressed director by administrator, now by Mark and his group of so-called employees managed to file charges against few police officers of 23rd division Police Sargent Chris Laoush and P/C  Ammar Khan, Mark Cianferani his two employees and one resident of YCC # 42 bullying with consistent Board Director of YCC42.

On the following Charges;
Criminal harassment, threatening death, bodily harm and contempt of court orders for proxy registration.

The first hearing will be at 9.00 AM Oct. 28/2014 at 2201 Finch Court Room 204 E.

Shah Jahan Khan, Director YCC42"

I have been informed that Shah Jahan Khan had been arrested and charged by Toronto Police Services with uttering a death threat against one of the condo's employees a few hours prior to the AGM. A second employee is a witness.

Mr. Khan alleges that the property manager, the two employees, a resident and two police officers are bullying him and may have laid a complaint against them.

In an e-mail, Mark Cianferani, the property manager, has denied having any involvement or direct knowledge of the above stated criminal charges or the incident that lead to them.
—editor
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Condo News
10 October 2014

Stay current
"The Board of Directors invite all owners to attend (AGM) so that you may be kept current with the affairs of your Corporation." So says a recent information package sent to the owners.

That is a bit rich when this is the first AGM that the board has held in the last three years.

Toronto condo boom on the wane, analyst says
Figures show pace of building at 4-year low in the third quarter
http://bit.ly/1w93xdx

Shipping container condos to be built in Corktown


The company that plans to build condominiums out of shipping containers has bought land just west of the former Tiger Stadium site in Corktown and intends to start building soon, said the company's CEO.

The project would stack empty shipping containers and cut in windows and doors, install plumbing, stairways and heating, and add amenities such as balconies and landscaped patios.
http://bit.ly/1BhOeRe

Giant Condo Tower Needs More Billionaires
In post-crash Manhattan's high-end real estate, few projects loom larger or more visibly than the 1,004-foot-high One57, the tallest residential-hotel building in New York. This is a rarefied market, with two penthouse units selling for more than $90 million each, including one to hedge-fund baron Bill Ackman.

The sales pace of almost 10 units a quarter in 2012 dropped to one unit a quarter in the first half of 2014. If the current pace of sales continues, it would take more than six years to sell the rest of the condo units.
http://bv.ms/1vDNmqq

Londoners Unwittingly Exchange First Born Children For Free Wi-Fi
Not reading the small print could mean big problems, as a handful of Londoners who accidentally signed away their first born children in exchange for access to free Wi-Fi recently found out.
http://ti.me/1sKW

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Condo News
08 October 2014

Unlicensed electrical contractor faces jail time for first time in Ontario
A man who repeatedly posed as a licensed electrical contractor faces an unprecedented sentence of 30 days in jail and was fined more than $6,000 for several offences related to illegally performing electrical work in the Greater Toronto Area, according to the Electrical Safety Authority.
http://bit.ly/1sawmqG

Housing market a bubble set to burst, investment expert says
Hilliard MacBeth sees signs of an overstretched market
http://bit.ly/1vySJ9x

No decision yet on Condo Act, Prentice says
Condo owners in Alberta are also waiting for the government to introduce a new Condo Bill.
http://bit.ly/1pvASeH

Mould is no joke
David Miller of Carleton University says the exact type of mould in buildings doesn’t matter much.

“From a health perspective we don’t care. No mould that grows on a building material is good for you,” said Miller. He has a senior research chair in the study of the toxins and allergens in indoor air.
http://bit.ly/1vmcbVB

Winnipeg paramedics raise money for colleague injured in condo blast

Rubble from Tuesday evening's explosion is piled up next the condominium on Apple Lane on Wednesday morning. (Meaghan Ketcheson/CBC)

Friends and co-workers of Corey Schroeder, the Winnipeg paramedic who was seriously burned in a condominium explosion earlier this week, are raising money to help him and his family.

Schroeder, 35, suffered second- and third-degree burns in the explosion, which happened while he was renovating his condominium unit on Apple Lane on Tuesday.

One of his friends and fellow paramedics, Ashley MacEachern, started a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign on Wednesday to help Schroeder and his pregnant girlfriend, Dana.

Schroeder was using a flammable chemical to remove carpeting when the explosion happened just after 6 p.m. Tuesday.

It blew out a wall of the three-unit condo building on Apple Lane, located off Sturgeon Road and Saskatchewan Avenue.

Schroeder was taken to hospital in critical condition, but he has since been upgraded to stable condition.
http://bit.ly/1BjqCMk

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Condo News
03 October 2014

A blanket of fear
There are condo corporations that use expensive letters from the corporation's law firm to punish owners who ask too many questions about where their money is going, or run for the board in opposition to the incumbents or who question what they believe is poor quality work done by the contractors.

I hope there are not many of them but I have been talking to owners at a condo where the owners are getting a rash of $2,000 to $3,000 legal letters threatening a lien on their units if they do not pay up.

A few owners have already sold due the expensive lawyer letters and liens. A few more are planning to do the same. The new owners don' know what they are getting into.

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Condo News
01 October 2014

​​Election fraud
I always new that the incumbent directors have a big advantage in condo elections but I didn't have a clue just how many ways condo elections are rigged nor did I know just how bold some of the players are in rigging these elections.

Until I started seeing a number of documents from different condos this spring, I never imagined that I would be writing a whole chapter on condo election fraud.

The Canadian government shouldn't be sending observers all over the world to monitor elections, we need those observers here in Ontario to monitor our condo elections.
http://bit.ly/1ppNSmf

BC to licence home inspectors
By the end of next year, home inspectors will have to meet a standard set of professional criteria to be licensed in British Columbia.

Housing Minister Rich Coleman said Friday the improved requirements will help safeguard home buyers who rely on the inspections for making what is likely the largest investment of their lives.

Consumer Protection B.C. will set the education and training requirements and be responsible for testing and licensing home inspectors.

In 2009, B.C. became the first jurisdiction in Canada to require licences and insurance for home inspectors, and there are now about 440 licensed in the province.
http://bit.ly/1wOt4cR

A huge warning sign

When a real estate agent tells you that the condo fees in a 25 year-old condo tower have not gone up in the last 3-4years, he or she is giving potential buyers a huge warning.
"BE CAREFUL".

I wonder if this builing has a leaky parking garage and if they will soon need to raise money to repair a deteriorating building envelop. It is possible.

Tomorrow's James Dean Will Ride a Bicycle
Oh my? Is this the start of Detroit's final decline? Will CCM make a comeback? Will we import bicycles from China not cars?
http://bit.ly/1rvlXWN

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Condo News
30 September 2014

College Park Condos
A “Case Study” In Everything That Is Wrong In Condo Land” – Part 5
By Charles Hanes
23 September 2014
Mr. Hanes

"My blog today is to continue to focus on very serious matters that are unfolding at College Park Condos on Bay Street in Toronto.

There are so many layers of dysfunction surrounding this disappointment as a condo corporation, it is difficult to focus on any one issue. This is why I”m publishing this sequence of blogs, to make it easy to understand for my readers/investors, and to help me compartmentalize some of this dysfunction so those of you who have bought into a condo, can see just how much latitude those entrusted with protecting the wellbeing of your investment can exercise."

In this blog, Charles goes after the management and the board in rare blunt language that we do not often see on the Internet.
http://bit.ly/1rp1xhL

The lawyer who is taking on Toronto’s condo developers
This week Charney launched his sixth class-action suit against a major Toronto condo developer. In this latest case he’s seeking $29 million over what amounts to plumbing problems — water valves that allow for extreme temperature fluctuations in Great Gulf’s X Condominiums project on Charles Street.

Earlier this year he launched a $30 million suit against North York developer Elad Canada Inc., alleging that it failed to deliver the “easy underground access” to the Don Mills subway station and nearby Fairview Mall, promised in its glossy marketing materials.

Four of his condo class-action suits have already been certified by the court — essentially given the green light to go ahead — seeking compensation for owners in downtown highrise projects inconvenienced by falling glass and faulty balconies.

Charney believes there will likely be more lawsuits to come as the condo becomes the only option for many buyers in a city where house prices have virtually doubled in a decade.
http://on.thestar.com/1DG93d9

Marilyn Lincoln: A condo investor owns majority of units in a building, and so controls the shots. Why that’s wrong
Q  We live in a condo community consisting of 75 units. More than half the units are owned by one investor, who also happens to be president of the condo corporation. This person seems to have more control than we would like him to have. He is able to elect himself over and over because he has so many votes. He avoids necessary repairs and maintenance because he says the condo fees will have to increase in order to complete repairs. He also refuses to have a reserve fund study completed as required under the Condominium Act.
We don’t have enough votes to even remove this director. What other options do we have to rectify this horrible situation in order to preserve our property values?
Thanks for any help you can provide.

Read Marilyn's answer at:
http://bit.ly/ZVjIkN

LaSalle condo buyers feel duped by project developer
Some people who put down deposits in a new condominium development in the Montreal borough of LaSalle say they're still waiting for their condos — or, at the very least, a refund.
http://bit.ly/1u2M2wP

Yangzhou university students design tiny, fully functional 4-sq-m home
Could you comfortably live in just four square meters of space? Students at Yangzhou University say yes, and have designed and constructed a fully functional tiny house prototype that includes a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and storage space.

With a height of just two meters, this tight cuboid living space was conceived of as a Yangzhou University student project designed to push the limits of minimalism and tiny living. The team of students took half a year to design and construct the first prototype.

The 2m x 2m x 2m container-like prototype can only fit one person through the doorframe at a time. Immediately to the right of entrance lie a bed and a small bedside table. To the left of the entrance is a storage space for kitchen utensils; a bathroom is tucked behind and includes a toilet and standing shower.

While living in a home the size of a postage stamp won't appeal to everyone, the design could greatly benefit cash-strapped students, migrant workers, and the homeless. The students will be seeking a patent on their tiny house design.

Is this the future of downtown condos? I don't think so.

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Condo News
27 September 2014

YCC #42 AGM results
After two years of political turmoil—that followed six years of being under court-appointed administration—YCC #42 (320, 330 & 340 Dixon Road) elected two new directors to the board.

The two new directors, Pat St. Louis and Amarjit Grewal, are committed to working with two of the three other directors and Vista Property Management to bring stability to the governance of their condo community.

Proxies
Working under Justice Penny's judgement, there was very tight controls placed on the admittance of proxies for this AGM's election.

There were serious allegations of proxy tampering at last year's AGM so very strict controls were put in place prior to and during this AGM.

Of the five directors elected after the corporation left court-ordered administration two years ago, only Shah Jahan Khan remains on the board. (Two directors decided no to stand for re-election, one was defeated and one was illegible to run due to being in arrears to the corporation.)

At this AGM, the owners also elected to replace the corporation's  auditor.

There were 130 owners present at this AGM which is a very high turnout for this condo. There were 290 proxies.

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Condo News
26 September 2014

Congestion in Liberty Village 'so bad,' residents willing to pay for private transit: Entrepreneur
In an attempt to provide an alternative to the cramped confines of the King streetcar, friends Brett Chang and Taylor Scollon have begun a crowd-funding campaign to raise $2,500 to provide chartered morning bus service from the west-end neighbourhood to Union Station between Oct. 6 and Oct. 10.

If successful, the pilot project will be turned into a permanent weekday service.

This is not a new idea. Bootleg buses have been serving the poor people of NYC for years in spit of police harassment. The TTC is getting so bad, it is something that Toronto probably needs.
http://bit.ly/1p4ru1r

Growing movement to ban smoking in Toronto apartment buildings
“Eighty per cent of residents who live in multi-unit housing in Ontario would choose smoke free if they had a choice,” said Lorraine Fry, the executive director of the Non-Smokers’ Rights Association. “Landlords don’t know that it’s legal for them to actually have a no-smoking policy in their lease.”
http://bit.ly/1wmFN6x

Research supports case for smoke-free buildings
Apartment dwellers who don’t smoke still can’t escape secondhand smoke completely, but in smoke-free buildings, exposure to the tiny particles in cigarette smoke may be cut by half or more, according to a new study.

Researchers in Boston monitored indoor air at public-housing projects transitioning to a smoke-free policy and tracked tobacco smoke as it travelled to adjacent apartments and down common hallways.
http://bit.ly/1qUJa2K

The Co-operators drops commercial condo insurance in Western Canada and Quebec
Commercial condo insurance is no longer available from one of the country’s largest insurers, leaving some people in Calgary scrambling to find new policies on multi-family dwellings.

The Co-operators has stopped offering new commercial condo policies and won’t renew existing policies in all markets in Western Canada and Quebec, and plans to do the same in Ontario and the Atlantic Provinces in the future, according to company spokesman Leonard Sharman.
http://bit.ly/1oTzTmY

Nearly a third of Canadians have one month or less in emergency savings: survey
The percentage of Canadians with enough rainy day money to cover a job loss, change in financial status, or unexpected medical expenses, home and car repairs, has climbed to 27 per cent since 2012, up 8 percentage points,the annual BMO Rainy Day report said.

The majority of Canadians – 52 per cent – have less than $10,000 in an emergency fund, and 41 per cent hold less than $5,000, according to the survey.

One in five – 19 per cent – have less than $1,000.
http://bit.ly/1qQeQc0

Fight at Florida condo board meeting caught on video


Stephen Smith shared a video of a board meeting with Local 10 TV station during which he was attacked by the board president at the time.


Another director threatened him with a gun. That should teach Mr. Smith not to ask so many nosy questions.
http://bit.ly/1uV37Hg

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Condo News
24 September 2014

College Park Condos Not The Only Ones With Management Issues
By C.L. Hanes· 24 September 2014
Abridged

I was asked to attend Minto Plaza’s (38 Elm Street) Annual General Meeting (“AGM“) last week....

It is property managers that I am focusing on in today’s blog.   My disappointment with the College Park board of directors and property manager is clearly stated in the five part series here at simplycharles.com entitled:  “College Park Condos – A Case Study In Everything Wrong With Toronto’s Condo Land”

So, I show up at the stated time, just on time to hear a “Forensic Accountant” (now that sounds a little “CSI” doesn’t it?) lay out his finding of his recent forensic audit.

the board refused to co-operate with the Audit

He commented about how the board refused to co-operate with the Audit (which I found particularly disturbing) and the property manager’s downright refusal to co-operate with the Audit.

As he laid out his Audit, the property manager’s refusal to co-operate became clear to me  . . .  —he WAS to focus of the Audit!

Apparently there were questionable purchases made by him on two occasions, one relating to “concierge uniform purchases” (Minto actually has a “concierge” as opposed to a security guard) and the second around the purchase of or alleged purchase of six (6) coffee maker machines with all the bells and whistles, of which only two could be tracked down.

The forensic auditor laid out clear and conclusive proof of purchases of two suites, ties, shirts, socks underwear, belts, etc., purchased by the property manager on his credit card for which he was reimbursed by the board of directors for something around $3,000.00.

What’s more, it was told to the owners in attendance that the property manager “had admitted to these unjustified expenditures of owner’s money“!

My logical question was:  “What the hell is he doing sitting at the head table at the AGM“?

More baffling was his casual demeanor and the fact that none of the owners questioned him directly on the record when the meeting commenced.  I was just delivering a “proxy” and it wasn’t really my place to interject myself so I sat and watched another, clearly dysfunctional condo endure the offensive behavior of its property manager and board of directors!

What could lead any board of directors to maintain its relationship with a property manager that has admitted stealing from the corporation?

Read the full article here:
http://bit.ly/Y44s3y

Not the 1st time
A few years ago, this same condo sued their property manager, the district manager and their employer when even worse allegations of corruption surfaced. Now a different manager working for a different management company is being accused of improper conduct.

However, it is the board that has me baffled. Did they not learn anything from the earlier scandal?
http://bit.ly/1DxyBcC

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Condo News
24 September 2014

Condo Guide available online
Dipika Damerla's Condo Guide 2014 is now available as a download on her website at:
http://bit.ly/1skFRjh

Condominium Issues
A reader in Mississauga informed me that she hs seen flyers taped up on telephone poles in the Dundas-Highway 10 area stating:
"Condo fees rising again
Join us in action
www.condominiumissues.com"
I went to the two page website; which has a home page and a Contact page.

Whoever has originated this website seems to think that the Condominium Act is federal legislation rather than provincial. The writer appears to be against any increase in condo fees to pay for the proposed "Condo Office", a major feature in the proposed new Condo Act.

I am not sure how someone could be against a very modest fee that would pay for services that we have not yet had the opportunity to examine.

I suggest that we wait until the Act is introduced in the house to see what services will be provided and if we condo owners will be getting true value for our money before taking a position on whether condo owners should be opposed to it.
http://www.condominiumissues.com/


Cleo the cat survives 17-storey jump from New Westminster balcony
Lucky cat uses up one of its nine lives jumping from condo balcony.
http://bit.ly/1tLD1cS

Be the world's best condo neighbour
Here are 7 important steps to help ensure YOU aren’t going to cause the first disagreement with your neighbour.
http://bit.ly/WYiQd7

Condo president accused of using community funds for personal items
WPLG - Miami
Sep 02 2014
Condo president buys himself a vehicle with condo funds and his board approves the purchase after the fact. Watch the video, there's more.
http://bit.ly/1BCPLmY

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Condo News
22 September 2014

This Friday, September 2014, YCC #42 is holding their second AGM since the condo corporation came out of six-year-long court-appointed administration.

Unfortunately, after last year's AGM, the board split into two opposing camps and the corporation was thrown into anarchy. As Justice Penny remarked, it was close to going back into administration.

See:
http://bit.ly/1DuvlPb
http://bit.ly/1r28s1w
http://bit.ly/1hmZRQs
http://bit.ly/1pb8oGX

"Senior Director YCC42 Shah Jahan Khan is preparing a motion asking Superior Court review of previous court judgement regarding Proxy issue adjourning Sept. 26/2014 (AGM) meeting till approval of SOP (Power of Attorney) prepared and agreed by 15 unit owners committee chosen from sealed ballot of qualified unit owners."
—Shah Jahan Khan

As you can see from Mr. Khan's statement above, the board remains divided and, since two director positions are up for re-election, the balance of power will be decided at Friday's AGM.

Shah Jahan Khan has asked me to inform my readers that he intends to ask the courts for an injunction to order that the AGM be stopped until the courts can hear his objections to it being held.

—†—
Condo News
21 September 2014

Condo Guide available online
Dipika Damerla's Condo Guide 2014 is now available as a download on her website at:
http://bit.ly/1skFRjh

Condominium Issues
A reader in Mississauga informed me that she hs seen flyers taped up on telephone poles in the Dundas-Highway 10 area stating:
"Condo fees rising again
Join us in action
www.condominiumissues.com"

I went to the two page website; which has a home page and a Contact page.

Whoever has originated this website seems to think that the Condominium Act is federal legislation rather than provincial. The writer appears to be against any increase in condo fees to pay for the proposed "Condo Office", a major feature in the proposed new Condo Act.

I am not sure how someone could be against a very modest fee that would pay for services that we have not yet had the opportunity to examine.

I suggest that we wait until the Act is introduced in the house to see what services will be provided and if we condo owners will be getting true value for our money before taking a position on whether condo owners should be opposed to it.
http://www.condominiumissues.com/

Cleo the cat survives 17-storey jump from New Westminster balcony
Lucky cat uses up one of its nine lives jumping from condo balcony.
http://bit.ly/1tLD1cS

Be the world's best condo neighbour
Here are seven important steps to help ensure YOU aren’t going to cause the first disagreement with your neighbour.
http://bit.ly/WYiQd7

Condo president accused of using community funds for personal items
WPLG - Miami
Sep 02 2014
Condo president buys himself a vehicle with condo funds and his board approves the purchase after the fact. Watch the video, there's more.
http://bit.ly/1BCPLmY

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Fall in Love

Torontonians are encouraged to adopt a cat during the Fall in Love campaign

Starting today, Toronto residents can Fall in Love and adopt a feline friend for only $25 plus the cost of a licence ($15 and $7.50 for seniors). The campaign runs until 05 October 2014 at all City of Toronto animal shelter and adoption partner locations.

Toronto has an overpopulation of unwanted cats. Animal Services works hard to keep up with the high intake of cats into its shelters and tries to find good homes for as many cats as possible.

In 2013, more than 3,000 cats were adopted through the different programs.

When people adopt a kitten or cat from a City of Toronto shelter they receive a pet that is microchipped, vaccinated and most importantly, spayed/neutered so it cannot reproduce.

The usual cost to adopt a cat is $75, plus the cost of a licence.

Toronto Animal Services shelters are located at:
West Region:    146 The East Mall (Highway 427 and Dundas Street West)
North Region:  1300 Sheppard Ave. W. (Keele Street & Sheppard Ave W)
East Region:     821 Progress Ave. (Highway 401 and Markham Road)
South Region:  15 Nova Scotia Pl. (Exhibition Place, Horse Palace)

For more information and to view available animals up for adoption or to find an adoption partner location, visit http://www.toronto.ca/animalservices or call 416-338-PAWS (7297).

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Condo News
17 September 2014

Toronto Municipal elections
The final list of certified candidates for the 2014 municipal election is available http://www.toronto.ca/elections/listofcandidates.

There are a huge number of candidates running.
• 65 for mayor
• 358 for city councillor

Another reader has sold
Another CondoMadness reader has sold her condo unit. This website regularly loses readers who realize their investment and their health may be at risk if they remain in their condos.

In this case, the woman won a small claims case against her board a couple of years back and they seem to have held it against her.

There were other issues. The ageing building needed millions in repairs but instead of following the new reserve fund study, the board decided to keep the fees low by fixing the minimum of what had to be done. At the AGM the president said: "that will buy us a few years."

That is a clear signal that it is time to sell.

New Deputy Minister for Consumer Services
Premier Wynne recently announced the appointment of a new Deputy Minister to the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS), Ms. Wendy Tilford.
http://bit.ly/X4JnpA

Super-tall condos

NYC condos going for $95 million? Condo towers taller than the Empire State Building? Who would have ever guessed?
http://cnnmon.ie/1tsMGRD

How much for a NYC parking spot?
Just the place to park your 12 year old Chevy.
http://bit.ly/1ux0DzD

Florida HOA president charged with forging checks
About $200,000 stolen from residents of Mainlands home community.
http://bit.ly/1qodc0X

In his blog, Ward Lucas asks: "Now the big question: How many HOAs boards and managers are not involved in embezzling?"

It is unfair to paint all condo boards and managers with such a wide brush but when condo corporations have few or no internal audit controls at all, condo owners sure make it easy for fraud and kickbacks to occur.
http://bit.ly/WP92lu

No public water fountains at Hamilton's new football stadium
Nobody would definitively say why the stadium, built by Ontario Sports Solutions (ONSS) with funding from all three levels of government, isn’t equipped with fountains.

Under a 20-year licence agreement with the city, the Tiger-Cats take the bulk of the profits from concession sales, but team President Scott Mitchell adamantly denied the team was trying to make money by not providing free water.
http://bit.ly/1qnVZom

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Condo News
16 September 2014



Dipika Damerla, MPP for Mississauga East-Cooksville does more than organize great community activities, she has published an excellent Condo Guide for her constituents.



If you live in her riding and if you live in a condo, or are planning to buy one, this is an excellent pamphlet that will explain many common questions about condos.

If you live in another riding, then I suggest that you ask your MPP to publish a similar guide for their constituents. Not only will it help the people in their riding, it will help all MPPs understand condo issues before the new Condo Bill is introduced in the house.
http://bit.ly/IrqlCx

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Condo News
12 September 2014

YCC #42 security staff joins union
When a condo hires employees, if they feel mistreated, they may join a union whether they be security guards, cleaners or superintendents.

That is why most condos prefer to use contract employees.
http://bit.ly/1uGBTnI

The insanity of the election season transit debate
A thoughtful article on why Toronto City Hall cannot be trusted to plan transit expansion.
http://bit.ly/1qAMl0G

Office condos
A new condo market that is just starting in Toronto. If you want to see a real small mixed retail, office and residential condo, take a look at 222 Finch West.
http://bit.ly/1CUqPcr

BC condos & electric cars
A couple decided to move when their strata (condo) would not allow them to charge their car on the property.
http://bit.ly/Z7HPMH

Another BC condo couple gotta move
This time it is because their dog is two inches too tall.
http://bit.ly/1lXa8YH

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Condo News
09 September 2014

Annual community BBQ
On Saturday we went to Dipika Damerla's  (MPP - Mississauga East Cooksville) annual community BBQ.

It was a huge success with a very large turnout. Her constituents, who include a lot of condo residents, enjoyed a free BBQ, great entertainment and fun activities for the children.


A BBQ is always a big hit.


A dance group preparing to go on stage.


Dipika joined in the fun.

It was great event for the people of Mississaga East-Cooksville and a chance for us to meet our Mississauaga condo friends

New homes should be inspected
Hiring a qualified home inspector when buying a newly built house, or a condo, is a very good idea. I loved the story about the inspector testing the second floor hot tub.
http://yhoo.it/1Asj4X1

Proposed amendments to Alberta’s Condominium Property Act
The proposed amendments would:

One
create a new condominium dispute tribunal which would hear and settle a variety of disputes between boards, owners, occupants and interested parties.  As proposed, disputes involving monetary actions will be brought to the tribunal, while disputes involving ownership of land will continue to be heard by the courts;

Two
introduce improved protections for buyers and owners of new and converted condominiums by reinforcing developer’s legal duties and increasing disclosure of financial and other necessary information by developers and boards.  For example, the amendments would require developers to give full disclosure of condominium fees prior to the purchase of a unit;

Three
update qualifications and standards of practice for condominium managers, including introducing new licensing, education and training requirements;

Four
introduce rules and standards to improve governance and enhance transparency and accountability for condominium corporations.  For example, the amendments would require a board to notify owners of significant unbudgeted expenses from the operating account; and

Five
strengthen the Provinces’ power to inspect, investigate and enforce the Act related to a condominium sale and increase penalties for developers who contravene the Act or Regulations to an amount not to exceed $100,000.00.
http://bit.ly/1t6RLyL

Condo owners under siege
When Florida changed their Condo Act seven years ago, they opened up a loophole that allows companies to terminate condo corporations, turn the buildings into renatl properties and push the remaining owners out with next to nothing.

We need to insure that Ontario's new Act does not cause any unintended harm to condo owners.
http://bit.ly/1uFeH9t

Stealing condo fire panels
Its a big crime now in Florida.
http://bit.ly/1q3aIVw

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Condo News
05 September 2014

You could be on TV
Omnifilm Entertainment wants to hear from Canadians who have stories to share concerning issues between neighbours living in condos.

There is more information on the Condo Reporter blog site.
http://www.condoreporter.com/?p=3289

A review on the Marlyn Monroe condos
The two great-looking condos have a few issues.
http://squareonelife.com/absolute-condo-problems/

Tracking foreign buyers in Canada’s housing boom: Can we do it?
Should we even care?
This Financial Post article states that the government and the real estate industry do not know who is buying condos and houses in Canada. So all the facts we hear about the percentage of owner-residents to investors are just guesses.
http://bit.ly/Y5W8RN

The Difference A Day Can Make
When a BC strata (condo) council finally sued the owner to collect $16,000 in fines, the Court rejected their claim because of a day.  Put shortly, having resorted to the "rules" to deal with this transgressing owner, the strata council failed to follow those rules properly. Though they had verbally told the owner his hardship appeal was dismissed, they failed to deliver to the owner the "decision in writing" "within one week after the hearing".  Instead, they gave him this letter 8 days after the council meeting, one day late.
http://bit.ly/1qwHf41

Upper West Side condo board wants to evict falcons
Want to know the important differences between Americans and Canadians? We appreciate the greatness of the world's fast birds and Yankee twits don't.

The board of a swanky condo at 25 Central Park West wants to evict a family of endangered peregrine falcons — including two hatchlings just 3 months old — that are roosting on a millionaire’s windowsill.

Wouldn't you be thrilled to have a nest of peregrine falcons on your balcony? Would you not have a 24 hour video camera recording their every move? Wouldn't everyone support your building a nesting box to help this bird recover from possible extinction?—editor

The building manager, Eric Lyons of Douglas Elliman, has proclaimed that the bird box will get the boot.

Read more about this shocking story of New York stupidity.
http://bit.ly/1qn0TPU

Death, taxes and condo fees
The condo fees must be paid.
http://bit.ly/Z2RlRj

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Condo News
02 September 2014

Inside Canada’s most expensive condo
Asking price for Trump Toronto’s penthouse: $33 million.

If it does sell at the asking price, it will be a record for a Canadian condominium property. And don’t even ask about the maintenance fees. At 71 cents per square foot, they work out to $8,346 per month, a total that doesn’t include cable, internet or hydro. Taxes will be more than $6,000 monthly.

In all, the owner would have to budget about $15,000 every month to keep the lights on. And that’s not including the $33 million cost of the property.
http://on.thestar.com/1poHb8x

Seminar about buying a condo in the GTA
Our expert panelists will offer an analysis of the GTA’s condo market, top condo renovations to add value to your investment, great modern designs for small spaces and much more.

The seminar will be held on Saturday, September 20 at the Fall Home Show, located at the Better Living Centre at Exhibition Place. Admission is free if you register in advance, and attendees are welcome to enjoy the Fall Home Show following the seminar.
http://www.bildblogs.ca/need-know-buying-condo-gta/

The tale of a failed Toronto condo project raises red flags
With Toronto’s condo market still running on a full boil, it was only a matter of time before some unlucky buyers got burnt.

The debacle should be a red flag for anyone eager to jump into the frothy condo market in cities like Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto, where gleaming new projects with tantalizing amenities—juice bars, splash pools—seem to pop up every week.

All that money sloshing around is bound to attract inexperienced and, possibly, unscrupulous operators, with many experts saying the industry largely remains a “wild west” in Ontario when it comes to regulation.

For a glimpse of how a seemingly run-of-the-mill condo project went so wildly off the rails, check out the Centrust discussion on the UrbanToronto forum.
http://bit.ly/1tJPMD3

Wi-Fi For All is Likely a Common Expense For Community Associations
Finally a common element fee that I could get excited about.

In July of 2010, Section 718.115 of the Florida Condominium Act was amended to define the cost of communication services and internet services obtained pursuant to a bulk contract as a proper common expense of a condominium association.
http://bit.ly/1lkEt2E

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Condo News
29 August 2014

Law firm seeks to return $9M in deposits to Centrium buyers
In 2010, Brattys LLP had acted for Centrium on the project, but the law firm said in a statement that its retainer was terminated at the end of that year.

Centrium then retained lawyer Meerai Cho as its solicitor.
http://bit.ly/1C7XJ92

The cat has to go, when it dies
A very wise decision by an Alberta court. This judgement is well worth reading.

The board seems to have been extremely unreasonable and it is too bad that it cost the owner so much in legal fees just to be able to keep her cat.
http://bit.ly/1qd7hcx

Strata fed up with Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity's cleanup at a Burnaby strata complex almost two weeks ago did more harm than good, according to a whistleblower.

The volunteer, who worked on the site at 8745 Government St. and wished not to be named for fear of retaliation by Habitat, said numerous jobs were done wrong or left unfinished.
http://bit.ly/1AWqELA

Florida woman with banished service dog gets $300,000 condo settlement
What is the matter with some of these condo boards anyway? does power go to their heads?

Calling the behaviour of a Davie condominium association “absurd” and “unreasonable,” a federal judge has ordered a Davie condominium to allow a disabled resident to keep her service dog.

In their arguments, board members suggested that, even if Fischer needed a service dog, she could have gotten by with an animal that did not weigh more than the Sabal Palm’s 20-pound limit.
http://bit.ly/1tZ2E6A

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Condo News
27 August 2014

Meerai Cho faces 75 charges relating to condo deposits
Toronto police have laid 75 charges against a newly suspended lawyer who is accused of failing to return deposits to purchasers in a cancelled condo project.
http://bit.ly/1pfUpEE

Condo Corporations Should Change Property Management Companies Every Couple Of Years
By Charles Hanes · 13 August 2014
For the first time in the last three years, I read a column by Charles Hanes that I strongly disagree with.

Charles writes:
"This is precisely why, condo boards should terminate third party contracts every few years.  It re-envigorates the contractors to deliver the services that they are being paid to supply in a professional manner."

CondoMadness contends that a board should change their management company when the company cannot provide competent or reliable managers or if their accounting department can't keep your corporation's accounts in order or if the board finds that the company is run by another Manzoor Khan.

Other than that, changing management every couple of years just to keep them on their toes will cause a lot of grief for the condo corporation because:

1. The transfer of records from one company to another is never smooth. At best it is a headache, at worse, some of your records "disappear" in error or for spite. Some companies hold some records as "ransom" for unpaid fees or to squeeze a few more dollars out a condo.

2. The industry will soon know that you go through management companies like Mickey Ronney went through wives so you will never get the company's best staff; that is if they will even bother to bid.

3. The owners will constantly have to change their electronic bank withdrawals.

If the contractors aren't doing a good job, then elect better directors.
http://bit.ly/VEfqM3

So We’ve Been Told That We Are Going To Get A “Revision To The Condo Act” Next Year – I Wouldn’t Hold My Breath

Now this is the Charles Hanes that I have come to know and appreciate.

"It’s not the Condo Act that needs fixing!  It is the entire Condo Game!  That includes the Building Code, the Condo Act, the Tarion Warranty Program, Advertising laws, mediation, arbitration  .  .  .  .  .  in other words the entire game!"
http://bit.ly/1ttNfwL

Doing electrical work in your condo?
Hire a licenced electrical contractor. Then your condo board, or your insurance company, can not go after you for unsafe workmanship.

Is your board/manager hiring unlicenced handymen to do electrical work on the common elements? Then phone 311 and report them. Then vote those directors out of office.

Be very careful if you are in one of the older condos built in the 1970's that has aluminium wiring. Only an electrician who has experience with aluminium wiring should be hired to do repairs of to ad copper wiring to aluminium circuits.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UE7R9AF0Wpw

—†—
Condo News
25 August 2014

North York condo developer allegedly skips town with $12M in buyers’ deposits
This story has now been picked up by the media.
http://bit.ly/1ln0q1z

News Release—Dogs running at large
July 17, 2014

City of Toronto and Toronto Police Service team up for dogs off-leash education and enforcement blitz

The City of Toronto and Toronto Police Service are kicking off a public education campaign and bylaw blitz encouraging residents to keep their dogs on a leash except when in the City's 57 leash-free parks.

Enforcement officers will work their way through Toronto's parks, including, for example, Trinity Bellwoods Park, Birkdale Ravine, Thompson Park, Wexford Park and Hunter's Glen Park.

In Toronto, all dogs must be kept on a leash whenever they are on any property other than their owner's – unless they are in designated "leash-free" areas. Owners are responsible for ensuring that their dogs do not run at large. The expression "running at large" means the dog is unleashed.

In 2013, there were a total of 130 complaints regarding dogs running off-leash. To date in 2014, there have been 440 complaints and 66 charges. A fine of $360 can be issued for allowing a dog to run at large except in a posted designated leash-free area.

Owners are responsible for their dog and any injuries or damage caused by any dog in their care.

In order to use the leash-free zones, dog owners must have vaccinated and licensed their dogs. Dogs that are aggressive to humans, dogs with a history of biting, and other types of animals are not permitted in the leash-free zones.

In addition to being leashed, all dogs in Toronto must be licensed. Licences cost $25 a year and are available online at: http://www.toronto.ca/animalservices

‘The future is creepy': Vancouver man says he caught a camera-equipped drone peering into 36th-storey condo
The camera-equipped drone hovered about five feet away from the patio for a minute, then flitted from apartment to apartment for an hour in Galway’s Crosstown neighbourhood near Rogers Arena before disappearing.
http://bit.ly/1pIaGRL

Scottsdale HOA sues property management company
Property management company accused of stealing $3.4 million. Read the readers' comments below the article. They are very interesting.
http://bit.ly/VEfs6G

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Condo News
22 August 2014

Legally sad
Four years ago it was just another Toronto condo mega-project buyers were willing to lap up in the heavily Asian district around Yonge Street north of the 401.

Now there’s $12.1 million in deposit money missing, a bankrupted and disgraced lawyer, two hundred devastated buyers and allegations all those dollars are sitting in a Korean bank.
http://www.greaterfool.ca/2014/08/21/legally-sad/

Toronto's 'Condo King' says 50% of condos are foreign-owned
Realtor and developer Brad Lamb says rental market is still very vibrant.
http://bit.ly/1kzYTV5

Renting out your room to travellers carries risks, experts warn
Condo, tax rules may apply to people renting out spaces
http://bit.ly/1sGbRkD

Application of GST/HST to Condominium Fees
General overview of the tax rules. Sounds like if you have boarders or rent your unit out like a suite-hotel, the condo may need to add HST to your fees. Something the board should ask their accounting firm.
http://bit.ly/1p3rTV4

Red Flag locations
No, not the location of the building, but rather your specific unit as it’s located within the building.

There are a handful of locations in a given condo that can affect your quiet enjoyment, and whether you’re a seasoned real estate veteran, or a complete novice, you should make note of these. (I would add, do not live above the basketball court.)
http://bit.ly/1rFUVsH

National Post editorial board: Canada’s child labour crisis
Like all Canadians, we were alarmed this week to learn of a Saskatchewan poultry farm’s use of child labourers in the butchering and processing of its fowl.
http://bit.ly/1rFodaR

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Condo News
19 August 2014

Condo owners in Ontario had Condo Office and a dispute process—almost.

Sections 56 & 57 were added into the Condominium Act back in 1978 and stayed there until 2001 when they were taken out with the new Condominium Act, 23 years later.

What happened? I am not sure but Section 58 states that Sections 56 & 57 were not proclaimed.

So all the fan fare about public and expert consultations to write a new Act is a repeat of what was already done.

http://www.condomadness.info/solutions-sections-56&57.html

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Condo News
18 August 2014

CMHC survey
The results on the number of investor-owned condos (they claim 17%) may not be sound.
http://on.thestar.com/1opH5fm

Shangri-La ordered to ban guests from balconies,
It is the one building in Toronto that seems to still have problems.
http://on.thestar.com/1r75sBA

Shangri-La balconies off limits until glass replaced
City ordered glass replaced on balconies on this University Avenue tower.
http://bit.ly/1p7UiJy

Can a strata corporation charge interest on special levies?
by Neil Mangan, a lawyer with Bell Alliance, Lawyers & Notaries Public in Vancouver

Yes. Section 108(4.1) of the Strata Property Act, SBC 1998, c.43 permits a strata corporation to charge interest on late payment of a special levy. The rate of interest must be set out in a bylaw or in the resolution approving the levy.

The rate of interest cannot exceed that permitted by the regulations, being 10% per annum, compounded annually.

We need Ontario's new Condo Act to have a similar regulation as many condos are charging 18% or even higher. Shameful for a non-profit to gouge the owners.
http://bit.ly/1nTpL22

Condo burnt down? Pay your fees.
Even if you are burnt out, you still pay your condo fees.
http://bit.ly/1so54uI

More 3-bedroom condos?
This newspaper report says that  Vancouver developers are now building more three-bedroom units. Article does not mention prices.
http://bit.ly/1skHPFj


—†—
Condo News
16 August 2014

The Kealey Commission
I was extremely surprised to find out that in 1977, just ten years after the first Condo Act was proclaimed, the Ontario government created the "Ontario Residential Condominium Study Group" (the Kealey Commission).

The study group recommended:
A bureau that would:
1, Hear condo disputes and give binding decisions.
2. Educate and advise consumers and management.
3. Educate condo management.

An bureau called "Condominium Ontario" was setup and operated until 1981. Then it was terminated due to a lack of funding.

Why was all of this not mentioned during the Ministry of Consumer Services' public consultations that went on for the last two years?

Were the members of the "Expert Panel" made aware of the published report?

Why hasn't the report (collecting dust on the government shelves) been published on the ministry's website so we can see what was studied and proposed 38 years ago?

It is hard to believe that the ministry did not know about the Kealey Commission.

http://www.condomadness.info/solutions-Kealey.html

—†—
Condo News
15 August 2014

Like my status? You got served...on Facebook
Manitoba Public Insurance created a fake profile, using an image of a woman in a bikini found on a public website, to message Andrew Mykichuk an order to appear in court.

And he’s not the first person to receive this unpleasant surprise in their inbox.
http://bit.ly/1piU16R

Hoarding Leads to Mouse Infestation at Condo
http://bit.ly/1usrrk3

Noisy condo resident gets 18 months in jail
On Monday, Abernathy, 46, was convicted by a Massachusetts jury of criminally harassing and disturbing her neighbor's by  repeatedly stomping her feet, dropping large objects on the floor and more.

At sentencing Friday, Judge Michael Uhlarik sentenced to Abernathy to two years in jail, with 18 months to be served and the balance of the sentenced suspended for five years. She will also have another two-year suspended jail sentence hanging over the head and five years probation when she's released, as a result of her convictions.

Additionally, Uhlarik ordered Abernathy to have no contact with the victims, her condo neighbors.

"You've got to be out of the apartment," the judge told Abernathy, as she stood expressionless before him in court yesterday. She was dressed in prison issued jeans, a green t-shirt and velcro-close sneakers. She has been held at MCI Framingham, where she will continue her sentence.
http://bit.ly/1nDmMGh

NYC "poor-door" get approval
A condo who has affordable rental units will have a poor door & separate elevators for the renters.
http://bit.ly/1pBk9Hv

West Hollywood rejects "poor door" development
A mixed-income deveopment in California was turned down.
http://lat.ms/1mEA3Pe

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Condo News
13 August 2014

Condo fire victims now dealing with theft
The CBC's Tim Adams brings us the audio story of how residents of the condo fire in the Hamptons are now discovering some of their belongings are missing and presumed stolen.
http://bit.ly/1pvjetP

Hell hath no fury like condo residents scorned
Condo directors lost their appeal, found in contempt of court.
http://bit.ly/1so9stJ

Brad Lamb discusses his first development in Edmonton
http://bit.ly/1ocTkeC

Too many condos cause housing market slump in Montreal
Condo listings in Quebec rise 13 per cent while sales decrease by 3 per cent. Condos are also spending a longer time on the market — an average of 115 days in Montreal.
http://bit.ly/1rTbRQd

CMHC turns up scrutiny of condo investors as concerns of overheated market grow
“The gap between the importance of the real-estate market to the economy and the lack of publicly available information on it is mind-boggling,” Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, wrote in an April note to clients. “What is the share of foreign investors in the condominium market?”
http://bit.ly/1Apf10A

Manhattan Condos Are The New Swiss Bank Accounts For The World's Super-Rich
30% of all apartments between 49th and 70th Streets and between Fifth and Park Avenues are vacant at least 10 months of the year,
http://read.bi/1rQY6OS

—†—
Condo News
08 August 2014

Toronto price comparisons
Zoocasa has information on the average prices of Toronto condo apartments, townhouses and house prices in June.
http://bit.ly/1mVFiJL

25 sold, 4 more on market
Since last September, at one Peel Region condo, twenty-five units sold on MLS and another four are up for sale. A couple more sold that were not listed on the MLS.

After losing a fight for control of the board, (the board & management company fought hard & nasty) many owners realised that it would be best to sell than to keep fighting against their entrenched board.
http://www.condomadness.info/disgruntled-decide.html

CMHC turns up scrutiny of condo investors
Canada’s housing agency is set to publish results of a Toronto and Vancouver condominium-owner survey as it seeks to address economist and policy maker concern that not enough is known about what’s driving price gains, documents show.

Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp. surveyed condo investors — those who purchased at least one condo that isn’t the owner’s primary residence — in August and September 2013, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg through an Access to Information request. Most of the content, including the number of people Ottawa-based CMHC contacted, the survey questions and the results, was redacted.

Calls are growing louder for more detail about who’s investing in the nation’s condo market, including how much is owned by foreigners, and what the risks are.
http://bit.ly/1Apf10A

Condo parking structure partially collapses in Century City
IncLos Angles a section of a large parking garage collapsed in Century City on Friday morning, apparently caused by the storage of too much dirt and rocks on its roof for a landscaping project, officials said.

A crew was digging at the condo complex in the 10100 block of West Galaxy Way in an area between tennis courts and a swimming pool. They piled lava rock and dirt in a location that appeared to be a grassy area, but was actually on top of the parking structure.
http://lat.ms/1rJAfDG

Group Homes in HOAs   (USA)
One HOApresident recently told me his community has about 10 group homes, ranging from group homes for the disabled to group homes for troubled youth. Another HOA treasurer told me they have a few that service the elderly. In all actuality, there are more group homes than one may think. The question is often asked if an HOA can prohibit them and if not what boards or managers can do to ensure the rest of the community is not adversely effected by them.
http://bit.ly/1tQB0J3

Mesa residents still fighting HOA, claim former board members misspent money
We met with former resident Kathleen Daurio last year . As she dug through board records and said she found nearly $40,000 used for items and meals that she said didn't benefit homeowners.

"I mean, they bought laundry detergent and almonds and vodka and baby wipes and just about every time they bought air fresheners," said Daurio.
Another resident, Jan Stuart, sued that former board last year. It ended in a settlement agreement that allowed a vote resulting in three members being recalled, and a new board put in place.

In a court hearing Tuesday, attorneys for the current HOA asked Judge Patricia Starr to allow their newest lawsuit to continue through the legal system.
http://bit.ly/UARfxN
http://bit.ly/1km26aV

—†—
Condo News
01 August 2014

New condo sales in Toronto surge while the resale market smashes multiple records in Q2
According to Urbanation’s latest report, year-to-date, there have been 18,463 sales.

The Toronto CMA had 105,027 units in active development. Of these condos, 18,744, or roughly 18 per cent, were unsold.

The average index price for a new condo edged up 2.8 per cent in the second quarter, reaching $554 per square foot. The average price tag for an unsold suite inched up slightly to $570 per square foot.

Resales
For the resale market, condos sales broke another record, rising 12 per cent from last year to 5,238 units. Listings also reached a new milestone, rising by 10 per cent to a total of 11,246.

So just under half of all resale condos listed, sold and they went for an average of $427 per square foot.
http://bit.ly/1umU7yp

A warning from National Post
The editorial board of the National Post want us to know that these silent killers are everywhere.
http://bit.ly/1nGX3AM

Five cheapest condos in Toronto
Another interesting blog by David Fleming.
http://bit.ly/1nI8Qit

Condo Gets Green Light For Separate Entrance For Poor Residents
In a New York luxury condo, besides the building’s”poor door” separate entrance, the lower-income families will also be reportedly banned from using the building’s gym and swimming pool.
http://newsone.com/3040430/extell-poor-door/

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Condo News
30 July 2014

Some victims of condo fire say more emotional support needed
One resident was disappointed no grief counsellors were on hand when she returned to the condo.
http://bit.ly/1l30r55

Hiring a contractor?
Help protect yourself by knowing your rights before starting a home renovation. Learn how to hire a reliable contractor and see what you need to include in your contract with them. (Good idea for condos too.)
http://bit.ly/1eLOxwm

Condo buyers: be aware of smells & noise
Etobicoke neighbourhood deals with sewage stench once masked by cookie factory
http://bit.ly/1yZaCzA

Gelatin factory’s odours upset Junction residents
Toronto neighbourhood complains stench will disappear for weeks or months at a time, then reappear randomly, hampering quality of life. “You can almost feel it. It soaks into you,” said one resident.
http://on.thestar.com/1sBYOCL

Another condo fire
This time $5 million in damages at a Kitchener townhouse complext that is under construction. Some residents moved into a hotel with the developer picking up the tab.
http://bit.ly/1kQkRy1

Family fighting homeowner's association to keep pet pig
Eric and Rori Halpern say their pet Wilbur, a 65-pound potbellied pig with a sweet disposition, is a therapy animal who helps their children and others in Palm Beach County. Their homeowner's association says he's livestock and keeping him violates the community's rules.

So it is off to court they go.
http://bit.ly/1rwQ9kY

New Lenox Man Allegedly Embezzled $150K From Windermere West Homeowners Association
The New Lenox man had lived in the subdivision but was homeless at the time of his arrest, according to jail records.
http://bit.ly/1pbt5oy

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Condo News
26 July 2014

Condo blaze causes $10M in damages
Hundreds of residents displaced by a $10 million condo fire packed a west Edmonton church Tuesday evening, hopeful for answers. What some learned is that it may be up to a year-and-a-half before they can move back into their homes.

The fire at the four-storey Park Place South Hamptons condo complex on Monday was traced back to a cigarette in a planter pot. Planting soil is often mixed with combustible materials like Styrofoam, so when a cigarette is stubbed out in one it causes the materials to smoulder and eventually break out in flames, said fire marshal Tom Karpa.

In the last 10 years, there have been more than 700 fires and seven deaths in Edmonton caused by smokers’ material, amounting to more than $50 million in damages.

“I don’t know why there’s such a lack of awareness,” Block said.

“Is it going to take a funeral? A multiple fatality at one of these events? It’s only a matter of time until that happens.”

The blaze that displaced roughly 400 people broke out early Monday morning at the SouthHamptons condo complex, a four-storey building located just off 199 Street and Lessard Road.
http://bit.ly/1nmJlDD
http://bit.ly/1kgmomb

Time to ban smoking in condos?
Condo lawyer Robert Noce spoke on radio station 630 CHED on why smoking bans in condo corporations are a good idea.
http://bit.ly/1nIy55I

A condo in Vaughan burnt down twice
The owners in this small condo complex had the bad luck of being burnt out twice due to careless smoking. Now they are being penalized by having to wait for their building to be rebuilt—for a second time—and by being hit with a huge increase in fire insurance premiums.
http://www.condomadness.info/emergency-Keele.html

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Condo News
23 July 2014

Small claims threshold to double to $50,000
Alberta doubles the maximum limit for small claims court.
http://bit.ly/1kCRoYl

Neighbour wars: How disputes spiral out of control
How do adults who are otherwise responsible members of society find themselves at war over poop, tree branches and fumes from a wok?

If neighbours in detached houses get into battles like this, just imagine how bad condo neighbours may fight.
http://on.thestar.com/1q7JZI6

Senior endures 3-year scam
A senior was bilked of more than $250,000 in a renovation scam that lasted nearly three years.

Ottawa police said the victim was first approached in June 2011 by men offering to do work around the house. During the next three years, the men would return, uninvited, to complete unnecessary projects, according to police.

The victim would then be charged for work that was never completed or poorly done.
http://bit.ly/1nUlb3e

84 year old president stole condo funds
Kaplan told Florida police he was in debt and needed the money to supplement his income and finance an affair with his New York lover.
http://bit.ly/1mLqEsw

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Condo News
18 July 2014

$45.000 for parking & locker
A parking spot and locker at 33 Charles Street East, at Yonge And Bloor, Casa Condos sold for $45,000. Both parking  and a  locker Is Included In the price! You must be an owner In the building to purchase. Premium parking spot, close to garage entrance and elevators!

The common element fees add up to $126 a month.

Why Canada isn’t immune to a U.S.-style housing crash
A new report warns that Canadian home prices could fall 30 per cent in the next five years
http://bit.ly/TX6sbL

RCMP chase fugitive up side of Mississauga condo tower
The drug dealer suspect entered an adjacent apartment in attempted escape from 17th floor unit.
http://bit.ly/1mPKUJB

Remodeling kitchen tips
Good ideas that will work for condos.
http://onforb.es/1r4a2Ni

Florida condo owners fighting takeovers
In Boynton Beach, about 20 remaining owners of units in the Via Lugano condominium filed a lawsuit last month to try and block a Newton, Mass.-based company from forcing them to sell their homes for fair market value.

A condominium can be dissolved if 80 percent of owners agree to its termination. At Via Lugano, Northland owns an estimated 93 percent of the units.

“They are just trying to get our homes as cheap as they can,” said 79-year-old Helen Weinschenk, who bought her 1,280-square-foot unit in 2006 for $329,000. “I like it here, and I don’t want them to push me out.”

The Palm Beach County property appraiser lists Weinschenk’s unit’s market value at $79,000.
http://bit.ly/1mnsX5w
http://bit.ly/1kdefcK

How to keep condo fees low
Another posting by David Fleming. He covers some of the reasons why fees can get out of hand.
http://bit.ly/1zu1EM1

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Condo News
14 July 2014

The Advent of Condos Without Garages
Marty York, a columnist for CondoLife writes in the July-August edition why he dislikes spending any time in condo parking garages. He then praises parking-less condo developments.

I know that small one-bedrooms condos, with no parking spots, and some with no lockers, are being built by the hundreds in downtown Toronto. It is the newest rage.

However, I wonder if they will retain their value a few years down the road.
http://bit.ly/1quTwXy

Time standards for residential elevator repairs
Toronto building residents frustrated with broken-down elevators that take too long to fix may experience shorter repair times if Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam gets her way.

“If it’s a matter of setting some standard into place saying, ‘the elevator should be out no more than X number of days,’ I don’t think that’s unreasonable,” she says. She doesn't say how this can be enforced.
http://on.thestar.com/1qPPsQE


Myhood.ca reviews on this rental building at 77 Huntley St..
http://bit.ly/1qjXiCW

Condo Hires Security To Keep Bieber in Check
Justin Bieber rents condo units and party's hard but it will be the condos' owner that will be paying for extra security to watch over the Bieber and his guests.
http://bit.ly/1qAumIB

Condo glass panels may look great, but you'll pay more
The life-expectancy for major building components and the importance of condo maintenance & repairs.
http://bit.ly/1zk9hVa

Fire hose incident causes 'chain reaction' at Toronto hotel
A Cambridge, Ont., man charged after incident leaves hotel damaged, hundreds of guests inconvenienced.

Thank goodness the drunken "guest" wasn't staying at a condo suite-hotel.
http://bit.ly/1ku9gUF

—†—
Condo News
13 July 2014

$50,000 Wow!
Alberta's small claims court will start hearing cases up to $50,000.

I am so envious.

—†—
Condo News
11 July 2014

What landlords look for when renting their condos
Another interesting article by David Fleming, a downtown Realtor.
http://bit.ly/1lQeCOF

The Academy Condo Sells Out Overnight!
This Toronto Star real estate articles makes it clear that this condo, "a fabulous investment opportunity", will be full of rental units for U of T Scarborough students.
http://bit.ly/1kmGMMI

Community Activities at Mel Lastman Square
The Yonge-Sheppard Condominium News publishes this list of meetings, activities and cultural activities in the North York area. Really worthwhile taking a look at.
http://www.yscondonews.com/calendar.html

Fake condo sales
BC sales company faked a couple of condo sales to hype their development on TV. Garth Turner lays into them.
http://bit.ly/1qwerLe

Laneway houses: the future of affordable urban living?
Will this be another option between single family homes & condos?
http://bit.ly/1mR0bW5

Residents outraged by car booting over HOA fees
Neighbors in a DeKalb County Georgia condominium complex were upset after they say management arranged for their cars to be booted over outstanding fees.
http://bit.ly/TMM3pX

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Condo News
07 July 2014

New Condo Act our salvation?
Will the new Condo Act solve all our problems? Not according to condo activists in BC. Their Act was amended in 2009.
http://bit.ly/1lIPad2

Pipes with asbestos still used in new buildings
Not sure if this should be a concern to the residents but it is surprising that a limited amount of asbestos is being used in new condos.
http://bit.ly/1yU54Hv

Should we skip the condo parking lot?
A CBC radio report on why a Calgary councillor is proposing the building of new condo towers with no residential parking.
http://bit.ly/1z0gwS1

Condo insurance
In this audio CBC report condo consultant Joanna Coates discusses why some insurance companies in Calgary are no longer providing insurance to condominiums buildings as a whole. A very scary report.
http://bit.ly/1pNsCYI

Prime ballot position
Why some condo proxy forms have the incumbents names printed in the first positions.
http://bit.ly/TuQB42

Condo marketing manager disciplined
Former MAC Marketing manager disciplined over fake Chinese buyers
Real Estate Council of B.C. fines Nicolas Hans Jensen, who also faces a 14-day suspension
http://bit.ly/V4tYEZ

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Condo News
02 July 2014

Last week a unit in a west-end condo sold for $255,000. That is good news for the seller but most likely not such good deal for the buyer.

I wonder if the status certificate properly stated the condo corporation's true financial status?

As you can see, the condo's hydro will be disconnected if the corporation does not pay its outstanding accounts. This is the second such notice the condo has received in the last two years.

The only other condo that I know of that had back-to-back notices that their hydro was going to be disconnected, dumped their old board and recently raised their condo fees by 65%.

A potential buyer of a resale condo has got to be able to do a lot of checking on  their own as they cannot always rely on the real estate agent or lawyer to do that much for them.

My advice on buying a resale.

—†—
Condo News
02 July 2014

The Toronto Planning and Growth Management Committee passed a report that recommends:

1.         City Council request the Province to amend the Condominium Act to provide for greater flexibility to change a condo declaration or by-laws to address changing parking circumstances and needs in a condominium.

5.         City Council request the Province to clarify Section 45 of the Municipal Elections Act to require condominium corporations to allow public access to voting places in their condominium.
 
6.         City Council request the Canadian Condominium Institute to request their members to consider a provision in the condominium declaration stating that non-residents of the condominium will have access to voting places in the building.

7.         City Council request that the Executive Director, Social Development Finance and Administration undertake a pilot project to develop a community development tool-kit to assist condominium residents to strengthen the 'social tissue' in their buildings.
 
8.        City Council request that the City Planning Division with the City Manager's Engage Toronto IT project test the use of an on-line idea manager software for condo residents to share ideas about how they have dealt with issues in their condos.
 
9.       City Council request the Province to consider a broad information sharing and idea facilitation role for the proposed Condo Office.
 
10.       City Council request the Tower Renewal Office to investigate the potential use of the STEP Program and energy efficiency retrofit financing mechanisms for condo buildings.

This report will go to city council on next Tuesday July 8, 2014. I listed just the points that will affect existing condos. The rest of the report affects new construction.

You can read the full reports here. They are well worth reading.

Report and Attachment 1 from the Chief Planner and Executive Director,
City Planning on the Report on the Condo Consultation.
http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2014/pg/bgrd/backgroundfile-70255.pdf

Attachment 2 - The Consultant's Recommendations Report (January 2014)
http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2014/pg/bgrd/backgroundfile-70256.pdf

—†—
Condo News
30 June 2014

Check the status certificate
Never buy a resale condo without reviewing status certificate

An excellent column in the Toronto Star on why buyers of re-sale condos need to have a lawyer review the status certificate.
http://on.thestar.com/1psTXCD

Rent your condo for by the hour?
Well, in some building you can. More often, so far, condos can be rented by the day, the weekend, the week or by the month.

Owner-residents are helping to pay for all of this.
http://bit.ly/1uAGJ4w
http://www.condomadness.info/intro-transient-rentals.html

Bridgewater
Charles Hanes has an interesting posting on a new development in Burlington.
http://bit.ly/1oNXgov
The sales website is here:
http://www.bridgewaterresidencesonthelake.ca/

Curb appeal
This article from the Ottawa Citizen explains the importance in curb appeal. It is important, no doubt about that.

 Yet I shake my head when I see condo boards spending hundreds of thousands fixing up the lobby, front gardens and hallways when the building has a leaky garage and pin holes in the risers.
http://bit.ly/1noWhpr

NHL hockey stars settle condo lawsuit
A lawsuit seeking an injunction against Detroit Red Wings Darren Helm and Tomas Tatar for late-night activity inside a Royal Oak condominium has been resolved and dismissed
http://bit.ly/1igo1iR

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Condo News
26 June 2014

Highrises need backup generators, says ice storm panel
Ontario highrises need backup generators to keep elevators and heating running during long power outages, says a special report.
http://on.thestar.com/1iGXc1R

Property management must pay $25K
A tenant, who was vetted by a property management company trashed a rented house. A lesson here for owners who rent out their condos.
http://bit.ly/1m5aD0r

Live beside the 401?
Is living in a townhouse beside the 401 so bad? I think you would get use to it.
http://bit.ly/1lyzvZq

Trudeau's Pot Plan
When Canadian political parties distribute literature like this, I stop wondering why condo politics can be so nasty.
http://bit.ly/1qzFrJF

—†—
Condo News
22 June 2014

Police capture 3 inmates escaped in helicopter jailbreak
It has since emerged that the men were hiding out at a new, upscale condominium development at 370 Saint-André Street in the quiet, mainly residential eastern edge of Old Montreal.
http://bit.ly/1pAfWWP

Stuck in Condoland
In a city where space is at a premium, tiny condos are the new family home. Learning to survive in 700 square feet
http://bit.ly/TQrXeO

Condotown replaces Hogtown
The last hog slaughterhouse in Toronto has closed and it will it will be replaced with condos. The unanswered question is how can condo construction provide as many permanent jobs as manufacturing and food processing?
http://bit.ly/1jjjLd6

Distressed condo stiffs resident
Las Brisas, a troubled Ottawa high-rise, refuses to cover a senior’s $11,600 hotel and food bill after he was asked to vacate his penthouse unit for repairs to the building’s plumbing system over his ceiling.
http://bit.ly/1oV3alk

Your condos has no records?
Be very scared if you hear that. At one US Homeowner Association, they found that $10 million went missing.
http://bit.ly/1l218jc

How to hire contractors
Great advice for both condo boards and individual owners.

We are going to do a complete renovation of our main bathroom and we will get two quotes. The general contractors must be insured and use licenced plumbers.

If there is a leak and the units below me are damaged, I want a contractor who can and will make good the damages.

Before the job starts, the board will be informed, in writing, of what work is being done and the names of the contractor who will be doing the work. Good communications should prevent any misunderstandings.
http://trib.in/1plfzRp

Why boards have to watch their legal fees
If the judge says that the condo's law firm fees are too high and slashes them in half, does the condo meekly pay for the excessive fees or do they demand a refund from the law firm? About time some owners find out.
http://bit.ly/SQgRpd

—†—
Condo News
19 June 2014

Smoke-free condos spreading in BC
The concept is starting to take off with more than 100 apartment buildings now entirely smoke-free.

Less than 15% of B.C. residents smoke, but nearly half live in close quarters in condos and apartment buildings.
http://bit.ly/1ksrFoK

Toronto's Neighbourhood Watch signs
Who knew Neighbourhood Watch could be so much fun.
http://huff.to/TYKKFe

Construction noise
If you live beside a condo construction project, expect two years (minimum) of noise, dust and traffic problems.
http://bit.ly/1lWi5aa

CBC TV report on seniors battling in BC condo
It's an older story but the video of an assault is interesting.
http://bit.ly/1kPNEFy

Balcony gardening
Sure, why not. With a bit of planning, you can have a lovely private garden high in the sky.
http://bit.ly/1nEKMPq

Toronto’s got a problem.
A lack of family-friendly condos are being built in Canada’s most populous city. The vast majority of units that are being built here are studios, one-bedrooms, and one-bedroom-plus-dens. And they’re shrinking. The average size of a new condo is now 797 square feet,
http://bit.ly/1oSehJS

—†—
Condo News
18 June 2014

A Tale of Two Condos
We received my condo's budget package. We are paying 2% more this year. Not bad I thought. The reasons the increase is so low is that our board watches our expenses and that in previous years (over 4 decades) the condo boards have always repaired or replaced items as it was needed.

Last night I went to an AGM downtown where the board bragged that they will raise fees only 1%. I was all ears. How did they do it?



Such a financial miracle needs to be shared. Here is their secret:

Fee increase:  1%
Downloading electrical metering: (10% less required for operating fund)
$1.3M special assessment: $7,000 per unit

They had three special assessments in the last seven years. So what do they need the money for? $570K of this money will be spent renovating the lobby and hallways. The owners were not impressed.

I have been to AGMs where the board hired two security guards for protection and I have been to AGMs where the board hired two armed policemen to maintain order but this was the few times I went to an AGM where the board paid for two lawyers. (Neither lawyer chaired the meeting.)

My condo fees, including all utilities and a premium TV cable package will be 58 cents per square foot. Their new fees will be approximately 90 cents a square foot. (Plus the downloaded electrical bills.)

When an owner started complaining about the board taking 4-6 weeks to repair the two water leaks he had in his unit, the board shut him down and said he can talk to the board later. (Water leaks? Oh, oh.)

Next Tuesday I am going to another AGM. This one will be in Scarborough.

—†—
Condo News
16 June 2014

Don't sign!
Don't agree to a Buyer Representation Agreement with a real estate agent when making an offer on a home. Read Garth Turner's article on this here.

Talk about condo buyers needing more from from the Ministry of Consumer Services.
http://bit.ly/1muk6dW

Simplycharles
Don't forget to Bookmark Charles Hanes's new blog as his advice on condos in Toronto and Florida is first rate.
http://simplycharles.com/

Better yet, check out all the condo links at CondoMadness at:
http://condomadness.info/links.html

The New “Upscale” Student Ghetto
A resident told David Fleming told that 4K Spadina Avenue is essentially an older, more mature version of living in residence in university.

You won’t find many families living at 4K Spadina Avenue, and I would hazard a guess that there are even fewer retirees.
http://bit.ly/1hiT1xV

Condo conversions & rents
Rental costs not going up in Hamilton due to conversions to rentals.
http://bit.ly/1hLlCMT

Arizonia condo fining an owner $1000 a month
A senior citizen has a renter in her condo that she can't sell until her divorce is finalized. Yet the board continues to fine her $1000 a month.
http://bit.ly/1kEDzvm

—†—
Condo News
15 June 2014

The new government
The legislature will re-convene on 02 July so Wynne can pass her budget. By then we should know who will be the Minister of Consumer Affairs in the new government.

Reactions to Rosario's defeat
I have met Marchese personally and he had done lots of work to support condo owners. To bad he lost the election. Hopefully he will be still involved in changing of the Condo Act but of course, it would never be the same.
M.B. —Etobicoke

I wish I could thank Rosario.
M. A.—Toronto

​I can't imagine a more hard-working and dedicated person than
Rosario Marchese.
Betty—North York

This is bad news... Rosario was a good spokesperson.
A. C.—Etobicoke

Well I am glad you appreciated Rosario's efforts to improve the Condo Act and reform Tarion. I was disappointed to read the unjustified attack against him that was posted on COA Ontario.
J.M.—Trinty-Spadina

—†—
Condo News
13 June 2014

The provincial election
The Liberals got the majority they needed to govern the province without constantly worrying about being defeated. Now they can move forward with their plans and their vision.

Let's wish them well as they face difficult economic times with many needs and little money.

Let's hope that the new Condo Act is introduced in Queens Park this autumn. Obviously, the budget and other legislation needs to come first.

A big loss
"A newcomer has defeated a giant in Trinity-Spadina.
After a hard-fought campaign, Liberal candidate Han Dong has edged out longtime NDP incumbent Rosario Marchese."
—Toronto Star

Condo owners will miss Rosario when the new Act is introduced as we could have used his experience to help us identify any required amendments to the bill.

I am not sure if any other opposition MPPs fully understand the Condominium Act and how the proposed changes will affect condo owners.

—†—
Condo News
09 June 2014

This Thursday

Make sure you get to your polling station and vote.

It is so important.
Increase in condo rentals on MLS
Please keep in mind that they are a lot more rental condos that do not use MLS so these numbers are low.
http://bit.ly/1tGrs3z

Host a party at your condo
What a great idea. Rent the party room if your unit is too small (and most are) and have a great evening. Corn-on-the-cob will be available soon, a nice salad and BBQ pork and chicken sounds good. Not allowed a BBQ? I have a work around for that. The Cusina Lounge (Wilson & Bathurst) serves wonderful pork and chicken fresh off the BBQ wrapped in tin foil and it only a five minute drive from my condo.

Beer. Did I mention cold beer and white wine served out on the balcony as we watch the sunset over Pearson airport?
http://bit.ly/1kvXhVq

Does your board have a disaster plan?
As this property management company suggests, a condo board should have a detailed plan for disasters and emergencies.
http://bit.ly/1pBU3HP

Calgary condo insurance rising
Natural disasters, leaky dishwashers and overflowing bathtubs are driving insurance rates up and some insurance companies out of the market.
http://bit.ly/1nbQNQn

Two more professionals stealing condo funds
From coast to coast, trusted professionals are getting caught stealing condo funds. In both of these cases, if the boards were on the ball, the fraud could not have taken place.
http://bit.ly/1oUkFnk

Pool serviceman uses CPR
A pool repairman in Phoenix is credited with saving the life of a squirrel by using CPR. 
http://bit.ly/1kECcNv

—†—
Condo News
06 June 2014

Canadian elections and condos
At a time when more and more people in the GTA are living in condos, our political candidates want to meet the voters, learn what issues are important to them and try to win their votes come Election Day.

Yet, this needed human contact between political parties and their constituents is becoming more difficult to accomplish as more condos are being built. New owners and renters may have lived in their downtown condos for less than a year, so canvassing can be harder than in other neighbourhoods.

As reported in a CBC news story, Rosario Marchese stated: "You apply a variety of strategies to meet renters and condo owners. There is constant movement of people which makes it difficult for us and secondly, it's hard to get in.”

Progressive Conservative candidate Roberta Scott adds that the issues for condo residents are the same as everyone else's: jobs, health care, education and getting to work — the latter issue often seen as a particular challenge in that riding. "It's by far the most popular topic I hear at the door, transit, an express bus and also bike lanes."

The large turnover in residents every four to five years is a big concern for political candidates but so is getting access into condo corporations in order to talk to the voters and to drop off campaign literature.

I talked to Soo Wong, Liberal MPP for Scarborough—Agincourt. Her canvassers often have difficulty getting access into condos. The managers may say that they need to get the boards’ permission before they can come in or they say that the candidates have to phone ahead to book appointments.

A different issue is that there isn’t a polling station at a new large four-tower condominium complex just to the northeast corner of the 401 and Kennedy Road. Voters have to travel to distant school in order to vote. Therefore 1300 voters do not have a polling station within the distance guidelines mandated by Elections Ontario.

What is with condo managers and boards? Do they have something against democratic elections? Here are a couple of recent postings that were published on the Internet:

Candidates for Political Office – Door Knocking Considerations
Campaigning politicians exercising their right to campaign door-to-door in condominium buildings may not be acting in their best interests.

Section 118 of the Condominium Act, 1998 says that: “No corporation or employee or agent of a corporation shall restrict reasonable access to the property by candidates, or their authorized representatives, for election to the House of Commons, the Legislative Assembly or an office in a municipal government or school board if access is necessary for the purpose of canvassing or distributing election material“

Many condo residents prefer the privacy that comes from not dealing with unsolicited door knockers. They appreciate the protection they receive when uninvited guests are prohibited from accessing their building and individual suites.

Campaigning politicians who exercise their right for special treatment in this regard obtain the access they desire but may damage their cause through this special treatment.

It may be more prudent for campaigning politicians to respect the condo rules, not leave print material, and seek more effective ways to campaign.

This was published in the June 2014 issue of Yonge-Sheppard Condominium News.

That article may have been influenced by an article published In Condocentric.ca by Marc Bhalla who suggested:

“Rather than simply exercising a legal right of entry in the course of canvassing, politicians may be wise to consider each unique condominium community in their riding and reach out to property management and/or the Board to determine the most appropriate approach to connecting with the community.  However, there is not much time to do so with the provincial election a mere six weeks away!”

In a riding with dozens or even hundreds of condos, what candidate has the time to work out that many individual arrangements with property managers? What’s more, why are the managers and boards not calling the candidate’s offices to invite their canvassers to come an visit and suggest the best times to canvas the residents in their buildings?

Residential condo buildings are not monasteries, army barracks or prisons where the residents want or need to be protected from all outside influences.

Finally, what right does a manager or a board has to block or hinder political canvassers from communicating with the voters? How else can some of the residents going to learn how to get registered to vote, learn where their polling station is or how else will the disabled learn that they may be able to vote from home?

I am talking to election canvassers and they tell me that sure there are some condo residents who will not open the door when they knock and others do not want to talk to them but that the percentage of negative reactions from condo residents are no different than what they experience when they go door-to-door in neighbourhoods of townhouses or detached houses.

The narcissist that Marc writes about that pushes the elevator close button when they hear a neighbour approaching so he does not have to share the elevator and the director who freaks out because an owner knocked on his door are not well suited to communal living and our democratic condo corporations should not consider such anti-social behaviour as normal.

What is the real problem here? Can it be that the condo boards do not want political parties canvassing in “their” buildings as they are afraid that it may encourage candidates for the yearly condo elections to canvas their fellow owners for electoral support prior to condo elections?

It is quite possible.

Provincial election

CondoMadness wants all condo residents to vote in the June 12 election. It is important to vote otherwise the politicians will not take us seriously.

CondoMadness does not endorse a political party but we do endorse individual candidates that understand the need for changes to the Condo Act and have a solid track record of assisting the condo owners in their ridings.
Endorsement for Rosario Marchese


Anne-Marie Ambert, the founder of Condominium Information Centre endorses Rosario Marchese MPP as the candidate in Trinity-Spadina.

This endorsement makes sense as all condo owners need Rosario at Queens Park not only to urge on the introduction of a new Condo Act but also to continue the fight to reform Tarion.

Finally, we need Rosario in the house when the Condo Act is introduced to help us get any needed amendments included in the Bill before final reading.

You can see Anne-Marie's endorsement on this YouTube video.
http://bit.ly/1kD8Yd9

CondoMadness endorses Dipika Damerla
Dipika Damerla has worked extremely hard to help condominium owners in the riding of Mississauga East-Cooksville. Her energy and results are impressive including:
– Hosting a Phase I consultation meeting on the changing of the Condo Act.
– Hosting a condominium information meeting for her constituents.
– Assisting condo owners with their questions.


– Hosting a meeting with noted condo lawyer Gerry Hyman to assist condo
   owners who had disputes within their condo corporation.
– Hosting a Phase II information meeting for condo owners in her riding.
– A further Phase III consultation meeting was held in her riding.
– Delivering drinking water to the residents of a townhouse complex that had
   the water supply cut.

The residents of Mississauga-East-Cooksville have a hard-working MPP who cares for all of her constituents and is a champion for condominium owners in our province.

She is another MPP that deserves to return to Queens Park. I urge all of readers in Mississauga East-Cooksville to help re-elect Dipika Damerla.

Tracy MacCharles
Tracy MacCharles, the MPP for Pickering-Scarborough East is the present Minister of Consumer Services. Whether the Liberals win enough seats to stay in power after the June 12 election or not, condo owners need Tracy back at Queens Park as her knowledge about the new Act will be invaluable to any government that is interested in introducing amendments to the Condo Act.

Toby Barrett
Toby Barrett is the Progressive Conservative Critic for Consumer Services. Condo owners should welcome Toby back at Queens Park.

If the Conservatives win enough seats, it is possible that Mr. Barrett could be the next Minister of Consumer Services and will be responsible for introducing the new Condo Act.

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Condo News
03 June 2014

Affordable rentals in new condo bldg
Waterfront condo building to include affordable rentals for artists
http://on.thestar.com/1kHcfMO

Dog waste a problem in Liberty Village
Lots of dogs but only one park. The area needs more green space and fire hydrants.
http://bit.ly/1pcm7kP

Improper electrical work in swimming pool room
Saving a few bucks hiring unqualified electricians? As this story shows, people can die.
http://bit.ly/1jt3GRa

Internal financial controls for condos
If your board isn't following similar controls, why not?
http://bit.ly/1nGOOo4

Latest Toronto Star article on Operation Traveller
The latest information released by the police included:
"By fall, a security void had opened in Dixon City. The private security guards who had manned one side of the buildings (320, 330 and 340 Dixon Rd.) were rarely seen. Police weren’t able to enter the complex without violating trespass laws, unless they were called, according to the police documents."

This confirms that Shah Jahan Khan, president of YCC #42 at the time, did indeed bar the police from entering the condo corporation unless they were answering a 911 call.
http://on.thestar.com/S8Lje0

Think our parking is expensive
Parking in some areas of Beijing now costs more than $160,000
Underground parking spots in luxury central Beijing apartment buildings now sell for up to 1 million yuan ($160,000), according to Beijing News.
http://bit.ly/RrEMdT

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Condo News
02 June 2014

Get out and vote
If we do not vote, we do not count. Condo residents vote in lower numbers than people who live in houses. I heard that condo residents are less likely to vote than people who live in public housing.

That hurts us when we lobby politicians for everything from a change to the Condo Act to getting a traffic light installed at the corner intersection.

Here is an e-mail I received today and, although the message is to get out the Liberal vote, it is an important message for all condo residents, no matter what political party you support.

There are some numbers that you never forget. Phone numbers, birth dates, and pass codes to name just a few. For me, some others stick out.

I loved being the MPP for Perth-Wellington for 8 years. I sat in Cabinet for 4 years and served in 3 different portfolios. But with just 11 days until Election Day, I’m reminded of a number I know I’ll never forget.

I lost the 2011 election by just 210 votes – only one vote per poll.

That's why I’m writing to you today as a private citizen and not as an elected representative. It’s also why I know that your decision to vote, or not, could make the difference in this election.

I’m asking you to pledge to vote Liberal in this election.

There’s a lot of cynicism out there about politics. Some of it is even understandable. Voter turnout is at historic lows and a lot of people feel that voting won’t make a difference. But in 2011 it made all the difference in Ontario.

If 100,000 Ontarians had sat the last election out, Tim Hudak would be Premier.

If just 211 more Liberal supporters had voted in my riding alone, we would have earned a majority government.

Low voter turnout in an election this tight means that every vote could make the difference between winning or losing on Election Day.

Take it from me, your vote counts. And we need you to cast it for your local Liberal candidate on June 12. Make your pledge to vote Liberal today.

John Wilkinson

So no matter what political party you support, please get involved in this political campaign, help your favourite candidate canvas your condo building and get out and vote on Thursday June 12.


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