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Condo News
29 April 2017

Houses & condos selling for $100,000 over asking in Mississauga
It's no secret that the housing market in Mississauga and surrounding cities has never been hotter.
http://bit.ly/2pCv3XP


Small Landlords want to reform the Residential Tenancies Act and change the proposed Bill 124 Rental Fairness Act
Small landlords, including those renting condo units, are starting to get organized. Currently the Residential Tenancies Act protects the tenants leaving landlords vulnerable. That is something they want to change.
http://bit.ly/2poukXw

A Brampton loan?
Welcome to the murky world of house mortgages were almost anyone can get approved for a mortgage. (Find out what a Brampton Loan is.)
http://bit.ly/2qlWZvz

Elevator problems and solutions focus of new Ontario-mandated research
The province, which recently promised legislation to deal with the situation, is hoping to understand the causes of elevator outages or otherwise poor service and, most importantly, to find the best solutions.

The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services has ordered the provincial safety agency to commission the needed research. The Technical Standards and Safety Authority — TSSA — is now calling for bids to do the research and report on potential solutions by mid-October.

Two items of interest here. First, the government has passed 1st reading on a new bill on elevator reliability without having data to know what the problems are. Secondly, why am I finding out about this in a Cape Breton newspaper?
http://bit.ly/2oDALIX

Fumes, noise from massive generator keeping power on—and residents awake
The joys of buying a new condo unit during the occupancy period.
http://bit.ly/2psSuSC


Montreal landlord fined more than $1K for condo listed on Airbnb without his knowledge
Gerry Galiatsatos is on the hook after his tenant rented out the unit more than 65 times in a few months. So now the condo association is fining him $1,250. "I am getting charged a whole bunch of penalties … and it's their right to. In the rules, you can charge up to $250 a day in penalties."

"Right now all the burden is on the owners,"
http://bit.ly/2oEj9g4

Put up a parking lot? Condo slump in Ottawa raises questions about vacant properties
The dispute between residents, including the Civic Hospital Neighbourhood Association, and developer Mastercraft Starwood is heading to an Ontario Municipal Board hearing in June.

It's a scenario that's worrying some residents and councillors: what happens to empty lots that have been rezoned for tall towers, but where construction is now on hold — possibly for years — because of the slump in the condo market?
http://bit.ly/2qe5n0O

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Condo News
26 April 2017

'I'm shaking my head': Hot Toronto housing market driving prices up in small town Ontario
Shelburne, Ont., seeing major growth as search for affordability drives people north. However the long commute is brutal, especially in the winter when the highways can be closed by the OPP.
http://bit.ly/2q1Vkee

120 investors likely lost $9M in syndicated mortgages tied to convicted fraudster
Chinese investors in the Greater Toronto Area say they were told the investments were safe and secure.
http://bit.ly/2psqAah

Drowning in debt is the new normal in Canada
While the causes for these horror stories are varied and obviously complicated, there is almost always a common detail: Most clients in significant debt trouble today would not be in that situations had they simply funded their lives by cashflow instead of credit.
http://bit.ly/2psmSNU

News Release—Ontario Ministry of Housing
Ontario Introduces Bill to Protect Tenants from Unfair Rent Increases
http://bit.ly/2oGlsKR

Bill 124, Rental Fairness Act, 2017
Here is the new Bill. First Reading carried.
http://bit.ly/2osGGAs

Condominium Management Services Act  2015
Final version of regulations for Condo Manager Licensing are out.
http://bit.ly/2pwEWqg

Condo arrears include legal fees
Pay up in full in the time given or you will pay much more later.
http://bit.ly/2p1TYCS

New homeless camp in Victoria is growing
“One guy told me the people in the condos didn’t pay for a view to get an eyesore like us. What the hell is he talking about? We’re homeless,” Osmond said.
http://bit.ly/2oVRkP4

Taiwan's smog-eating twisting tower will feature luxury apartments -- take a look inside

A twisting, smog-eating tower is going up in Taipei, Taiwan. On the outside, 23,000 trees and shrubs—nearly the same amount found in New York’s Central Park—will fill the skyscraper’s facade, roof, and balconies. And inside, it will feature 40 luxury condos. Take a look at the photos. Amazing.
http://bit.ly/2q0UNKu

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Condo News

22 April 2017

Will foreign buyer tax cool GTA housing market? Sousa doesn't know
Sousa doesn't know? Used real estate board data? Are all government decisions made this way? Pretty scary.
http://bit.ly/2p0CGV0

Licensing home inspectors not enough, expert says
Bruce McClure says there must be educational requirements and independence from realtors
http://bit.ly/2o1JlB5

Property Management – What you don’t know will kill you (and me)
A professional rental property manager explains why people who want to rent their basement or their condo unit need to learn that is is not all that easy.
http://bit.ly/2omeKdI

Richmond BC settles on new Airbnb bylaw
If approved, new bylaw will require any single-family homes used for short-term rentals register as a licensed bed and breakfast with the City of Richmond.
http://bit.ly/2oKREyi

Landlord group wants stricter limits on where Canadians can grow marijuana
This article provides a list of good reasons why marijuana should not be grown in condo & rental apartment buildings.
http://bit.ly/2nPwu4P

Kids and condos still don’t mix in Alberta: Brewing fight looms over legal age-discrimination

Michael Janz and Sally Tang pose with their baby boy, Miles, at Hodgson Park in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday, April 13, 2017. The family has been given eight months to find a new place to live because their condo building doesn't allow children.
Codie McLachlan/National Post

http://bit.ly/2pYFIIC

Condo Smarts: Consult an experienced lawyer when pondering a strata sale
BC: hire a lawyer if the owners are thinking of selling the complete strata corporation to a developer.
http://bit.ly/2oVwSMn


Ontario Liberals combat housing crisis by adding 58 storey condo to Queen’s Park

Dalton’s Landing    photo provided by developer

“Ontarians have told us that they are struggling to afford a place to live, and we’ve listened,” said Premier Kathleen Wynne as she led reporters through one of the one bedroom units in the towering neo-modern legislature. “With the trendy, convenient condos of Dalton’s Landing, the hard-working residents of this province can experience the eclectic urban lifestyle of London or New York right here at home for the reasonable rate of $700,000 for a one bedroom, or $1.1 million for a two-bedroom on a 25 year mortgage.”
http://bit.ly/2otzAaU


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Condo News
18 April 2017

Gerry Hyman's condo law column
An interesting Q&A column from the Toronto Star.
http://bit.ly/2oDnZbR

Condo Property Act deals with dirty, disruptive tenants
Here is the latest condo law column from Robert Noce in the Edmonton Journal. Another very informative column.
http://bit.ly/2ojR3lf


Top 10 condo law cases of 2016
From Gardiner Miller Arnold LLP.
http://bit.ly/2jxbzgt

Don't mess with adult-only residences
Alberta is the only province that allows adult-only condos but that is about to change. Some condo owners are not happy about that.
http://bit.ly/2pH5otd

Home inspectors on their weirdest discoveries
I love the photos. Buying a home without an inspection can be very risky.
http://nyti.ms/2osbbCf


Old jails don't make for good condos
Jails take a beating from prisoners. If not maintained properly they deteriorate rapidly. It goes without saying that no one wants to be there so the guests often take their frustrations out on the building.
http://bit.ly/2noiq1d

Arizona HOA treasurer admits to stealing $180,000
The treasurer for Canoa Seca Estates II walked into the Green Valley substation of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department on Thursday afternoon and told deputies he was guilty of stealing $180,000 from the homeowners association, according to a PCSD spokesman.
http://bit.ly/2oElJkK

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Condo News
16 April 2017

Sexual diversity in condominium communities – Closing the Genderation Gap
This free Webinar education seminar, hosted by CAI, will assist condo directors, managers and owners understand the numerous steps that condominiums must take to comply with all applicable legislation and common law duties.

Sexual diversity in condo communities
Learn about this important topic using your personal computer.
Thursday: 27 April 2017 12:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)
http://bit.ly/2popXv4

News update—Action being taken on forced occupancy
Minister of Municipal affairs and his office now investigating after complaints from home owners that their dwellings barely meet the minimum occupancy standards.
http://bit.ly/2oJa989

The creative extremes some GTA realtors will use to get your business
Realtors offering free vacations and expensive gifts are paying for them with the seller's money. Better to list with an experienced agent that will get you the best price than get sucked in by gimmicks.

By the way, this article says that there are now 52,000 Realtors in the GTA.
http://bit.ly/2nXFtMo

'Never buy new': Real estate expert warns of pitfalls of buying unbuilt condos
Real estate agent David Fleming has a few simple rules for his clients.
http://bit.ly/2nmwAMb

What would happen if there was a special assessment on your recently purchased condo?
Unconditional offers can be so dangerous. Never buy without reviewing the status certificate. I suggest a home inspection as well.
http://bit.ly/2nAV8Vg

Is a Special Assessment the reason why this townhouse is still on the market?
I would be very cautious about buying a condo where a Special Assessment is planned. Some condos deliberately keep the monthly fees low to attract buyers so Special Assessments may not be that special.
http://bit.ly/2po39uG

Condo boards brace for medical marijuana smoke complaints
Condo boards and landlords have legitimate concerns. The boards about 2nd hand smoke and the landlords having expensive cleaning and odour removal expenses when their tenant moves out.
http://bit.ly/2mLdBj8

You can train your cat to use the toilet. Just don't expect it to flush
A great idea for condo cats.
http://trib.in/2nG0Jdj

BC: Townhouse living—with no fees
The Hycroft row house doesn’t have strata fees, which was a primary attraction for Mr. Llonuc. He can do his own house repairs and gardening at a lower cost, rather than paying the $250 a month he did at his previous condo to have it done. And he doesn’t have to listen to anyone tell him what he can or can’t do with his house.

We have had free-hold townhouses in Ontario for over 30 years now. Not sure why we don't have more.
https://tgam.ca/2pjlCt2

Los Angles
The Rooftop Cinema Club has returned
Walk up to the rooftop of the iconic Montalban Theatre for a third season of movie screenings. It is like the drive-ins of old or Toronto's great movies-in-the-parks.

A movie night would make for a great condo social event.
http://bit.ly/2nM4HCv

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Condo News
13 April 2017

Hamilton believes Connolly project still on, even as related Etobicoke one is in trouble
"On the Go Mimico", an Etobicoke high-rise project was still only about 15% complete when it went into receivership in February. Now 208 people stand to lose their pre-sold condos.

That company, Terrasan 327 Royal York, is the sister company of Stanton Renaissance, owned by Louie Santaguida. In 2014, Santaguida demolished two-thirds of the historic James Street Baptist Church from 1878 to build a 30-storey Connolly tower.

Now there are more condo owners who may be disappointed.
http://bit.ly/2pc9SIF

New homes cleared by city not suitable for occupancy, owners say
Some new homeowners in Toronto say they are being pushed to move into newly-built homes that aren’t even close to being finished. Watch the video.
http://bit.ly/2p9RWS9

MPP proposes time limits for elevator repairs
Private member's bill would give contractors two weeks to fix downed lifts. Sounds good but condos may need to pay more to keep their elevators in good working order if they expect an elevator company to sign a service agreement.
http://bit.ly/2oZuSpg

Transit: can Toronto imagine bike lanes?
The proposed bike lanes in the Yonge Street condo corridor between Sheppard and Finch may not be approved when the city reviews this this autumn. The problem; cars will be limited to only one lane in each direction.
http://bit.ly/2owqLA0

Strata president refuses ramp request to help ailing resident
Okanagan: We called our strata president and requested permission to remove our stairs and have a ramp installed that would give him safe access to our home, but he refused, citing the appearance of our community and the cost to make the common property safe.
http://bit.ly/2pvLEbZ

$5,000 fine because trees too small
A homeowner is being fined $100 a day for planting two trees that are too small. New trees must be six feet tall.
https://youtu.be/XhiochVwnIE

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Condo News
11 April 2017

Wynne Liberals won't say when expanded rent control coming
The government has been consulting on the rental reforms since June. Question is who have they been consulting with for almost a year now?
http://bit.ly/2ohM20r

What will rent controls mean for condos?
In my opinion, the only good thing is that the prices for bachelor and one-bedroom units should drop.
http://bit.ly/2pctrA6

More than 200 condo buyers may lose homes after development fails
The big losers here are the people who bought pre-construction condos. This story has been updated on CondoMadness.
http://bit.ly/2o2Wmq7

'Never buy new': Real estate expert warns of pitfalls of buying unbuilt condos
Real estate agent David Fleming has a few simple rules for his clients.
http://bit.ly/2nmwAMb

They aren’t rent increases!
All these condos are not part of true “rental stock” they are temporary rental stock just waiting for the owner to cash out and get his money out.

A very interesting article on condo rental units by a professional rental manager.
http://bit.ly/2of8Bmp

Public art at condo developments create ‘spaces that excite and inspire’
Condo developers in the GTA are enlivening their projects with public art, whether they have to or not.
http://bit.ly/2okEjhS

Hefty fines for fire code violations
All homes must be protected by working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms says St. Catharines Fire Chief Dave Wood after a local landlord was fined $4,300 by the Ontario Court of Justice.

Nick Atalick pleaded guilty to Ontario Fire Code violations for not having working smoke alarms in the basement and on the second floor of his rental property
http://bit.ly/2nlW2Vs

The biggest problem in condoland is that there is no accountability at any stage of the game for developers
Charles Hanes: Don’t fool yourself into thinking that a developer or builder is actually a company that “builds” buildings and homes.
http://bit.ly/2nlhv26

Beware of mould in Vancouver’s hot condo market
This is what may happen if you don't get a home inspection.
http://bit.ly/2obbcNJ

Condo Smarts: Strata president can’t install cameras without permission
Before a strata corporation is permitted to conduct surveillance, it must also adopt bylaws that permit installation and use of cameras, and collection and management of the recorded information.
http://bit.ly/2pct2xd

Condos find new way to crack down on owners who secretly rent units
“We have implemented new technology to combat both Airbnb and illegal seasonal renters, and snowbirds that rent their units more than what our declarations state,” said Josh Travieso, vice president of the 150-unit Cypress Bend Condominium V association in Pompano Beach.

The Parking Boss app helps officials identify and tow away the cars of unapproved renters and others living under an association’s radar.
http://bit.ly/2oiHWF1

Three questions to ask prospective condo board candidates
I can think of more but these three questions are a good start.
http://bit.ly/2pnGrCM


Florida: Confrontation about towed truck with HOA president gets man arrested
Facing criminal charges over something so petty is just plain dumb.
http://pbpo.st/2okVMVu

An Airbnb tree

Downtown Toronto condos have Airbnb trees near their front doors.

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Condo News
06 April 2017

Rent controls
Queens Park: Liberals say they refused to approve the NDP's rent control bill because it "doesn't go far enough".

"The issues that tenants face are more than just rent hikes that are out of control," he said. "We're bringing in our own robust rent control act that will better deal with the problem."
http://bit.ly/2oJRWYG

Condominium Authority of Ontario
The Condominium Authority of Ontario now has a website.
http://bit.ly/2o4N3YS

An Oakville case study: A new condo board is formed
Charles Hanes and the other two directors are getting ready to battle the developer and their new management company.
http://bit.ly/2nO3KYJ

Cheap Airbnb rental
Sleep in the back of a Mercedes SUV for $15 a night. Legal in Toronto as long as you park on the street in a legal parking spot.
http://bit.ly/2n8OEhH

Toronto bidding wars so fierce homebuyers skip inspections
Toronto-based home-inspection firm Carson Dunlop saw a 34% drop in volume. Murray Parish, president of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors, said he’s seen a 30% decline at his firm, Parish Home Inspections.
https://bloom.bg/2nznVXS

Hamilton holds contest to design new Promenade Park
'It has to be beautiful'
http://bit.ly/2nZcdGN

Prince Edward Island—carbon monoxide detectors
Carbon monoxide detectors to be required in all Island homes by next year
'It's just as necessary to have a carbon monoxide detector as it is to have a smoke alarm'
http://bit.ly/2p1sgmF

B.C. landlords look to curb legal pot use with rent agreements
As Canada edges closer to legalizing marijuana, landlords in B.C. are considering rental agreements with restrictions on growing and smoking in the home to weed out potential fire hazards, odours and liability issues.
http://bit.ly/2nBDMFZ

NYC transit removed trash bins from subways hoping people wouldn’t litter
Unsurprisingly, they littered more.
http://bit.ly/2oLq6aF

California Episcopal Bishop in trouble for trying to sell church to condo developer for $15M
He is accused of dishonesty, deceit and conduct unbecoming a clergy member.
http://bit.ly/2nB3FHx

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Condo News
02 April 2017

Toronto man had $21K worth of items stolen by Airbnb guests he thought were a 'nice family'
"I don't know what went on in my apartment, I don't think I want to know what went on in my apartment," he said. "But the police gave me a possibility of what may have occurred. They said there was possibly someone in here, using it as a drug stash but on the side, also hiring prostitutes."

Toronto police have confirmed that they are investigating the theft and say they have seen an increase in crimes like this one over the last few months. Police are warning those who may be considering short-term rentals using services like Airbnb, VRBO or HomeAway to be extra careful when trusting someone with your keys.
http://bit.ly/2nftLg2

Airbnb fully reimburses man who had $21K worth of items stolen by guests
Morale of this story? Have your problem published in the national media.
http://bit.ly/2nI2dlb

What penalties are there for builder/developers and property management companies that willfully betray owners?
Charles Hanes attended his new condo's Transition owners meeting and was not impressed with the builder's lawyer or his new property management company.
http://bit.ly/2nHaAQE

Pay your condo expenses

Condo owners must not let their condo maintenance fees fall into arrears. Some owners make it a habit to pay their fees late as they figure they will be okay as long as they pay within 30 or 90 days.

If they make a mistake in their timing, or think that the board will be more forgiving than their bank, the costs can quickly spin out of control.

Broken water main leaves Edmonton condo dwellers without water for six days — and counting
Residents could go 10 days before water is restored, says property management company. Last year's water main break took seven days to fix, this one is more complicated.
http://bit.ly/2nqCw8M


Fill ’er up with condos: Georgia St. Chevron sold to developer
Now there is only one gas station left in downtown Vancouver and it, too, is up for sale.
http://bit.ly/2ojrHYP

That Airbnb host in Trump Tower got fined
Lena Yelagina, owner of an apartment in Trump Tower that was listed for rental on Airbnb until early this month, has received a summons from the city of New York seeking a $1,000 fine for illegally advertising the unit.
The fine, as reported by the New York Times, was levied under rules issued last year that ban not only short-term apartment rentals, but even the advertising of such opportunities.
http://for.tn/2nA60CX

Upper East Side condo to sue Equinox gym over noisy weights, workouts
The gym, located in the bottom three floors of the ritzy Barbizon 63 tower on E. 63rd St. and Lexington Ave., hasn't done anything to prevent sound from reaching all the way to the fifth floor, the building claimed Monday in a lawsuit.

"Equinox's customer members and trainers regularly and continuously bounce heavy medicine balls on the floors and walls of the gym, to drop or throw weights on the floor and slam weights on the machines," Barbizon's Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit alleges.

"In addition, Equinox members and trainers regularly use the Stereo Equipment throughout the gym, particularly in the fitness studios, at very high volumes and playing music with heavy bass frequencies throughout the day, every day, generally from 6:00 a.m. until 10 p.m."
http://nydn.us/2nocDWY

Police called to restore order as Amherst HOA dispute gets nastier
Amherst police were called Monday night to restore order during a meeting of the homeowners association. Between 20 and 30 residents attended the board meeting, and the discourse between board members and some audience members grew testy.
http://bit.ly/2nsuyeT

China:
Firefighters make 2 death-defying catches as women fall from burning condo apartment
Global News: Fire fighting is a very dangerous job. Great work saving these two people. There is a video of the rescue and interviews by the firemen.
http://bit.ly/2nZKFn5

That cinches it. My next car is going to be green


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Condo News
29 March 2017

Toronto condo residents—beware suspicious behaviour
A message from a condo director in a downtown Toronto condo:


Housing affordability measures to be included in spring budget, Ontario's Sousa says
Possibilities could include foreign buyers tax, higher taxes on second homes, incentives for developers to build affordable housing and rent controls.
http://bit.ly/2mKb4p6

Can't afford a home? Buy with a friend, or maybe even a stranger
Creative solutions to unattainable house prices, such as $60K in down payment support.
http://bit.ly/2nRpZuC

Ontario bill aims to hold elevator contractors responsible for fixing outages
Maintenance contractors would be held responsible for getting broken-down elevators up and running in relatively short order under proposed novel legislation in Ontario that seeks to address what some have deemed a crisis.

The legislation, which also calls for changes to the provincial building code, is expected to be introduced on Wednesday by Liberal MPP Han Dong, who has spent months crafting the bill.

Maintenance contractors would be held responsible for getting broken-down elevators up and running in relatively short order under proposed novel legislation in Ontario that seeks to address what some have deemed a crisis.

The legislation, which also calls for changes to the provincial building code, is expected to be introduced on Wednesday by Liberal MPP Han Dong, who has spent months crafting the bill.

If you don't give this any deep thought, it sounds good. For instance, what will happen if the elevator companies demand that a condo commit to spending $300,000 to renovate their elevators before they will be willing to renew their service agreement?
http://bit.ly/2npwAiv

The Ontario foreign buyer’s tax Is coming (maybe)
Toronto Realtor explains that it is all about politics & the provincial election coming in June 2018.
http://bit.ly/2mNr4CP

Raising five kids in a 1,000 square-foot condo
Tips on how to save space and declutter.
http://bit.ly/2ncSbrX


Hydro woes continue to drag Kathleen Wynne's popularity down
The latest poll shows her at 12%. Expect to see a flood of PR campaigns ahead of next year's election.
http://bit.ly/2nxDFNP

No joke, natural gas rates set to rise in Ontario on April 1
The Ontario Energy Board approved rate increases for Union Gas that will see the average customer in the north west pay an extra $50.30 a year, an increase of $40.76 for customers in the north east and an extra $20.20 per year for southern Ontario customers.
http://bit.ly/2ncpDPj


Opinion: Blame B.C. government subsidies for Vancouver's out-of-control real estate market
Government grants help keep home prices high in BC.
http://bit.ly/2mCWe3E

'It was bait and switch' says Winnipeg man after booking luxury condo in L.A. through Airbnb
You should take a look at the photos. Disgusting.
http://bit.ly/2mHTsbU

Japan:
3-year-old boy falls to his death from 8th floor of condo
He was left alone for just a few minutes. Please be careful. Young kids need to be protected from apartment balconies and windows.
http://bit.ly/2oiaVph

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Condo News
23 March 2017

Toronto police seek 3 men in 2 armed Kijiji robberies
Two potential buyers of laptops were escorted into condo buildings and robbed; one was injured.
http://bit.ly/2nD8z7M

A foreign-buyers housing tax in Toronto? Bring it on - and fast
Globe and Mail columnist wants something done to lower prices.
https://tgam.ca/2nnr8tK

Concerns voiced about Condo Act overhaul
The lawyers have concerns about understanding the new regulations. So do condo owners who will be paying for all of this.

Interesting that one lawyer figures that there will be more money to be made and that condos will need a lawyer to attend all owner meetings.
http://bit.ly/2n7rw1z


I attended the Real Estate Wealth Expo, so you didn't have to

Originally, I thought this would be a bit of a joke.

There were billboards in all the Toronto subway cars advertising the Canadian Real Estate Wealth Expo - learn how to become a millionaire.  I thought this was so ridiculous, it may be fun.
http://bit.ly/2mYsc7C

CAI on short-term rentals
A new condo association in Canada sees why owner-residents have problems with short-term rentals.
http://bit.ly/2mxIBBZ

Clever storage solutions for clutter-free living
Some great ideas for condos here.
http://bit.ly/2mDsHnk

Video: Uber driver involved in fiery crash at Seattle gas station
Nothing to do with condos but an awesome video. The Uber passenger has a story to tell for life and the video to prove it.
http://bit.ly/2nboGZM

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Condo News
19 March 2017

Short-term Rentals

The City is reviewing short-term rentals in Toronto. Staff will undertake work to develop an approach to short-term rentals in the City.

Have your say on short-term rentals through an online survey and public meetings.

Public Meeting #1
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
North York Civic Centre, Council Chambers
5100 Yonge St, North York, ON M2N 5V7

Public Meeting #2
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
City Hall, Committee Room 2
100 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2

Can't attend the meetings? Participate online.

Online Survey
An online survey will be launched on March 28, 2017.

Send us your comments
Send us your comments or input directly at: amy.buitenhuis@toronto.ca

Stakeholder Meetings
Meetings are being held with key stakeholders during the week of April 3, 2017. If you would like more information about these meetings, contact Amy Buitenhuis at amy.buitenhuis@toronto.ca.

Read the City's report on short-term rentals in Toronto.

Having Toronto regulate short-term rentals in condos is very important to owner-residents in condo buildings. Most people may be aware of the security, noise, vandalism and wear and tear problems involved with having units treated as hotel-rooms but they may not realize that the condo's building insurance may be compromised and there is a higher risk of lawsuits.

If your condo has been affected by Airbnb or other sort-term rental providers, please participate in this review.

Twitter
There are more news stories on the CondoMadness Twitter page.
https://twitter.com/condo_madness

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Condo News
18 March 2017

Government ads about hydro bill reductions a 'pat on the back': auditor
We are paying for advertising to help the government influence our votes.
http://bit.ly/2mY1DRv

New trend for 2017: No more Status Certificate conditions
This is plain dumb. The "winning" buyer will pay too much for a unit in a building that he has too little information to make an informed decision.
http://bit.ly/2naNWj1

Ontario housing minister vows to boost rent control after CBC Toronto tenancy series
Thinking of buying an investor unit? I'd hold off until we see what, if anything, comes out of this.
http://bit.ly/2mB3NTX

Five reasons why rent control isn’t all it’s cracked up to be
There is a reason Ontario and other provinces got rid of rent controls.
http://bit.ly/2mbnciA

This condominium power grab goes too far
A Harbourfront condo in Toronto locks in Internet & TV for five years. Owners get no choice. This blog should have identified the condo.
http://bit.ly/2mDSCwZ

How much research or “due diligence” did you invest when you made that condo purchase
Charles Hanes makes it clear that a buyer of a pre-construction home would be wise to know the builder's reputation. Trouble is how do buyers go about doing that research when almost everything written about buying pre-construction is info-advertisements? There are no "Consumer Reports" or Michelin Guides for buying condos.
http://bit.ly/2n2SpEt

Cooper & Co
It's much better to get advice early when you're in a financial mess. Not so easy to undo a bad move. If you find yourself in financial difficulties, talk to a trustee—it's free
http://www.cooperco.ca/

Maple Leafs selling ticket price hike as good news for fans
Raising prices is good for the fans? The post-truth world is expanding.
http://on.thestar.com/2nnpTKU

California
Tenant hijacks property, Airbnb refuses to help
Posted on March 15, 2017
I am an owner whose tenant decided to operate an Airbnb even though it violated his lease and is a breach of our agreement. When we asked Airbnb to take the property down from their site they refused, indicating their arrangement with our tenant and stating only the tenant can take it down. The tenant has refused to do so, so we served him with a Notice to Quit, the first step to eviction. The process could take four to six weeks if we are lucky. Until he is out, we can do nothing about him continuing to be on Airbnb. Last weekend he rented out to a party of about 200 people. We are in California, where tenants have more rights than owners and when the state needs money they turn to the owners to provide it. We need better laws to defend honest citizens from the leaches that some Airbnb hosts are.
http://www.airbnbhell.com/

Florida

Homeless man squats in Winter Park condo, beats up elderly couple, police say
A Winter Park couple returned from a four-day vacation to find a homeless man squatting in their condo, according to the Winter Park Police Department.

Four neighbors came to help the woman when they heard her screaming. They were able to subdue the man until police arrived. One neighbor, who was armed with a cast iron frying pan, put Harper in a choke hold.
http://bit.ly/2nC9Wjy

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Condo News
14 March 2017

Diane Francis: It’s time to clean up the so-called ‘sharing’ economy
The central issue is not economic. It’s that these platforms enable users to get lower cost services by bypassing laws, zoning, regulatory, insurance, taxation and safety requirements. Such restrictions are there for good reason, notably those involving safety.
http://bit.ly/2neWCCk

Lotto 649 commercial features the dream of owning a 1 bedroom condo in Toronto
Lotto 649’s newest commercial showcases the dream of purchasing a fifth-floor condo somewhere in downtown Toronto.

The 30-second clip features one lucky couple celebrating in an empty 900 square foot unit that has a spectacular view of other condominiums in the city’s core from the balcony with a busy street below.

Also featured in the advertisement is the building’s shared pool and the fake plants that are covering up the water damage in the lobby.
http://bit.ly/2lEJtp0

Growth to watch for 2017: Bloor-Yorkville and Rosedale
The amount of construction in this area is impressive.
http://bit.ly/2mLfMls

In unaffordable market, Toronto homebuyers opt to expand semis
Renovating makes a lot of sense when detached housing is so expensive.
https://tgam.ca/2ms46ll

When will Toronto's real estate bubble burst?
If it doesn't happen soon, then we may be good for another year.
http://bit.ly/2l2pKKX

New Langley City condo gets balcony sprinklers
Langley City’s newest four-storey condominium project will have sprinklers on the top balconies, even though they still aren’t required by building code regulations.

The 98-unit condominium apartment development at 201 Street and Michaud Crescent is being built by Tannin Developments, a Langley-based company founded by CEO Dale Regehr.

Regehr said he decided to install fire suppression sprinklers on the top balconies of his building following the “awful” Dec. 11 fire at the four-storey Paddington Station building on 201A Street near 56 Avenue in Langley City (a building he did not construct). The fire displaced more than 100 people.
http://bit.ly/2mK6Pst

In God we trust, our condo board too

My condo board asked us to vote on a by-law to allow them to take out a $5 million loan. We didn't wait to find out what was the exact amount they will borrow, who was the lender, what was the interest rate or what was the amortization period before voting to agree to the loan by-law.

Ignorance is as comforting as a warm quilt on a frigid winter night.

Here are the minutes of a subsequent board meeting.

The owners don't know that a loan was taken out over a 20 year amortization period. That is a debt that will hang over our condo's head for the next two decades.

Boston:
Nice condo, but where do I park?
A new building opening on Lovejoy Wharf near North Station this summer will have NO parking spaces for its 157 condos.

“It’ll be interesting to watch their sales,” said Sue Hawkes, president of The Collaborative Companies, which markets condos. “If they’re successful, it could really help to relieve the pressure to have to provide parking for these big buildings.”

Hawkes and other veterans of the city’s real estate scene said 131 Beverly Street, where units will range from $750,000 to more than $3 million, is the first large condo building to hit the market without at least some parking for residents.
http://bit.ly/2n9cwBe

Florida:
Lawsuit underway after man beaten in his own condo by naked man on drugs
A 240 pound naked man—on drugs—was able to gain access to a Florida condo's  parking garage, wander through the lobby and take an elevator up to the top floor where he smashed through a door and spent ten minutes viciously beating a resident.

The owner hired a lawyer to sue building management for not doing enough to keep its residents safe. "One failure, after another failure, after another failure," said the lawyer of the fail-safes inside the building. "The residents pay a considerable amount of money in HOA maintenance fees in part which are to provide for advanced security measures."

Legal analyst, Michelle Suskauer, said it could be a strong case.
http://bit.ly/2ms5Ivs

Miami-Dade lawmakers want criminal penalties for fraud and abuse by condo directors
Some Florida politicians are fed up with condo fraud, failure to disclose documents to owners and election rigging. So they want criminal charges laid where warranted.
http://hrld.us/2mAAxzJ

Singapore:
On Thursday (Mar 9), a monitor lizard was caught on video taking a dip in a condo swimming pool. But not before it tried to enter a Yishun resident's condo unit by attempting to slide open the balcony door with its leathery claws.
http://bit.ly/2ma9Heb

Twitter
There are more news stories on the CondoMadness Twitter page.
https://twitter.com/condo_madness

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Condo News
11 March 2017

Toronto must regulate Airbnb
#Fairbnb has come up with three items that municipalities need to add to their by-laws when regulating short-term rentals in condos.
1.
Maintain a list of condo buildings that prohibit short-term rentals.
2.
Draft zoning by-laws around short-term rentals.
3.
Creating a permit system with rules that restrict Airbnb hosts so they can only have one listing, while making them prove that they live at that address and that the listing is approved by their condo board.
http://bit.ly/2mZaEYz

The Toronto Trump Tower did not sell
That's okay. The creditors will assume ownership. My heart goes out to the long-suffering hotel condo-unit investors.
http://bit.ly/2mP5phs

So we can see that it Is the “System” that Is corrupt
Charles Hanes is discovering the joys of the Occupancy Period. That is when owners move in to uncompleted homes.

Charles writes: “And if you have even a rudimentary understanding of politics in Ontario you can see why the odds are that nothing is going to change unless consumers insist on change!”

Go back in Charles' columns and read on the ongoing nightmares of buying a pre-built condominium.
http://bit.ly/2mVmUwA

Mohamed Salim, charged in string of N.L. home invasions, linked to Dixon City Bloods
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary announced a raft of charges last week against Mohamed Salim, 28. Salim is accused of break and enter, armed robbery, forcible confinement, assault with a weapon, breaching court orders, as well as firearms-related offences in the St. John area.

Salim has been accused by Toronto police in the past of having links to the Dixon City Bloods who earned national notoriety during the crack-smoking affair that ensnared then-Toronto mayor Rob Ford four years ago.
http://bit.ly/2lYFy2f
http://bit.ly/2n1qjXh

Purple Heart Security is in bankruptcy
An employee says that Purple Heart Security, a small company that provided security for the Toronto condo industry, has closed leaving employees with unpaid wages.

Vancouver considers allowing laneway houses to be stratified for first-time buyers
This means that a tiny house can be built on a detached house lot that is split into a two-unit strata (condo) corporation.

It’s part of a suite of options the city is looking at when it comes to densifying single family neighbourhoods.
http://bit.ly/2lRFZuj

Millennial’s first home will likely be high-density condo
A very well-written blog on home ownership.
http://bit.ly/2mii9vx

Best advice to give to new board members?
Excellent short YouTube video for all board members.
https://youtu.be/nHE_b4ficJM


Boston
Condo owners weed out smoke
Pot may be legal in Massachusetts, but don’t even think about toking Afghan Kush or cultivating some Chronic buds if you live in certain buildings — including the ritzy Residences at The InterContinental in Boston.

That building’s condominium trust has banned vaping, smoking tobacco, clove, marijuana or electronic cigarettes and harvesting marijuana inside the waterfront high-rise — and experts say “just say no” is likely to be a growing real estate trend.
http://bit.ly/2mVmfIj

Twitter
There are more news stories on the CondoMadness Twitter page.
https://twitter.com/condo_madness

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Condo News
06 March 2017

Condo dwellers fight the short-term rental boom in highrise neighbourhoods
Security concerns, parties, crime and wear and tear on amenities have condo owners fighting back against services like Airbnb.

A well detailed article on many of the problems with short-term rentals. What is missing are the political wars between owner-residents and the ghost-hotel investors and the incidents of fights, drug overdoses & vomit in the hallways.
http://on.thestar.com/2m5enW9

A Toronto condo for only $69,000
Joe Warmington—Toronto Sun: "If you are on a modest shelter budget, I found a gem for you at Jane and Steeles."
http://bit.ly/2mZPOr4

Some time ago, CondoMadness did a report on this "gem".
http://bit.ly/2mPmS5O

Condo terminations—not everyone thrilled
A Vancouver man with cerebral palsy is being forced out of his home in one of the first condo building sales in the province to be held under new rules that allow owners to sell without a unanimous vote.
http://bit.ly/2n33v8G

Should old rental buildings be saved — or sacrificed?
Many of the country’s rental apartment buildings are aging, in poor shape, and in need of costly repairs. Over three-quarters of the buildings in what’s known as the “primary rental market,” are over 30 years old. And almost half of Canadian renters live in them.

At a time when the country’s major cities need every rental suite they can provide, what to do about the half of those we have that are showing their age is a largely unaddressed question.
http://bit.ly/2lMIsGJ

New York City
20-foot alley sparks $10 million real estate battle
The co-op board of 684 Broadway is suing 1 Great Jones Alley to protect its interests in the alley, according to a new $10 million lawsuit the building filed last week in Manhattan Supreme Court.

It says Madison Realty — whose apartments have been featured on Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing” — has been promoting a fantasy, and that the condo developer has no right to change their shared slice of pavement.
http://nyp.st/2m6Knr2

New Florida Condo Bill Filed by Senator Garcia Includes Criminal Penalties
Today, Senator Rene Garcia filed SB 1682, Relating to Condominiums, which incorporates some of the recommendations of the Grand Jury Report.  As expected, the bill includes criminal penalties for certain violations, including failing to provide access to official records and fraudulent activities related to the election of directors.
http://bit.ly/2m8UprV

Twitter
There are more news stories on the CondoMadness Twitter page.
https://twitter.com/condo_madness

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Condo News
05 March 2017

Super charged with breaking in Toronto apartment, committing sex act

Jorge Leon, 49, of Toronto, was arrested Sunday, Feb. 26 and charged with break-and-enter, mischief interfering with property and theft. Suspect also charged with stealing money from the condo apartment. Leon has been the superintendent of a condo building in the area of Yonge Street and Finch Avenue West for more than 14 years.

This has ramifications for all condo owners as more residents will be reluctant to give management office a key to their units.
http://bit.ly/2mjlKKq

Son is back to couch surfing at mom's after condo buy goes south
Lawyers say there are few options when floor plan doesn't match finished product.
http://bit.ly/2mP0AAF

Video: Toronto’s most affordable condos
CityNews reporter Ginella Massa checks out Toronto’s most affordable new condos by Options for Homes.
http://bit.ly/2mCkkeu

Mississauga woman's bitter battle with condo board not uncommon, experts say
All Alexandra Isa wanted to know why the boiler in her brand new condo was replaced after less than four years. She thought it was a simple question.
http://bit.ly/2maodGK

The OMB, while imperfect, helps protect Toronto against NIMBYism
In many neighbourhoods, the looming threat of OMB appeal is often the only thing keeping residents from total opposition to new development.
http://bit.ly/2myQFTy

Condo Smarts: How to deal with ‘family warehousing'
How does a strata council deal with families who buy a condo to simply house an elderly parent to avoid the costs of care facilities?
http://bit.ly/2lXOZzZ

Articles from USA
Nurse killed in stabbing at Wedgewood condo, police searching for suspect
Nashville: Metro police are searching for the man who fatally stabbed a woman inside her Wedgewood condo. Police said the stabbing happened around 5:40 a.m. at the Wedgewood Park condos.

The victim, 23-year-old Tiffany Ferguson, was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where she later died.

Police said Ferguson’s roommate heard screaming and awoke to find the front door of the apartment open and Ferguson suffering from stab wounds in her bedroom.

After reviewing surveillance video, police said a man was going around the building looking for open vehicles and open apartment doors. He entered Ferguson’s condo through an unlocked door and began searching for valuables. Police said the suspect left with items from the condo at least once. He put them down before going back inside. At that point, there was some type of confrontation and Ferguson was stabbed.

Experienced security guards estimate that up to one third of all condo apartment doors are left unlocked. Residents rely on security guards and fobs to keep them safe.

Be smart, be safe. Keep your car doors, your front door and your balcony door locked at all times.
http://bit.ly/2miokAi

Small Co-ops: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Small co-ops (and condos) have a definite appeal. Maintenance charges are generally lower than in larger buildings. And in a city like New York, where buildings with 50 apartments or more are common, a small co-op “can feel not so cold, not so impersonal, more a cup-of-sugar-from-your-neighbor kind of thing

However, not everyone wants the chores and the responsibilities (arranging for boiler repairs, taking charge of refinancing the mortgage, serving on the board) that are often part of the package.

Twitter
There are more news stories on the CondoMadness Twitter page.
https://twitter.com/condo_madness


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