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"Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed.
Everything else is public relations." —George Orwell
28 May 2017
Housing complex fire sparked by smoking materials in planter
Since 2010, improper disposal of smoking materials has caused $52.5 million in damages in Edmonton.
Alberta legal Q&A blog
Robert Noce's excellent column from the Edmonton Journal.
Illinois Legal Q&A blog
A very good blog for condo owners.
What were they thinking?
The small Florida condo took down the fence around the pool in January.
In May two young children drowned. Then they put up a fence.
Judge ends receivership that cost a Miami Gardens condo millions
The court-appointed receiver and his "team" charged the condo more than
double their annual condo fees and left the condo corporation with a
huge mess. This is such an outrage.
Rats gnaw on woman's face in her sleep
This news story out of Atlanta:
"You hear them banging on the ceiling. You're down here watching
television, they're banging. You go in the kitchen, they're over the
cabinets," she said.
But despite the rodents chewing through the walls, the owner and condo
association continue to point the finger of blame at each other.
25 May 2017
Here are your biggest complaints about living in Toronto condos
Noise, flying cigarette butts, owners who don't pick up after pets are realities for many.
Over the next few days, CBC Toronto will be examining the challenges
and solutions that come from an increase in condos and highrises — as
we all adjust to our vertical city.
How do we preserve the Distillery District but still make it liveable?
The existing condo residents oppose the building of three more condo towers.
Toronto's glass condos burning thermal holes in the sky
But there’s another glaring reality: many glass towers and other
hastily built condos are falling apart faster than the old concrete
giants–springing leaks, facing high repair bills and prompting
Not sure where the author gets this information from.
Grocery store snobbery provides food for thought
Plans to open a Food Basics in the Toronto's Junction Triangle are
being met with howls of protest. Condo residents want a Metro; they
want to pay more!
The Food Basics sign is green, and the Metro sign is red. A “colossal
cantaloupe” at Food Basics this week will cost you $1.88 while at Metro
the price is $3.49. Mangoes in the Food Basics flyer are 99 cents each,
while over at Metro they’re advertised three for $5.
Video: Theft, lack of security at TCH building an ongoing problem
A CityNews viewer video shows a man breaking in to a vehicle at a TCH
building parking lot on Jarvis. If thieves get away with this, they
will hit nearby condos next.
North York, Scarborough and Etobicoke may get licensed rooming houses
'Multi-tenant houses' of seven rooms proposed for five areas
Pot farm causing Green Mountain Road residents live in fear of stray bullets, passing cars
Two dozen nearby residents attended a meeting with police local bylaw
officials their local councillor Thursday, many expressing
exasperation, fear and hopelessness.
He charged $525 per hour to save their condo
They welcomed him with open arms, because they thought he was their
salvation. But two years later, the owners are now asking Judge Hendon
to remove Pérez, who along with his team is charging more than $2
Man buys cars to junk up his year as part of creative revenge plan against HOA
It may upset his neighbours but more like it will just backfire on him.
Pillars of Green: 85,000 plants on world’s largest vertical garden facade
An extensive living facade system in Bogota, Columbia, represents
growth in the right direction, away from unrealistic tree-covered
skyscrapers toward more sustainable and useful vertical greenery.
Volvo-driving, condo-living ‘communist hit man’ back in jail for drugs
Condo-living commie drug dealer? He'd be quite the neighbour.
19 May 2017
If Toronto real estate is so hot, why the 45,000+ cancelled listings last year?
Days on market is one of the most important psychological factors
impacting what a buyer is willing to pay. Manipulation of this number
will have severe consequences. Is manipulating data in this way a good
sales technique, or a serious problem with the way the system is set up?
North York condo proposal could push neighbourhood to its limits
This is a case of NIMBY where a few dozen detached home owners are
upset that stacked townhouses and a couple of high-rise towers will be
built behind their backyards.
This project will consist of commercial office space, condos and rental
housing and will sit across the street from a subway station. What's
there not to like?
Bay Street reopens after glass falls from Four Seasons
One block in Yorkville was closed to pedestrian and vehicle traffic after window broke on Tuesday night.
This renter turned a Toronto family's home into an illegal rooming house
An upscale family home in North York was turned into an illegal rooming
house and crammed with as many as a dozen international students
without the owner’s knowledge, a Star investigation has found.
This is NOTHING; NOTHING I tell you. I know of a one-bedroom condo
apartment unit with a solarium and two baths near Yonge & Finch
that was turned into a dirty six-bedroom rooming house with two filthy
bathrooms for international students. This is not uncommon.
Condo Law: Is it reasonable to be forced to carry my pet?
Toronto Star: Gerry Hyman's condo legal column.
Landlord horrified by tenant-damaged house
Zachary Nenson was forced to come home early from his six month trip after he says tenants damaged his house. (CTV Regina)
He says he had found what he thought were the perfect tenants after
calling their references. However after the tenants failed to pay their
rent, his mother, managing the property while he was away, went to
check on the house.
Nenson says she found the house empty of tenants and furniture, most of
which had been stolen, along with floors and walls destroyed and
covered in paint. He adds the walls were covered in paint and marker
and the toilets in the bathroom were smashed to pieces.
“It’s $40,000 (in damage) with all the flooring, the bathrooms, the walls, the paint (and) new appliances,” said Nenson.
Lawsuit filed against Jupiter police chief for not paying HOA fees
Florida: Jupiter Police Chief Frank Kitzerow owes about $1,600 in
homeowner association fees, according to a lawsuit filed against him in
Palm Beach County Circuit Court. The homeowner’s association could
foreclose on its claim of lien on the house if the foreclosure
complaint is not settled.
16 May 2017
Are you up to code?
On 18 April 2017, City Sites Property Management hosted an educational
seminar: "Are you up to code?" for condo directors, and owners, held in
the Mississauga's Living Arts Centre.
The topics and speakers were:
The Condo Act
MPP (& cabinet minister) representing Mississauga East—Cooksville
Dipika told us that starting 01 Nov 2017 everyone who is paid to manage
condominiums in Ontario must apply for a licence within 90 days.
Starting this fall, the Condo Authority will start charging condo
corporations fees for its services. By the late fall
an educational course for condo directors will be put in place.
Also, The Tribunal will be in place to hear disputes over access to
condo corporation's records.
Building code standards depend on when a building was constructed.
Once a building is in compliance, it is always in compliance. However,
major changes and extensions must meet the current building codes.
There is also retrofit legislation that condos must meet.
Examples are some updates to the fire code, balcony guards and elevator
Condo boards need to be concerned with meeting Accessibility for
Ontarian's, maintaining fuel tanks for emergency generators and, in
older buildings, repairs to the underground garages .
Mr. Belanger also stated that condo corporations must address smoke and noise complaints.
Fire code 2015
FCS Fire Consulting Services Ltd
The fire department will write work orders if they see anything wrong.
One thing to watch for is if the Co2 detectors in your condos are
Issues that her company's inspectors find when they inspect buildings:
95% door closers.
93% fire separation (fire stops).
79% incomplete or missing records.
79% Junk and storage in the Maintenance Rooms.
70% Fire Safety Plans not up to date.
Harold Cipin, President of City Sites remarked that when his company
recently took over a condo, they found four Fire Safety Plans in the
white box, none were dated and no one knew which one was the latest one.
Michele stated that fire departments are more reactive now when they
become aware of code violations. The elevator fire and smoke detectors
need to be tested every three months and staff need professional
training for Life Safety duties.
If you are not compliant
lawyer with Lash Condo Law
Mr. Milgrom told the audience that condo boards are responsible to be compliant with:
• building codes
• fire code
• Accessibility for Ontarians
• Labour codes
• Human Rights
• Public Pool Regulations
He said that a condominium, that has an indoor pool, was recently
charged by the municipal health department with two counts. One was
because the chlorine measurements were not being taken properly. The
staff were not properly trained. The second charge was for
improper storage of the pool testing chemicals which could have
resulted in an explosion. The pool company contract should state
which party will be responsible for compliance.
Mr. Milgrom advised the participants that condos need good record
keeping. Limiting liability requires that people act in good faith and
reasonably and that in Life Safety complaints, the crown is reluctant
to withdraw all charges.
Finally, he stated that boards need to insure that their Status
Certificates are accurate especially #12: Potential increases in the
common expenses and #19: Party to any legal proceedings.
Questions and answers
During the questions and answers session, the following points were made:
• there needs to be a gap under the suite doors to allow make-up air
from the hallways to flow through the units. Blocking these gaps can
cause humidity and mould issues in the units.
• Changes to the by-laws are not in effect until they have been registered.
• CCI is setting up training courses for condo directors that will in compliance with the new Act.
• Dipika said that the ministry is focusing first on the licencing of managers.
The panelists stayed back after the session closed to answer questions that the directors and owners had.
It was a very informative session and I hope that CitySites will continue to host these educational sessions.
New car sales & prices
New car sales in Canada are hitting record sales volumes proving that we have not lost our love for the car.
Whats more, prices have been steadily creeping up. This is partically
due to inflation but is primarly due to Canadians buying more expensive
12 May 2017
Condo board announces new rule banning repetitive complaints
Why don't they just fix the fence? Time for owners of this obviously new condo to get a new board and management company.
Over 50% of Canadians are $200 month or less away from not being able to pay bills
The numbers in this report are scary. No wonder condo boards face
resistance when they raise the monthly expenses. Maybe I should start
up a pawn shop in a busy condo district.
Richmond Hill: Bad condo neighbour behaviour called out
The board is wrong to say they can't do anything. They have a duty to act.
Toronto's SwimSafe program
Check your condo's pool/spa health inspection history on the Internet.
Charging “Entry-Fees” for pre-construction units?
Think about it: with 40-50% of all pre-construction condo sales falling
through during the automatic “10 day cooling off period,” the developer
wants the buyer to be represented by an agent who will do everything to
ensure that the deal doesn’t fall through.
A typical buyer-agent would insist that the buyer have a lawyer review
the thick package of documents that accompanies a pre-construction
condo sale. I spoke to one particular buyer this week, who is
absolutely buried in a building on York Street, who said, “My agent
told me that the lawyer’s review was a waste of money.”
Webinar: Ontario condo enforcement
Watch a free condo rules & declaration enforcement video. There are other webinars (educational videos) at this link
This column is published by Now, a Toronto newspaper. Timothy Duggan is
a condominium lawyer and civil litigator with Horlick Levitt Di Lella
Alberta: Condo Property Act deals with dirty, disruptive tenants
A very good newspaper Q&A column on condo issues.
Three legged rescue dog saves owner’s life during two alarm condo fire
On Tuesday he used his only front paw to wake his owner as their condo filled with smoke from a two-alarm fire.
Dominic Baccus says his three-year-old foster-turned forever fur-baby
woke him up around two in the morning by pushing his paw into his chest
and neck Tuesday.
Baccus soon realized why: smoke was rapidly seeping into his apartment.
When he opened his back door he discovered his two-story condo
buildings was on fire. The units just beneath his were already
completely engulfed in flames.
Valet parking squabble pits Alexander Hotel condo association against owner of 40 rooms
A condo-hotel is in legal disputes with the owner of 40 units who uses
their own valet service. One building with two valet companies?
07 May 2017
New Provincial Rental Legislation Already Hurting Ontario Tenants
"I'd like to believe the risk to tens of thousands of new purpose-built
rental suites, and the loss of billions of dollars in investment in
Ontario were the unintended consequences of last month's policy
announcement by the government," says Jim Murphy, President and CEO,
Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario.
Four measures that will create more rental units
One idea The Toronto Region Board of Trade has is to change the Condo
Act to allow condo towers to be developed explicitly and entirely as
“rent-only condos,” packaged with slightly different rules, services
and governance structures to attract rental-oriented investors. When
units are sold in these towers, they’ll stay in the rental supply.
Globe and Mail report on how flippers at one Toronto condo made up to $2,900 a day.
Selling condo units before city approval ‘misleading,’ councillor says
Where has Josh Matlow been all these years? Just figured out this has been going on?
Toronto CityPlace: Growing Problem Or Just A Growing Neighbourhood?
Author states Toronto should consider CityPlace a good example of how a
vertical community should be planned. I can't say I agree with him.
Sellers offer trips, freebies as Calgary condos sit empty
There are nearly 1,650 apartments and condos for sale right now, with
only 286 sold last month. Yet the average price is holding steady at
just over $300,000 and more units are under construction.
Smoke alarm saves life in Niagara Falls fire
Photo: Bob Tymczyszyn PostMedia Network
Ben Trendle, a captain with the Niagara Falls Fire Department, is
prepared for the Wake-Up campaign. Throughout the month of May,
firefighters will go door-to-door on Mondays to Thursdays to check if
homes are equipped with the required number of smoke alarms. In homes
without the required alarms, firefighters will install the devices for
a nominal fee.
$554K price tag to replace iconic tree at top of condo building
Think roof-top greenery is cheap? The cost to replace the roof-top
tree? $35,000 per unit. The price of the tree is on top of this price.
04 May 2017
More common than you think
This Tweet is about a condo president in the United States but we have
condo presidents here in the GTA who have the same sense of entitlement.
There is a president in Toronto who wasn't paying his monthly
fees and he ordered the manager not to tell the other directors because
his arrears was information that was protected by the privacy laws and
he would sue anyone who told the owners. Of course he had no qualms
about liens placed on other owners' units.
How Toronto's condo boom gives chain stores the upper hand
Councillor Mike Layton. “It's the same five stores at the bottom of
every condo. Why would anyone come to Queen St. if the stores are the
same here as everywhere?” Doesn't he undertsand that the chains can afford the rent.
What to watch out for when it comes to condo fee increases
Paul Foggia had borrowed to his limit and was living at the edge of his
budget when he purchased a brand new condo in downtown Toronto in 2012.
"As soon as I walked in, that was it," he said. "You walked outside,
you could see the whole Harbourfront Centre. It was just beautiful."
But that beauty became a beast to pay for. The debt-laden Toronto man
saw his maintenance fees jump by 20% over three years.
When they hit $500 a month in August 2015, he says he had no choice but to move and rent out his condo.
Frustration rising at downtown condo as elevators remain out of commission
Having no elevators is not much fun yet the City of Winnipeg says
passenger elevators are considered a convenience. It says in an
emergency, residents needing assistance would be helped by first
responders and transported by the stairs.
BC: Fines can’t replace enforcement of dog by-law
President allows an owner to pay fines instead of obeying by-laws.
Chicago law firm allegedly sends ‘anonymous’ email to condo owner
...apparently forgets IP address was recorded
The threatening e-mail easily traced back to a local law firm.
I have been following this story for some time now. All the owner wants to view his condo's financial records.