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Condo News
13 December 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

CondoMadness breakfast meeting

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

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

Highlights included:

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

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

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

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

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

Different ways condos can improve security.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Condo News
08 December 2017

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

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

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

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

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

So you ask? What's CMRAO?

A reasonable question.

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


Condo News
29 November 2017

Regulator will not actively seek complaints
Condo managers and condo management companies will likely be relieved to learn that the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO) will not be fishing for concerns about licensees.

“We’re trying to be problem-solvers and take what amounts to a compliance attitude as it stands from a crime and punishment attitude,” he said. “Suspending, revoking or refusing to renew a license are actions that the registrar can make, but actions of last resort.”

Before reaching for these enforcement tools, the CMRAO will look to some of the other enforcement tools it has available, said LeBlanc, such as requiring a licensee to take educational courses.

Well, I can see why the managers will be pleased by this but I am not sure how well this will go over with the condo owners who are getting jerked around.

William Shatner seeks charitable donation to settle condo dispute
William Shatner says he would like an Ontario condo developer (Brad Lamb) to make a donation to his charity to settle a dispute over the use of his name and image to promote an upcoming condo in Hamilton.

Fremont condo that didn’t allow kids to play outside must rescind rule, pay tenants $800,000
Families in Fremont have scored a huge legal victory after they sued their condo complex because it wouldn’t let their kids play outside. For years, kids were not allowed to play outside in the gated complex located on Sequim Common, home to dozens of families.

Malaysia police raid condo unit on suspicion it was used as nerve agent lab, court told
The Malaysian residence of North Korean citizen Ri Jong Chol was raided after police suspected the premises were used as a clandestine lab to produce nerve agent VX - the poison that killed Kim Jong Nam.


Condo News
25 November 2017

William Shatner takes aim at Brad Lamb, Hamilton condo developer
Flashy Toronto condo developer Brad Lamb can now count a starship captain among his enemies. William Shatner, famous for his role as Captain Kirk on the original Star Trek series, took Lamb to task on Twitter overnight for using the names and likenesses of some of Hollywood's biggest stars as part of promotional materials for Lamb's "Television City" condo development in Hamilton.

Woman dragged down parking ramp in assault captured on security camera
Toronto police are asking for the public's help to identify a suspect after a woman was attacked in a downtown parking garage, near Bay & College, last week.

All four elevators not working
On Toronto's Marine Parade Drive, all four elevators are down once again in a newly built 49 storey condo.

Owners caught in legal crossfire at north London condo complex
A construction company puts a lien on all the condo's units so the owners are trapped. Can't afford the new costs and not able to sell.

Kids can't play outside, California condo must pay $800,000
More information on this lawsuit.

Windsor cheapest in Canada to buy a home, says Century 21
Report says average price of residential dwelling in Windsor is $94.64 per square foot.

Another poor door condo/social housing project
Vancouver highrise to segregate entrances for condo owners and social housing residents.


Condo News
22 November 2017

SR CondoLaw's Guide
A copy of @SRCondoLaw's Guide to Phase One of the Condominium Act Amendments is available on their website. It automatically downloads as a 20 page pdf file.

Versailles Sur La Mer condo complex condemned by Brevard County
As at this Florida condo, unfortunately, neglect may become a common reason for future condo terminations.

12 ways condo directors get sued
An American law firm gives 13 reasons why condo directors get sued.

Kids can't play outside, California condo must pay $800,000
What's more, the courts ruled that two directors must resign.


Condo News
16 November 2017

Now a condo director
Last Monday I ran for a position on my condo's board. I won. Now I am a minority director with four entrenched directors who been on the board for twenty years or more. Well, now the fox is in the chicken coop. Will the feathers start flying?

In the last two years, our condo has had 8.5-9% annual increases in our monthly maintenance fees, our property management fees appear to be more than double the industry average and they use a professional minute taker for their monthly 60-90 minute board meetings. We also had an $8,000 deficit in last year's operating expenses.

On top of this, for the last six weeks, management has been ignoring an accommodation request for handicap parking.

I think a change is required and quickly.

Toronto 'cool guy' wanted by multiple landlords for double-ended rental scam
A Toronto man is being accused of running a double-ended rental scam in a trendy downtown neighbourhood, where he allegedly ripped off multiple landlords and prospective roommates for tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid rent and cash deposits.

Half of TTC employees who failed random drug test in first 6 months tested positive for pot

Builders abuzz about cannabis legalization
Drug testing on the radar as employers revisit workplace health and safety duties. “There will be more people using marijuana, people do have a feeling that it is not a big deal, [that] it doesn’t cause any problems, and we will see a spike in accidents and morbidity and mortality due to impairment,” she predicted, “which I fear may impact safety-sensitive jobs and work-related accidents that may occur.”

Marijuana use is already a problem among condo security guards, valets and contractors. Legalization may make this largely hidden problem far worse.


Condo News
13 November 2017

Court attempt to stop Short-Term Rentals failed

Tighter building codes are Ottawa's next climate target — and it could cost homeowners up to $35,000

Increases in rats, bedbugs and mosquitoes are unintended consequence of urbanization: U of T expert

Oak tree with $554K price tag hoisted to top of condo building
The condo owners had no choice but to replace it, and they were required to pay about $35,000 per unit.


Condo News
06 November 2017

Toronto’s new condo guidelines are designed to create kid-friendly communities

High-density living worse for environment than suburban sprawl, new study shows
Living in a high-rise tower in the city is much less environmentally sustainable than moving to a house in the suburbs and adding to the urban sprawl, a shock new study has found.

Woman’s power shut down by condo after charging hybrid electric car

Grammar lesson: "Condominia" is the proper plural form of “condominium”.

As the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals observed:
"To the purist who winces when Latin is misused, the plural of condominium is condominia."


Condo News
04 November 2017

New procedures for requesting condo records
Since Tuesday, Ontario has a new process for owners to request condo records.

Condo corruption
A long list of condo corruption cases in my Appendix section of this website.

Reno man drives car into condo lobby
Well, that is one way to get into the building at 4:00 am.