Evicting owners/tenants that have mental illness issues

It is clear that the courts will force condo owners that have mental health issues that affect the condo community with health and safety issues, excessive verbal abuse and threats of violence to vacate and sell their units.

Here are a few examples of when the courts have done so.
York Condominium Corporation No. 301 v. James
Carleton Condominium Corporation No. 348 v. Chevalier
Castlegreen Co-Operative Inc. v. Carmichael

York Condominium Corporation No. 301 v. James
Court File No: CV-13-487955
Justice B. P. O’Marra
05 May 2014

The condo corporation made an application to have Valerie James vacate her unit and for it to be sold.

She had engaged in numerous unacceptable behaviours including verbal abuse, making threats, harrassment of other owners and the condo staff and physcial assault.

She then ignored a restraining order when among other violations, she started two fires in her unit and refused access to her unit which would have, but for the actions of the condo corporation, caused 34 other unit owners to be without water service or caused a flood in the building.

The applicant was spending approximately $400 per day on security specifically related to the respondent.

The judge recognised Valerie James was mentally ill and that previous court orders were not sufficient to control her unacceptable and antisocial behaviour.

The judge ordered that Valerie James sell and vacate her unit within 90 days.


Carleton Condominium Corporation No. 348 v. Chevalier
Court File No: 13-56466
Justice Beaudoin
January  22, 2014

Yves Chevalier, was the registered owner of the unit and George Basmadji, was a “tenant or occupant” of Mr. Chevalier’s unit

The disputes started in 2005 and seems small enough at first but slowly escallated until on June 25, 2013, CCC 348 had contractors on site to remove the unauthorized fence installed by the Respondents. While the contractors were removing the fence, Mr. Basmadji struck one of the contractors with a crow bar.

There were court orders that were ignored and various threats, verbal abuse and work done on the common elements including tiles being laid and the painting of steps.

At some point Mr. Chevalier stopped paying his common element fees. There was evidence that Mr. Chevalier suffers from a mental illness.

In these circumstances, it must be recalled that other residents of CCC 348 have been confronted with behaviour that ranges from disturbing to threatening.  Notwithstanding previous attempts by this Court to contain the behaviour of the Respondents, there is no other choice but to issue the Order evicting Mr. Chevalier from the premises.


Castlegreen Co-Operative Inc. v. Carmichael

Superior Court of Justice—Ontario
Court File No: CV-13-0383
Mr. Justice F. B. Fitzpatrick
June 25, 2014

There are three main complaints that Castlegreen relied upon to justify an order terminating Ms. Carmichael’s membership and occupancy rights and permitting them to obtain a writ of possession of her unit.
The co-op alleged that the defendent failed to keep her unit in a reasonable state of cleanliness. (The unit was in a severe state of untidiness, damaged and littered with animal feces.)
She allowed her unit to fall into a state of disrepair and damaged her unit.
She allowed a non-co-op member, her son Randy, to reside in her unit in violation of the Applicant’s By-laws and her Housing Agreement.

The defendent claimed that her rights under the Human Rights Act were violated as she has physical disabilities.

Terminating a co-op occupancy
Membership and occupancy rights may be terminated only by a majority of the Board of Directors at a meeting of the board.  Membership and occupancy rights may be terminated on the grounds set out in the co-operative’s by-laws.

Membership and occupancy rights may not be terminated on grounds in the by-laws that are unreasonable or arbitrary.

A member is entitled to written notice that the Board is considering terminating their membership and occupancy rights. Notice must be given at least ten days before the meeting of the Board of Directors at which the matter will be considered. The notice must contain that information set out in s. 171.8(2)(4) of the Act.

A member has a right to appear and speak on his/her behalf at such a meeting.  The member shall be given written notice of the decision of the Board of Directors within five days of the Board’s Meeting. A member may appeal the Board’s decision to the members.

It is important to note that Ms. Carmichael agrees that Castlegreen has followed the procedural steps as required by s. 171.8 of the Act in regard to the termination of her membership and occupancy rights.

The Act requires a co-operative to regain possession of a non-vacant unit only upon application to the Superior Court. On a hearing of this nature, this court may admit oral testimony or anything else as evidence and act on such evidence.

In my view, it is unfair to continue to allow Ms. Carmichael to reside in the Castlegreen unit when she has so flagrantly and obviously failed to comply with the rules and By-laws of the co-operative. Equally however, I think it is unfair to have her removed from her unit without being able to relocate to another suitable location. 

I am prepared to grant the application but adjourn the date to which I actually make the order for the writ of possession. This matter will therefore be adjourned for ultimate disposition to the day after Ms. Carmichael has left the premises to go to some more suitable location or some such earlier date as this court may later determine. 

In the interim, it is ordered that:
Ms. Carmichael’s pets are to vacate the unit within 30 days of the release of this interim decision.  Further, following today’s date, she is not to have any dogs, cats or other animals in the unit pending her move from the unit.
Ms. Carmichael is hereby ordered not to permit her son or anyone else, other than persons necessary to attend to her medical or personal needs, to remain overnight in her unit.

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