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Condo News
26 July 2016

Garden planters a fire hazard? Toronto Fire says yes

Fire officials believe the flames broke out when the sun cooked the dry peat moss and plant material in the metal planter until it began to smoulder.

The fire broke out the same week the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority announced that Toronto and the surrounding area entered a Level 1 drought, which calls for limits on outdoor watering, especially during the day. 

According to fire officials, there have been five fires related to dry planters this summer, and another started in a compost bin.

Band-Aid Solution
This older blog by David Fleming describes two common condo problems. Broken elevators and changing rules to solve the wrong problems.

Moribund condo market slows rise in Ottawa home values
A once-growing demand for condos also appears to have come to a halt — assessment values for condos actually fell five per cent, dragging down the city-wide rate, while assessments for single family dwellings rose 4.6 per cent.

Spotting & dealing with fraud in a condo building
Mainly basic ideas. However I like the one about not having a condo debit card. Too open for abuse.

Fellow unit wners creating unbearable condo rooftop noise!
Living under a rooftop terrace can be a headache.

B.C. launches new 15% on foreigners who buy residential properties
The new property-transfer tax kicks in on August 2 for those not citizens or permanent residents.

Articles from USA
Building an Emergency Fund
Forty-six percent of American adults say they either could not cover an emergency expense costing $400, or would cover it by selling something or borrowing money.

Now you know why a condo board that levies a special assessment, or raises fees, are soon voted out of office. Scary.

Resident put up more blue ribbons

An Texas HOA board found a back-handed way to get the residents to work together by defying the board.

First Half 2016 Condo Association horror stories
We all can learn from this.

Airbnb agrees to collect taxes from its hosts in Los Angeles
Los Angles is hoping to collect $5 million a year from Airbnb.

Condo News
22 July 2016

Landlord pleads guilty to fire code offences in Toronto, fined $71,000
The owner of a highrise apartment building at 2850 Jane St. pleaded guilty to fire code infractions on July 15 and was fined a total of $71,000 for various breaches of the Ontario Fire Code.

Toronto Fire Services responded to a call about a fire in a second-floor apartment at 2850 Jane St. on April 19.

Firefighters found a father, mother and child unconscious in the west stairwell. The mother perished from her injuries. The father and the child were transported to hospital in critical condition and survived their injuries.

Toronto Fire Services, working in conjunction with the Ontario Fire Marshal's office, found numerous Ontario Fire Code violations, including:
• exit signs not illuminated
• no records of tests for emergency lighting, and
• stairwell door not closing and latching properly.

Of the total fine, $50,000 was directly related to the stairwell door not latching properly – which allowed smoke to contaminate the west stairwell where the deceased was found.

The Ontario Fire Marshal's office determined the cause of the fire to be an unattended candle in the bedroom of an apartment on the second floor.

Toronto Fire Services has a legislated duty to enforce the provisions of the Ontario Fire Code and will continue to charge owners who fail to meet their duty to comply with all requirements of the Ontario Fire Code.

Renters fuelling new highrise construction in Toronto
Now cheaper to rent than own the average Toronto condo unit says new industry study.

Toronto rent map
This large map shows the average monthly rents along the TTC subway lines.

Remember, if you rent there are no special assessments and the leaky garage is not your headache.

Ontarians see real estate market getting stronger
In Ontario the economic outlook is most positive in the GTA, where 70 per cent of those polled said the city’s economy is good, compared to 66 per cent last year.

How a shrinking supply of serviced sites is stoking house price increases in the Greater Toronto Area
Until there is a rejigging of priorities by the current or future governments to significantly expand the supply of serviced sites, upward pressure on the prices of ground-related homes will continue for the foreseeable future.

What is the difference between a lease and a license?
In real estate, a lease is the proper term when you rent the entire property while a licence is when you rent out a room or the basement.

Articles from USA
Window pane falls 300 feet from downtown Seattle high-rise
Shattering glass windows is also a problem in the US.

Quirky condo amenities coming to a building near you
What special amenities developers are offering at a few very expensive condos.

Condo News
15 July 2016

Toronto buyers skipping home inspections in heat of bidding wars
Alan Glushko, of AllMax Home Inspection, estimates business has dropped as much as 35 per cent across the industry since last year in Toronto.

Mayor John Tory unveils new trash diversion contest for condo, apartment dwellers
Toronto Mayor John Tory launched the Towering Challenge on Thursday, an ambitious — but entirely voluntary — program aimed at convincing condo and apartment dwellers to recycle more of their waste.

Airbnb and the economy of shared housing
An interesting article by a Toronto real estate agent on how different condos react to Airbnb rentals in their corporations. Most ban it while a few, mostly newer condos, allow short-term rentals.

Bed bugs an ‘epidemic’ in Montreal, says housing group
So, when the temptation to pick up that piece of abandoned furniture is strong, you may want to think twice, because you could be coming home with more than you bargained for.

Affordable townhouse model draws queues of Calgary home buyers
Purchasers of these pre-construction townhouses need only $2,000 down.

I wonder about the wisdom of selling condos to people who can't save a 5% down payment. Condo ownership is not cheap housing, or at least it should not be. I'll be interested in how this plays out.

Articles from USA
MN woman sues HOA for discriminatory enforcement of covenants
Two issues here. Can the woman rent out a bedroom in her condo townhouse? The second issue is how drastically life in a condo community can change with the election or appointment of a single director on a condo board.

Water cutoff at Green Terrace condos in Palm Beach
The sober house condo owed $22,000 in unpaid water bills. The president says the condo doesn't have the money but a lawyer hired by the owners told the judge the records show there is plenty of money.

Be careful in buying a time-share. Trying to sell it later can be hard
Be very careful if you are considering buying into a time-share. Demand to see the sales contract before you sign and let your attorney review it.

Articles from Asia
Is the Gold Coast tourism hub in danger of going up in flames?
The Queensland government may be putting thousands of lives at risk, with one leading figure claiming that unsafe building materials imported from overseas – flammable building cladding – could see high-rise buildings on the glitter strip “go up in flames”.

The Government’s Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) has investigated and found non-compliant cladding material within at least two Gold Coast high-rises – but is refusing to identify which buildings are involved.

Infinity pool's glass panels crash from Whampoa condominium
Shattering glass not just a Toronto condo problem.

Condo News
12 July 2016

Integrity Commissioner finds Coun. Mark Grimes had 'improper' relationship with developers
Toronto's integrity commissioner has issued a warning to all city councillors after finding Coun. Mark Grimes breached the city's code of conduct and improperly used his influence in his dealings with two developers building condominium projects in his ward.
A new coalition called “” launched its campaign to bring legal fairness to the growing ‘homeshare’ market in Canada. The Coalition is launching in Toronto, where Airbnb and similar firms have seen a rapid change in their business practices.

Their website will feature the "Horror Story of the Week".

Bike Share Toronto rolls into the big time with major expansion
Bike Share Toronto has begun an expansion that will see it more than double in size, a move that experts say is key to ensuring its long-term sustainability.

Present system

After expansion

Quebec condo fees based on building age: study
The unanswered question is why condo fees in Quebec are so low compared to Ontario; especially comparing Montreal to Toronto?

Apartment building made of shipping containers coming to Edmonton's Boyle Street
Engelman`s company has sold 17 shipping container homes in Edmonton so far, and has also attracted business from around the world.

Honomobo is also planning to build a shipping container condo building in Queen Mary Park.

Articles from USA
Secondhand Smoke Is Now a First-Class Headache
A Manhattan co-op that allowed secondhand smoke to waft into shareholder Susan Reinhard’s apartment recently took a big hit: the State Supreme Court ordered the co-op to refund all of Reinhard’s maintenance since 2007, which came to about $120,000, plus interest and legal fees.

Short-term rentals become top concern for condo owners, residents
Condo owners say the illegal renting of units in violation of by-laws is wreaking havoc on HOA dues and quality of life.

Florida fire code requires fire sprinklers in older condos
A state law requiring condominium associations to retrofit their buildings with fire sprinklers is sparking concern among residents who say it’s not clear whether low-rises as well as condo towers need to shell out the thousands of dollars per unit that sprinklers would cost.

Associations can have unit owners vote to exempt their buildings from the requirement, but some fear that with snowbirds out of town, many associations won’t get the votes or paperwork completed by the Dec. 31 deadline to opt out.

My descent into HOA hell in North Carolina
Everything was great until he got on the board and learnt that the community had been mismanaged for years.

Articles from Asia
Thailand province cracks downs on short-term rentals
In one Thai province, renting your condo short-term can result in fines or up to  a year in jail. The notice from the authorities was sent to 234 registered condominium projects in Phuket. 

Condo News
08 July 2016

York launching PR push for extension of Yonge subway
Campaign kicked off with a website,, and a petition.

Please unsubscribe me from your mailing list, which I found very informative over the past couple of years. I have sold my condo and have purchased a house. Moving next month.

Thanks for all you help you provided to me and the other owners. Best of luck to you in the future.
Ex-condo owner—North York

There have been an increase in sales lately at some condos as it becomes clear that a handful of disgruntled owners will not stop in their attempts to discredit their boards in their campaigns to reduce needed repairs and lower the fees.

Cigarette caused Fort McMurray apartment blaze shortly after re-entry: fire marshal
A massive fire that tore through a downtown Fort McMurray apartment building last month was caused by an unattended cigarette left in a potted plant inside a suite, Wood Buffalo fire marshal Hunter Langpap said Tuesday.

This is a rental building but this has happened in condos too. It is getting time to consider banning all smoking in condo apartment buildings.

Condo owners crowdfunding to pay for Human Rights case
A group of six owners at Wellington Court in Vancouver are trying to raise money to battle their Mandarin-speaking board.

Read the facts of this owner vs owner dispute at:

Strata bylaws trump owners' desire for Canada Day flags
Many owners still have the perception that their home is their castle. In a strata, your home is not your castle; you simply reside in a part of the castle.

There are no laws that permit owners to install flags and override strata legislation.

Articles from USA
Measuring the Impact of Airbnb Rentals on New York City’s Housing Crisis
“This report is the most damning yet for Airbnb,” said New York state senator Liz Kreuger. “It demonstrates unequivocally that illegal short-term rentals on Airbnb have a significant negative impact on housing in New York City, taking affordable units off the market and driving up rents for everyone else.

HOA board should seek expert advice hiring attorney
Going to sue an owner with a slam dunk case?

No reputable lawyer would guarantee results in litigation when even experienced trial lawyers say a "slam-dunk" case has a 20-30% chance of being lost. Someone telling you otherwise is trying hard to make a sale by not giving honest advice.

Watch out for solar scams
Condos and HOAs must also be wary.

Ft. Bend County Sherriff shuts down pool party plan via Tweet
The Sienna Plantation Residential Association says a lifeguard first made them aware of the tweet, which advertised a July 7 party from "7-until," drinks, food and "gas," which law enforcement says is a reference to marijuana.

It's not a crime to strip your own foreclosed home, Supreme Court rules
A 50-year-old Westland man who removed counter tops, doors, the furnace, a hot water tank and other fixtures from his father's foreclosed home before turning it over to the new owner won't face criminal charges, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The news story includes the full court judgement.

Article from Australia
Two face disciplinary hearings over Melbourne Lacrosse tower fire
Victoria’s building regulator has recommended the director of builder LU Simon and a fire ­safety engineer face disciplinary ­action for their part in the construction of the Lacrosse apartments in Melbourne’s Dock­lands, which were built with illegal and flammable cladding.

Condo News
05 July 2016

Nicoló Fortunato, a resident of 330 Dixon Road and a colourful and tireless condo community activist, died in late June 2016.

Until his death, Nicoló was a strong voice for the owners and residents at YCC # 42 and an unofficial librarian of court applications, judgments and papers dealing with the condo's affairs.

Nicoló, a retiree, moved into YCC #42 in 2006 just as the condo corporation went into court-appointed administration.

Mr. Fortunio did not take kindly to the administrator and he did everything he could to organize the owners in order to persuade the courts to return the condo to self-governance.

Nicoló started the Association of Condominium Owners (ACO) and organized the owner-residents into fighting the administrator in the courts. He was unsuccessful in getting the administrator removed, or replaced; nor was he successful he getting the administrator's fees reduced.

He also lost a Superior Court case and the Appeal battling the administrator which cost him tens of thousands in legal fees. He paid his lawyer fees but he never did pay the condo corporation the court costs they were awarded.

Starting in 2012, he tried to get the different boards to reimburse him for the legal fees he incurred while "battling in the owners best interests" and took it for granted that the corporation had no right to ask him to pay their legal costs.

However he was successful in persuading the courts not to allow the administrator to take on loans to pay for the expensive repairs that the condo needed. (The administrator raised the funds by special assessments instead.)

Nicoló was also instrumental in stopping the administrator's plans to sell off a large parking lot that the corporation owns on the east side of the property.

The court rulings help define the limits to an administrator's powers in Ontario. The administrator assume the board's powers but not the owners.

Mr. Fortunato was unsuccessful in expanding ACO beyond the boundaries of YCC #42.

Nicoló was also unable to keep the disgruntled owners united under ACO. The association split into two groups, mainly along ethnic and religious lines. The breakaway group called themselves the "Concerned Owners" and later the "Core Group". They went on to become the first elected board once the courts returned YCC #42 to self-governance in September 2012.

Nicoló's ACO was unsuccessful in winning any seats on the new board.

By December 2012, Nicoló had open disputes with the new board. Yet he helped the board get the condo's huge unpaid water bill reduced when he asked that the interest charges be forgiven.

A year later, his ACO was seen as a spent force and a more open and democratic Homeowners Association gained the support of approximately 50 owner-residents and recognition from the board of directors.

Unwilling to join the new homeowners' group, Nicoló continued publishing newsletters and e-mails under the ACO banner and turned to promoting policies instead of candidates. He believed that owner committees should be formed to oversee the corporation's financial affairs and elections in order to ensure transparency and to prevent fraud.

Surveillance cameras
Nicoló took offence to the new video camera system that YCC #42 installed in the condo's hallways. He did not think that the corporation had any business spying on the movements of its residents.

Small Claims Court
Representing himself, in July 2013, Nicoló Fortunato won a judgment against three directors of York Condominium Corporation # 42 for denying him his right to examine the proxies that were submitted to elect a new board. He was successful in having the judge rule that since the three directors refused to allow Nicoló to examine the records, they personally had to pay him the $500 penalty plus $175 in expenses instead of the innocent owners. In winning this case, Mr. Fortunato did all condo owners a good service.

Representing himself, Nicoló was also successful in winning a defamation suit against Shah Jahan Khan, one of the corporation's directors, when the judge ruled that certain election campaign leaflets that Mr. Khan helped distribute through the condo were libelous.

Condo News
04 July 2016

Collingwood, Barrie condo fraud case set for pre-trial on Aug. 8
Rhonda McCarthy, 41, of Springwater Township faces 72 charges connected to alleged fraudulent financial activity involving several condominium corporations in Collingwood, The Blue Mountains, and Barrie.

Vancouver parents buying condos for their young kids
As home prices in Vancouver continue to soar, a new trend is emerging in the city: parents buying their children – some as young as six months old – condos to prevent them from getting priced out of the market.

Chris Catliff, chief executive officer of British Columbia credit union BlueShore Financial Group, told BNN that some of his clients have begun purchasing homes for their school-aged children and grandchildren as the value of single-family homes escalates.

How small businesses are learning to love bike lanes
In other cities, researchers have found that people who drive to businesses spend more money per visit, but bike riders visit more often, resulting in spending more money over all. The oft-cited study, out of Portland State University, found that customers arriving by bike spent 24 per cent more per month than customers arriving in cars.

B.C. to end self regulation of real estate industry
B.C. Premier Christy Clark says the province will remove the real estate industry’s ability to regulate itself, a day after a report recommended wide-ranging change to how the housing industry is governed in a time of skyrocketing prices and new revelations about the unscrupulous practices of some real estate agents.

Articles from USA
Fined for insulting association president
Isn't it wonderful that condo boards can't fine owners in Ontario?

Historic Waldorf hotel in N.Y. to be gutted; Chinese firm plans to turn up to 1,100 of the 1,413 rooms into condos:

Homeowners Association Begins New Round of Coyote Trapping
The community's concerns about coyotes led last year to two competing committees in New Castle, a conflict which still plays out on Facebook.

Leave grills alone, says crowd at condo fire safety hearing
After four children died, a rural fire department thinking of banning BBQs on wooden condo decks. Condo directors say that is going too far.

Articles from Australia
The tale of Joe— the unwanted galah

A great article on how a law firm helped the strata (condo) owners keep their caged pet bird.

One in 10 apartments sold for a loss in March quarter: report
All capital cities across Australia, apart from Sydney, saw more than 10 per cent of apartment owners sell at a loss in the first three months of the year, according to the latest CoreLogic Pain and Gain report for the March quarter.

In total, 11.7 per cent of Melbourne apartments and 14.1 per cent of Brisbane apartments sold for a loss, while in Darwin more than a quarter of apartment sellers took a hit.

Condo News
30 June 2016

Roads closed in Yorkville after broken window pane spotted on hotel tower
Toronto police say they have closed sections of two streets in Yorkville after a pane of broken glass was spotted high up on the Four Seasons Hotel Tuesday afternoon.

Hotel spokesperson Halla Rafati said a crack was found in a window on the east side of the building, located at 60 Yorkville Avenue, at about 12:40 p.m.

Stormwater levy rollouts in Mississauga
When residents of Mississauga, Ont., got their water bills in March, they found a new charge had been added to them — a stormwater levy.

The money will be used to create a dedicated fund for the maintenance and expansion of the city's stormwater infrastructure. It cannot be used for any other purpose.

Kelowna condominium spends $260,000 to make building woodpecker-proof
Contractor is using the world's tallest boom lift to reach woodpecker damage more than 50 metres up.

Toronto Executive Committee to consider proposal to unload 10,000 social housing units
Toronto could turn 5,000 of its social housing units into cooperative homes, and give another 5,000 to city charities. The move to shed 10,000 TCHC units, to be presented to Mayor John Tory’s Executive Committee on Tuesday, June 28, is part of a package called Tenants First.

Scarborough-Rouge River Councillor Raymond Cho, who also sits on the authority’s board, said he would support allowing tenants to buy their units from the city. “By doing that, we would reduce a lot of maintenance costs.”

Ikea recalls 35 million dressers that can tip over on you
Malm dressers, constructed of particleboard and fiberboard, have long been a fixture of starter homes and apartments. They retailed for $70 to $200, according to Ikea.

In all, Ikea is recalling more than 100 models of dressers and chests, including those in its Hemnes and Kullen lines. Customers can request a refund online or by phone.

Articles from USA
Airbnb and the Battle of Suitcase Alley
On June 17, the New York State Legislature passed what would become one of the most stringent home-sharing laws in the country, if not the world, should Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo approve it. The measure would forbid not only landlords, but also tenants, to list apartments for short-term rental on Airbnb and similar sites, and would impose fines of up to $7,500 on those who flout it.

The city of Chicago did the opposite. Earlier this month, the European Union issued a series of guidelines to encourage the growth of the so-called sharing economy, which it sees as a kind of salvation in a limp job market.

'I don't want my home to be used as a hotel': Anaheim condo becomes tourist lodging without owner's permission
The owner had no idea her property was being used as a by-the-night rental to tourists from as far away as Victoria, Australia, and New York City. The Airbnb listing doesn’t say that the tenant, Giuliana Molinari, signed a one-year lease, at $1,475 a month, apparently specifically to run a short-term rental.

Ocean views from Gold Coast’s Oracle eastern tower could be lost if development next door goes ahead
Owners of some apartments in standout Broadbeach development The Oracle perhaps should have consulted an oracle before buying.

They might have learned that their rooms with ocean views could, down the track, become rooms without a view.

Condo News
27 June 2016

Architects ordered to add their names to Toronto buildings
A new policy prepared by city planners will ensure new buildings over 1,000 square metres include a prominent credit to the architect near the main entrance or on the main facade.

Toronto tenants celebrate win over condo developer
“It’s a real David vs. Goliath story,” said Rocco Mattuci, a chartered accountant and co-chair of the tenant association at 33 Holly St. and 44 Dunfield Ave.

Tenants at both sites have reached an agreement with Compton Management that will see them receive refunds, rental discounts and moving allowances as the landlord looks to build condos in the midtown neighbourhood.

The developer initially wanted to build two highrise condos of 24 and 32 storeys adjacent to the existing rental buildings. They also proposed adding five new levels on top of the 14-storey rental building, with amenities only accessible to new condo owners.

Sponsored Post: Five Toronto Condos Under $200K
"Sponsored post" means that this article is an advertisement. The prices for all five of these units seem very attractive but I would strongly urge all interested buyers of low-priced condos to read my chapter on buying a resale before putting in an offer on any condo that is selling below the market average.

Vancouver must put leash on Airbnb
Airbnb is like a pig. It started as a cute little idea — homeowners renting out spare rooms, making a little cash, helping pay off the mortgage while providing tourists the chance to live in a cozy domestic setting. But Airbnb has grown. It’s now a giant porker gobbling up the Vancouver rental market.

Articles from USA
Omar Mateen’s neighbors on edge after shooting
Another background check was conducted by G4S, his employers, in 2013, Mateen was not given psychological screening.

Dark Clouds Over Saddlewood Downs
The board president is the only person with access to the bank accounts and he has a publicly-documented history of financial problems.

Letters from readers
Blessed are the fee cutters—yep—bingo, nailed it. It would be nice (in a dream world) for Bill 106 to offer some accountability for the kind of long-term damages you describe here, but I can see how that could further weigh down an already busy condo legal system.

Vetting vendors—double (maybe even triple) yep. Supervising—aka—what a manager / board says, and the way one might say things to vendors, whether or not vendors receive legit directives from their supervisors, and/or all the necessary background data provides another layer which impacts professionalism and quality of care.

Don't be a twit—very true—this owner clearly made a mistake by continuously preventing things from moving forward and in this case would have clearly benefited from some research and a legal opinion.

Please keep up the great work.

Condo News
23 June 2016

Don't be a twit
The owner in this case was a twit. As soon as he received the letters from the manager, even before the letters from the condo's lawyer, he should have obtained a legal opinion from a lawyer experienced in condo law.

The price of his mistake? $12,000.

Blessed are the fee cutters
At least in the short-term.

Vancouver developers shutting out regular buyers with insider condo sales
Major condo developers in Vancouver are shutting out average buyers by selling their most affordable new units privately – to clients of select realtors and “family and friends” – before their advertised sale dates, The Globe and Mail has learned.

The typical sales contracts also allow those insiders to legally flip the units under construction (known as presale) before closing as long as the developer gets a cut from that transaction.

A guide to glass balcony guards and breakage
Amid periodic reports of shattering panels, an expert explains how to mitigate the risks.

Articles from USA
The dangers of not vetting your vendors
Wacky incidents involving contractors damaging apartments during construction or renovations may seem hard to imagine. But serious damage and liability can result from those sometimes seemingly comical bumps, oopsies, and drops.

Keeping up with legislation
In order for the Association to have any authority to enforce a regulation, that regulation must be in the governing documents.

Articles from Australia
Your Strata Property
An Australian weekly blog on condos down under.

Condo News
20 June 2016

Condo glass
More condo balconies are having the glass replaced after panels have shattered. Notice how the CBC does not give the address of the two buildings, just the street corner.

Despite warnings and precedents, the housing market defies knowing
An article from the Globe and Mail that basically says no one knows what is going to happen to housing prices in Toronto and Vancouver.

Toronto condos for rent: Where are all the deals?
An article from on getting a deal when renting a condo apartment in Toronto.

Quebec City is getting a new condo that not only allows Airbnb, but encourages it
Seems to be a gimmick for the developer to attract as many buyers as possible. However, it should help anyone planning to be an owner-resident to look somewhere else.

Articles from USA
Family, HOA battle over food truck business
Condo and HOA residents must be aware that the board can change the rules at any time and unless you can get the owners to overturn it at a special owners meeting, you got to suck it up or sell and move on.

Five things making HOA life unaffordable
Unlike a few HOAs in the US, condos in Ontario are not buying golf courses but rising utility rates and huge repair bills on the horizon can make owning your unit unaffordable.

When Pet Rules Get Messy — Service Animals
A board should never decide on a request for such an animal that would violate the by-laws without consulting your corporation's attorney. You must provide reasonable accommodations for service animals, period. Failure to do so means risking a hefty fine

Condo News
16 June 2016

Show Me the Regs!
Clifton Kok LLP has posted news on when we can expect the Bill 106 regulations to be proclaimed on their website.

UBC researcher says most Vancouver Airbnb hosts de facto commercial operators
If a condo has a large number of short-term rental units, could it affect the condo's non-profit status? Is the condo collecting HST for the monthly maintenance fees? Does the unit meet municipal commercial safety & fire regulations?

Condo Smarts: Strata council doesn’t need confidentiality agreement
There is no requirement for a confidentiality agreement in the Strata Property Act, regulations or standard by-laws. It’s possible your strata corporation has adopted a by-law relating to such agreements, but even then, is it an enforceable by-law?

Is it wise to attempt to censor or silence your council members, which may conflict with their duties to the strata corporation?

Articles from USA
500 Brickell’s condo association sues over Chinese drywall
Suit says the drywall causes corrosion and adverse health concerns.

A Michigan court rules on short-term rentals
Allegan County trail court rules that short-term vacation rentals violate deed restrictions.

Condo News
10 June 2016
Surviving the elements!
We can all complain about the “big issues” at our condos, and for first-time condo-owners, they might even be able to guess that, yes, the elevators often break down, or alas, the concierge likes to act as though he’s your father.

But if you’ve never lived in a condo before, you’ll have absolutely no clue about these items until you’re already in the unit, and complaining to people that don’t want to hear about it…

Probing the Existence of an Alleged Toronto Gang with Rob Ford Ties
A 30 minute YouTube video where VICE looks into the Dixon City Bloods - an allegedly notorious gang that sprung up into Canada's consciousness during the Rob Ford crack scandal to see if the gang was a media fabrication, a violent menace, or something in between.

Toronto Fire brings highrise safety information to Toronto Community Housing residents
One good idea this article raises is the need to keep fire doors closed.

A large 'companion' dog in the middle of the fight between a tenant and a condo board
This condo board comes out of this looking like a bunch of heartless jerks.

Can I BBQ on my Condo Balcony?
Rod Escayola wrote a good article on BBQs on apartment balconies. It seems that in most of Ontario,  it depends on the condo.

Articles from USA
Orting School Board president commits suicide as court appearance loomed for homeowners association theft
The treasurer had money problems and unfortunately she tapped into the homeowner association funds.

Article from Australia
Your Strata Property
A very detailed blog from a strata (condo) law firm in Australia. Excellent articles and podcasts.

To:  CondoMadness:
The work you're doing is really important.

Your info/insights have been a really helpful/crucial beacon in what has been a ten year odyssey with my home.

Condo News
06 June 2016

Police officer facing fraud charges over condo fees
Lt. Daniel Fortier is accused of defrauding his neighbours of nearly $200,000, money allegedly taken from the condo fees he was in charge of administrating.

Fortier was arrested last week by the Laval police after the alleged fraud was exposed by Fortier's neighbours.

Park it
David Fleming writes about the high cost of parking spots in downtown Toronto condos and in Beijing. In both places, the parking spot can cost more than the price of the car.

The Big Slice pizza spot on Yonge Street closes to make room for condos
More condo construction starting on Yonge Street so favourite local businesses need to move.

Manager got angry when asked about commissions
This question sent to the Condo Smarts column in the BC Times Colonist is a wakeup call about condo management companies accepting payments from suppliers. Calling it a "standard form" that every strata (condo) signs should make all condo owners aware that they need to be wary.

Articles from USA
Texas condo corporation seeks $3 million from exterminators
It is all about termites. We don't hear much about them in Toronto even though they exist.

Read this story: a funny HOA meeting
I reluctantly attended our HOA (Home Owner’s Association) meeting and I was rewarded with an amazing experience. It turned into an amazing sample of the current mind set of the planet today.

Condo News
01 June 2016

Bypassing home inspections to win bidding wars a growing, dangerous practice
Home buyers in the current cut-throat market are waiving home inspections as a condition of buying a home in an effort win bidding wars, but it could be a dangerous decision.

Accused in Collingwood, Barrie condo corp fraud faces more charges
Rhonda McCarthy, 41, of Springwater Township was in court on Tuesday regarding more theft and fraud charges.

McCarthy is now facing more than 70 charges connected to alleged fraudulent financial activity involving several condominium corporations in Collingwood, The Blue Mountains, and Barrie.

19th-century factories that made Toronto
A nostalgic look back at some of the industries that once kept the city’s factories humming. Many are now condos.

A builder is suing a condo developer
Yorkville Plaza is a condo conversion on Yorkville that was scheduled to take 22 months but took twice that long. It looks like the builder and the developer will be in courts for a very long time indeed.

Once again, some of the judge's comments are well worth reading.

Realtor says he was targeted after calling out unethical practices
Re/Max realtor Keith Roy has been on the professional standards committee of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver since 2014, helping with its private adjudication of complaints, primarily from realtors about realtors.

The Globe and Mail has learned the board voted not to renew Mr. Roy’s position on Thursday. One board member, upset over that decision, has resigned in protest.

Articles from USA
Can HOA director review all vendor contracts?
A new director in California sees that the management company and many of the contractors are not licenced, information is being kept from him and he gets a threatening letter from the association's lawyer?

This homeowners association is covering up some big problems.

Residents say HOA funds being misused
I figure that we have as many of these problems in Canada it is just that the media up here do not cover condo disputes as well as they could. Also, our police departments don't seem to be interested in getting involved as much as the American law enforcement agencies.

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