Board claims you are harassing employees/ contractors

Property management is not an easy job. Too many people treat the management office like it's a drive-through Tim Horton's. It's not like that. Residents shouldn't expect to walk in at any time and expect instant service.

Some residents think that the manager works for them and they can be rude and nasty. No doubt about that. Just stand in line at a fast-food outlet and you can see the employees taking a lot of abuse.

Personal interactions are too easy to escalate, on both sides, and then it can be very difficult for people to back down.

Workplace harassment rule
The board passing a rule to control rude and/or persistent complaining by residents is a fairly new idea. It originated in labour legislation designed to stop undue harassment in the workplace.

The manager is an employee who works on behalf of the condo corporation so he or she has the right to be protected from undue harassment. Fair enough.

So an harassed superintendent, cleaner, security guard or property manager can take a resident to court to seek relief. That too is fair enough.

Condo harassment rules
One Brampton condo adopted such a rule. The board minutes reads that the intent is to: "Deal with rude and chronic complainers."

If the board adopts such a rule or policy, then the condo corporation can enforce the rule, add all their legal costs onto the unit's maintenance expenses and use the threat of a lien to collect their costs.

Over-reaching language
Sure there are a few rude and over-bearing residents who will camp in the manager's office if you allow them to. Sure a few residents take up endless amount of the manager's time. Yes a properly written rule—wisely, rarely and reluctantly enforced—may be needed. No question.

However, there are managers and boards that will abuse such a rule to "punish" owners that they do not like or who show too much interest in the corporation's affairs. A rule that is suppose to be used to prevent harassment could be used to intimidate and harass.

Whether some of these rules will be upheld by the courts is something we will have to see.

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