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Condo News
30 April 2018

How 22 Toronto homeowners ended up in condos they don’t own
In a Toronto townhouse development, 22 unit owners are living in condos registered to someone else — their real estate lawyers were not showing due diligence, writes Bob Aaron.
Ultimately, the title insurers for the buyers will have to spend the tens of thousands of dollars necessary to exchange all 22 deeds, and discharge and re-register the mortgages on each unit.

Was your Strata General Meeting (AGM) rigged?
(This article was writting by Paul G. Mendes, a BC condo lawyer)
Despite the frequency of complaints I receive about elections and vote rigging in stratas, I have yet to come across a case of proven voter fraud in any strata.
My investigations into such complaints usually reveal that the winners are simply better than the losers at getting votes and proxies. While it is certainly true that strata general meetings sometimes have “voting irregularities”, those irregularities are usually small enough to have had no impact on the outcome of a particular vote.
Well, my experiences show that condo election rigging is far more common than owners realize.
If the election irregularities did not change the results of that election in Peel Region, a condo board's attempts to remove a properly elected director in York Region shows the extremes that a condo president and the property managers went in trying to remove a director they did not want on the board.

Protecting Ontario Homes
Ontario Real Estate Association' s action plan for cannabis legalization.
With respect to the issue of recreational cultivation, OREA supports the Canadian Real Estate Association’s (CREA) position that no personal cultivation of cannabis be allowed inside homes and any provisions related to indoor personal cultivation be removed from the legislation and regulations.
This position is also supported by the Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and the Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations.
Problems for condo owners include higher electrical and water costs, mould and odours. Liing next to a condo growup can seriously affect your safety and lower property values.
Learn more at:

CAO Public Registry
This registry is now up. Not much to see really.

Condo News
26 April 2018

Ontario electric vehicle charging station regulations
These regulations affect Ontario condo corporations starting 01 May 2018.

Cosmos condo buyers want $100K and an explanation after project’s death
The corporation held deposits for months, even years before ditching the project near Vaughan Metropolitan Centre.

Ontario realtors group calls for stronger protections against grow-ops
The association representing Ontario’s real estate agents wants stronger rules to protect home buyers against the risks involved in purchasing a former grow-op, a situation it says will increase once cannabis is legalized this year.

Fire at Dundas apartment building causes $300,000 in damages
A complete floor had to be evacuated. Fire started by a candle setting the drapes on fire.

If you've got a spare $1.25M, Northern Breweries building up for sale again
After failing to convince the city of Sudbury to provide more than $9 million in incentives and a personal loan, the man behind the Brewer Lofts development on Lorne Street has put the building up for sale.
Can this site support 50 condos up in Sudbury? Most likely not. Older detached houses sell for less than what condo apartments sell for.
(I know because I bought a house in Sudbury last summer.)


BC: Room with a sue: Airbnb strata battles showing up in court
Short-term condo rental market faces tough times in light of legislation and legal precedent.

Florida jury awards $7.5 million to man who fell in hot tub
A Pinellas jury has awarded $7.5 million to a man who said he suffered permanent back and neck injuries after falling into a partially drained hot tub at the Boca Ciega Resort & Marina a decade ago.

Florida: Arbitration not required for suit alleging breach of fiduciary duty by association directors
This ruling illustrates how directors who implement changes to the common elements for their own personal benefit without prior membership approval in accordance with their community’s bylaws will not be shielded from potentially costly litigation by the state law requiring pre-trial arbitration.

USA: When drug deals happen at our condo
Does a condo board of trustees bear any liability in regard to an owner whose son lives in their condo with his girlfriend, and both allegedly purchase drugs in our hidden parking lot on a daily basis?

Condo News
23 April 2018

Threat of condo cancellations looms over pricey Toronto housing market
Since the start of last year, 17 projects have been cancelled in the GTA, according to real estate services firm Altus Group Ltd.

Major developments are coming to the west end. Is Bloor St. West the new Yonge St.?
Developers are looking west — with five large-scale, highrise condo communities underway along the city’s other major subway line.

The developments on and around Bloor St. W. are expected to create roughly 6,000 residential units — bringing in thousands of people — as they’re built over the next decade or more.

Toronto condos are tightening the rules around party rooms
As more people pay big money to live in small units, condo boards are increasingly requiring residents to hire security if they want to party in the party room.

Living at the mall: Hamilton proposes adding condos to major shopping malls
Hamilton city councillors have a novel idea to ease the city's affordable housing crisis. They want people to consider living at the mall.
City council's general issues committee voted Wednesday to encourage developers to build apartments and condos at Hamilton's major commercial centres, namely shopping malls.
Why? Lime Ridge Mall is the largest property taxpayer in the city, far ahead of Stelco and ArcelorMittal Dofasco
Two things here. One; this is not a novel idea; other cities have been doing this. Two; if Hamilton thinks it has to keep a shopping mall healthy, then that is not good news for independent street-front retailers.—CondoMadness

Architects want to build a Toronto highrise out of wood and trees — and it's inspired by Habitat 67
Austrian architects are hoping to build an 18-storey residential building in Toronto made mostly of wood and plants.
Called the Toronto Tree Tower Project, it promises it will be one of the most environmentally-friendly and sustainable pieces of architecture in the world.

Condo owners consider bankruptcy as lawsuits plague one of Fort McMurray's largest rebuilds
'We feel like rats in a maze and there is no cheese,' says one owner.

Long-delayed repair brews turmoil at a Manhattan condo
Six residents of the St. Tropez condominium located on Manhattan's Upper East Side, filed a lawsuit against two board members of the association stemming from a rooftop facade collapse on 07 December 2015. The incident resulted in hundreds of bricks falling over 30 stories, and caused the evacuation of both the St. Tropez and a neighboring building, as well as the closure of five city blocks for nearly a week.
The suit alleges that despite “the threat of public safety and to the unit owners” presented, then-president Christopher Klein and then-vice president Sandeep Patel “failed to take any concrete steps to repair the facade collapse,” regardless of ongoing terrace and pool closures and an incident last August when a brick fell from the rooftop onto a parked car below.

Condo News
17 March 2018

Condo News will be taking a break as I am going on vacation. It will return in late April.

How rampant development and poor planning left residents of this Etobicoke neighbourhood stuck in traffic
The Etobicoke neighbourhood of Humber Bay Shores has undergone rapid development in the past two decades, but transit infrastructure hasn’t come with it. The problem only stands to get worse.

Candidates will be door knocking
Dear Residents,
Please be advised that Mr. Daryl Christoff, Leader of the The New People’s Choice – Party of Ontario, will be door to door canvassing on Thursday March 15th, 2018 between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.—in accordance with municipal, provincial and federal laws and the Rules and Regulations of the Declaration.
Mr. Christoff will be accompanied by a member of the building team.
Thank you,
It is election time and candidates looking for votes will be requesting access to the residential suites. This access must be granted though in some cases, a member of the condo staff may need to accompany the candidates or their supporters.

Two "ladies" steal a downtown Toronto condo's area rug
A posting on Facebook states:

These "ladies" stole an expensive cow hide rug from my building's lobby at 4 am last year.

They haven't been arrested yet and they are suspected to be prostitutes. They have been banned entry on our property and wanted to warn other buildings of them and their behaviour.

What’s the best way to resolve a condominium dispute?
An important article by James Davidson, an Ottawa condo lawyer.

How big are Toronto’s new 3-bedroom condos?
Not big at all, as you probably would have expected!
With the City of Toronto encouraging condo builders to include at least 10% three-bedroom units in their new developments, what are those units actually going to look like?
You really should look at the five floor plans that are shown this article. It will make you realize that buying a unit in an older well-maintained condo is the better way.

Food delivery changes challenge condo security
In-unit grocery drop-offs and third-party drivers raise access control concerns.
The article should have mentioned a rise in the number of fake food delivery persons, who carry "food bags" who try to get into condos.

Developer pitches plan for 50,000 units of affordable housing in Toronto, Vancouver
Creative Housing’s goal is to build 50,000 units, mostly rental. They would be designed for median-income households, workers such as teachers and bus drivers.
The median household income in Vancouver and Toronto is a little less than $80,000 a year, according to Statistics Canada. CMHC would be the primary lender. (So a family making less than $80,000 or so will be left out.)

Wild teen party results in $20,000 damage to West Vancouver rental house
A 14-year-old girl with a credit card combined with 200 party-crazy teenagers resulted in more than $20,000 in damages to a rental home in West Vancouver.
Another rent short-term rental gone wrong report.

Sage X Condos
A different way to invest in condos is to buy a unit in a off-campus condo corporation that is located in a different city. The sales pitch:
• Fully Furnished including all Furniture & Appliances
• Pricing from the $225,990s
• Literally Steps to Wilfred Laurier University
• Eight Minute Walk To The University of Waterloo
• Located in a city 98,000 post-secondary students
Buying a tiny condo unit in Waterloo to rent to students? I am not so sure if this is such a good idea.

Vancouver bid for new condos’ charge stations likely won’t hike prices
City council on Wednesday is scheduled to vote on a staff recommendation to mandate that the number of vehicle electrical charging stations jump to 100 per cent from 20 per cent of all parking stalls, at a cost of $300 per stall, according to the staff report.

Homeowner wants answers to accusations of HOA mishandling funds
Charlotte, NC Residents are wondering why the board tried to charge nearly half a million dollars for roofing when an expert says insurance should take care of the bill.

Sticky fingers: Attorney thefts from clients spiked in Great Recession
The last recession saw a significant increase in Florida disbarments for stealing and other serious trust account violations.

Homeowners consider suing HOA after it loses $20 million swing set collapse lawsuit
A jury reached a $20 million verdict after a teenager suffered severe brain injuries from a swing set collapsing on his head at Lamplight Village in northwest Las Vegas. Homeowners said Tuesday they were considering suing the homeowners' association for failing to alert them of pending litigation or settlement offers that would affect their home values.
The playground equipment was known to be unsafe and the HOA had only $2million in insurance. The owners need to come up with $18 million.
I guess the homeowners may try to sue the directors for failing to inform them of the offers to settle but I can't see them suing the HOA as that is themselves.

Central Park Tower stretches toward super-tall territory on way to 1,550 feet pinnacle

But what will you do when the elevators are out of service? Rent a llama?

My $300 a month condo has been my Costa Rica home for 10 years
This article smells like an info-advertisement to me but it does have some excellent advice. Rent instead of buying a condo.
Also, he rented for a couple of months first before leasing a unit. Some very good ideas here for setting up a retirement home.

Condo News
14 March 2018

Toronto Star condo law columnist
Gerry Hyman and Christopher Jaglowitz, two Toronto condo lawyers, answer your condo legal questions.
In one answer Mr. Jaglowitz says in part:
"Unit owners should try to negotiate settlement, or seek a political result, using the democratic tools under the Condo Act rather than gamble their fortunes in litigation. The Superior Court process is complex, confusing, expensive and risky. Unrepresented owners typically don’t win their cases."

Ontario cuts off rebates for electric vehicles costing more than $75K
In 2016, nearly $800,000 in rebates were doled out for cars with six-figure price tags.

Ontario aims to cut down on elevator outages with new law
'Access to reliable elevators is a necessity,' says Consumer Services minister.

Grandma sues Airbnb over Canada 150 stay in Ottawa 'university pot ghetto'
Joan Gibbs claims her stay was marred by smell of marijuana and constant partying of other tenants

Condo owner furious after tenant rents out unit on Airbnb
Kasra Rasaee says Airbnb isn't taking his concerns seriously after Rideau Street unit appeared online

3 people injured in apartment fire at Yonge and Sheppard
Two people were taken to hospital early Monday after a fire in a 20th-floor unit at a highrise residential building in the north end of the city.
Emergency responders were called to a building on Forest Laneway, in the Yonge Street and Sheppard Avenue area, shortly before 6:15 a.m.
Investigators are working to determine the fire's cause and origin. Toronto Fire inspects highrise buildings once a year, Pegg said, and this one had been inspected in January. It was found to be in compliance with the fire code, he said.

‘Smoke was everywhere’: Highrise fire in Brampton apartment forces evacuation
Tenants spent hours in transit buses seeking shelter.
A reader reports:
"Nobody has reported the cause on Silvermaple, but was in the kitchen fire time range. Being on a lower floor, smoke filled all the upper floors. At least water damage would be limited to the 3 floors below. Water causes more damage than the smoke and fire for many of the high rise fires."

Be careful when smoking, say Hamilton firefighters after a Corktown high rise fire
The fire started on a 14th floor balcony and caused about $100K in damage.

Quebec town to ban smoking in all public places
This will be a first. (video)

Condo News
08 March 2018

Ban pot smoking in condos, apartments, on balconies: OPH
Ottawa Public Health is urging the province to outlaw smoking and vaping in outdoor designated areas and hotels.

Condo of your dreams? Buy it online with your credit card
A home development website and a Kitchener builder are offering an online purchase option.

It's time to move on from single family homes, says UBC sociologist
Roughly 80% of of Metro Vancouver is still zoned for single family homes. When it comes to densification, attitudes haven't always caught up with the shifting reality, he said. 

"What the density looks like is also still a real sore point," Lauster said. "A lot of people are quite attached to things the way they are and that's understandable."

Council member did not disclose consultancy work
BC: A condo director failed to disclose his conflict of interest.

NS: Property manager pleads guilty to $262,000 breach of trust
A Cole Harbour woman who manages condominiums and rental properties faces jail time after pleading guilty Wednesday to a charge of breach of trust.

Iris Doreen Procenko was scheduled to go on trial in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax on a total of 15 charges, including 14 counts of fraud.

But she instead pleaded guilty to one charge involving the unlawful conversion of $262,823 from six condo corporations and four individuals.

Investors make more on Airbnb, says new report
Property investors – especially in strata (condo) buildings – should switch to holiday rentals instead of long-term tenancies if they want to maximise their profits, says the founder of a company that manages Airbnb-style properties on behalf of landlords.

This Australian news report is not telling us anything new. Short-term rentals are in direct competition with the hotel industry and guess who's winning?

Sydney condo a ‘basket-case’ wracked with legal threats
One owner is offering interest-free loans to owners that are behind in their maintenance fees in return for their proxies.

Condo News
08 March 2018

Toronto Real Estate sales
The bad news is out. Sales plunge 35% across the GTA. Average selling price down 12% while detached home values sink by 17%. Ouch.

The most in-demand condos in Toronto
They don't stay on the market long.
Other trends among the most in-demand condos:
• They are each less than 25 storeys
• They are each less than 300 units
• They are each 12 years old or older

A great view, but will it kill you?
This Toronto doctor says that if you have a heart attack, the higher up your condo unit, the less likely you will survive.

They can see the school from their condo balconies but their kids can’t attend
Increasing residential density in Toronto means that children living in the new condo towers may be bused to underutilized schools instead of attending local schools.

Condo management licencing

By 01 March 2018, 346 management companies in Ontario have applied for a licence.

Toronto condo owner discovers unit listed on Airbnb behind her back
Woman rents out her condo unit at 300 Front St W and finds that it is being sub-rented on Airbnb. (That condo building is full of short-term rental units.)

BC: 'How many golf balls is too many?' Strata dispute ponders the big questions
Man living on edge of golf course asks civil resolution tribunal to order strata to fix fairway. Too many golf balls coming his way.

The relationship between public transit & car ownership
A Chinese study shows that urban rail transit (subways and LRT) promotes population increases and economic development. That is to be expected. What was a surprise is that improved transit further stimulates car ownership as more people means more cars.

Condo News
02 March 2018

Residents need parking at new Scarborough condo

So what happens if you build a new condo with not enough parking spots? Buyers got to give up their cars or find parking spots to rent.

Toronto: The 1-bedroom condo market is on fire!
David Fleming, a Toronto Realtor wrote a good article on the hot downtown condo market where units are getting $1,000 a square foot.

"As is usually the case, it’s the lowest-priced, easiest-to-acquire properties that outperform, as there is more demand."

Daily Court Lists
Case Number: 4813998163500500300
Court House: 1911 Eglinton Av E
Room:  403
05 Mar 2018  10:00 AM

On Monday, the criminal proceedings against Pervez E. Tagari will start.

Two lawyers, three opinions
We were suppose to have life easier with COA but already two different Toronto law firms differ on how to read the new mandatory proxy form. So will condo corporations and a disappointed condo candidates going to be the first to spend thousands arguing about this in Superior Court?
http://bit.ly/2oF54Mx    Opinion 1
http://bit.ly/2FDkM2U  Opinion 2

Condominium Public Registry (April 2018)
Ontario: Beginning 01 April 2018, the CAO is required by regulation to maintain a publicly available and searchable public database containing the information filed in returns and notices of change for every condo corporation in Ontario. This public database will be available on the CAO website and will provide owners, residents, purchasers, as well as other members of the condo community and the broader public, with access to basic information about individual condo corporations, such as the address for service. The database may not be used for commercial purposes.

City of Toronto's Urban Hens pilot program begins today
To be eligible to take part in the program, residents must:
• live in a house or townhouse with a backyard
Will townhouse condo boards co÷perate? I don't think so.

Tempted to sell your Metrotown condo? Don't be too hasty
In Vancouver, condo owners that are approached by developers, need to “stick together” and sell as a whole, rather than individually. He said owners are likely to get at least 50 per cent more for the value of their property if they sell as a collective.

Loan application defect risk high in high-rise condos
“Florida is one of the largest markets in the country with concentrations of condominiums in the large coastal markets. The combination of size and rising defect, fraud, and misrepresentation risk in condominiums, makes Florida an important market to watch.”

Risk of fraud with Florida condo mortgages? Not in my wildest dreams would I would never this was possible !

Miami-Dade is swimming in condos, with 4 years of luxury supply
Miami-Dade County has four years of luxury condo inventory – not including the glut of preconstruction condos being marketed for sale.

Nearly 2,800 units are on the market asking at least $1 million, according to a new report from Condo Vultures Realty. In 2017, 681 luxury units sold in the county, meaning an absorption rate of about 57 units a month.

World’s first affordable cruise ship you can live on, cabins/condos start at $255,000
Buy a cabin on a sea-going condo? Where is the land value? What is the scrap metal value? What country's laws prevail? What is the life expectancy of a used passenger liner? What if there is a mutiny? Pirates? If the icebergs don't, the monthly fees and special assessments may sink you.