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Condo News
30 September 2016

Massive condo sparks concerns about Toronto density
There is a proposal to build an 80 story condo at 8 Elm Street, just off Yonge, that will be on a tiny lot and have absolutely NO PARKING.

Will there be room to store anything bigger than unicycles, pogo sticks, roller skates or hoverboards? Better check the Disclosure documents.

Neighbours have mixed feelings about the World Cup of Hockey
fan village

Some love their great views of the concerts, others are bothered by the crowds and the noise.

Thornhill ratepayers assoc & condos main concern is noise, trains & empty shops

Staff from a car dealership across the street from these condo towers regularly use car alarms to locate cars in the parking lot. Other residents are bothered by noise coming from nearby trains.

Markham Councillor Valerie Burke said she is very aware of the issue of increased freight train traffic. Another problem Burke said she has heard about in the World on Yonge area is the low number of shoppers. When the project  was in its infancy, she remembers planners raving about the potential for pedestrian traffic.

Another local issue is the electronic sign on Yonge Street that carries ads, she said. Residents have complained to her that it is too bright and they would like to see it dimmed.

10-tower 'M City' condo project announced in Mississauga
When finished the $1.5 billion development will include 6,000 residential units.

Winnipeg woman with Alzheimer's told by condo board to get rid of specially trained dog
Another condo dispute going to a Human Rights Tribunal.

Articles from USA
Heavy petting: Cat cam catches sitter in the act
Hidden video cameras are so cheap these days, you got to expect people to have them in their condo units.

Renting a condo short-term? There is a chance, maybe a small chance, that someone is watching.

Why Can't Americans Vote Online?
In one word: Fraud. Can't say it shorter than that.

Pecan Lakes homeowner finds herself in knight fight with HOA
Why risk an expensive lawsuit over an ornament. Better to put it into storage, sell your house (problem) and buy a freehold.

Condo News
28 September 2016

Short-term rentals bigger than Airbnb

I wish reporters, Realtors, industry insiders, politicians and lobbyists would stop saying "Airbnb" when they should be discussing the entire Short-Term Rentals (RTS) industry.

The image above shows just some of the larger companies involved in the unregulated ghost-hotel industry. There are plenty more companies, some affiliated with condo developers, condo management companies, independent registered companies, unregistered mom and pop shops and an unknown number of individual condo unit owners operating on their own.

Some of these companies have insurance and have screening processes to evaluate guests and others don't have either. It is truly a hit and miss proposition with the owners who advertise their units on their own.

Airbnb Superhost program, VRBO & Google
It is starting to look like these players will be pushing the small-time hosts to the back of the bus by promoting professional hosts.

With new features and product launches and with hundreds of millions of dollars of investment pouring into the space, it may have been a monster week for the short-term rental space as an industry.

But please, spare a thought for those self-managing hosts who no longer stand a chance.

Tossed to the curb: condo-seller warns about risk of giving keys early
Kennedy turned into a crying mess after discovering the buyer had sorted through some of her belongings and threw them into the block's garbage and recycling bins after he had been given the keys prior to the August 1st possession date.

She had to stop just short of dumpster diving to retrieve some "irreplaceable" items like some medical files, some of her son's toys, and a pair of sculptures.

Never, never give a buyer the keys prior to the possession date.

Deals on wheels at Kelowna trunk sale
Yearly, Kelowna holds an outdoor garage sale primarily for condo and rental apartment residents. A very good idea other communities should copy.

Vancouver's Empire Landmark hotel facing demolition

The revolving Cloud 9 restaurant at the top of the 42-storey hotel tower may soon be demolished—along with the rest of the building—to make way for condominiums.

Articles from USA
Taylorsville woman posed as maid in order to rob St. Matthews condo owner
A dangerous and stupid armed robbery. A warning to residents to check references before giving contractors access to your home.

Airbnb's 'Rentals of Doom'
First we had overcrowded condo rental units, then student housing and now short-term rentals. Is anyone really surprised?

I bet the condo's water and garbage costs are huge.

Articles from Asia
Cambodian investors buying Malaysian condos
Foreigners buy condos in Cambodia and Cambodians want to buy condos in other countries.

Articles from Australia
Drug alert prompts anger … and humour

Condo News
26 September 2016

How not to sell real estate
It is such a dirty mess, this unit must have been a condo that was rented out for two years. Yet, for a buyer who can wait a month before moving in, this unit may be bought at a big discount. Make a good flip.

Toronto realtors say Airbnb is creating new challenges for homeowners
David Batori, a realtor with more than a decade of experience, says he often works with clients who want to buy condos to rent out, but now more than ever they're looking for short-term rentals rather than year-long leases.

"They tell me how they have very good returns on their properties compared to when they had annual tenants on them," Batori said.

Why do condo elevators in Toronto suck so much?

This snarky-sounding contest sprung up recently at a building in the the Canary District. Apparently the elevator has been out-of-service since July. Maybe a fireman poll would actually be an efficient solution.

Regulations aim to address short-term rental woes in Vancouver
Vancouver is finalizing recommendations for its second major housing irritant – short-term rentals – which will likely restrict them to people renting out their own homes and with some kind of yearly cap on nights allowed.

No condo too small after Victoria changes rules
Victoria councillors, in an effort to promote housing affordability, agreed to eliminate the minimum floor-space requirement in all 22 multi-unit residential zones. Currently, most of the zones specify that units of less than 355 square feet are not allowed anywhere but in the downtown, where there is no minimum unit size.

In this remote Canadian housing market, a mobile home can cost you more than a Toronto condo
Housing is really, really expensive in Yellowknife.

Articles from USA
Five signs your parking structure needs maintenance
An ineffective maintenance routine on a parking structure can quickly lead to costly repairs and restorations that can be disruptive to tenants and cause unexpected costs and safety concerns.

Butane honey oil lab discovered in garage of Anaheim condo
According to Anaheim police, there have been several incidents involving butane honey oil labs. In March, two men died from a lab explosion, and a lab burned down an entire condo in January.

Articles from Asia
A place to resolve issues over your condo
In Malaysia, if you have an issue with your condo neighbour or the board, take them to the Strata Management Tribunal. If you win, you really win. Ignoring the tribunal's decisions is a criminal offence.

B60 million cash, submachine guns in drug boss's condo

The Thai police raided a condo rented by a drug lord and seized millions in cash, drugs and ten submachine guns equipped with sound suppressors.

Sound suppressors? Perhaps the condo has very strict rules about noise.

Owners! Be careful who you rent to.

Condo News
22 September 2016

The 10 ugliest condos in Toronto
I am no expert but I don't agree that all of these buildings belong on the top 10 ugly list. I actually like the New York Towers (Bayview & 401). They may be a little cheesy but at least they stand out from all the window-wall boxes that surround them.

Windsor to weigh apartment-to-condo conversion trend
Some city councillors think a trend of turning apartments into condominiums costs the city in taxes and rental property—and that perhaps tax rates should be adjusted.

The city’s planning committee on Monday night endorsed the conversion of the three-storey, 16-unit apartment building at 1805 Riverside Dr. W. into a condo building—given the Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation rules allow it.

Councillor's link to condos questioned
In a news release Friday morning, the Coalition of Kingston Communities, said Trillium District councillor Adam Candon would be in a conflict of interest if he took part in a scheduled vote on The Capitol project, a proposed condo tower on the site of the former Capitol Theatre at 223 Princess St.

On Tuesday, city council is to vote on an amendment to the zoning bylaw that would permit the tower to be built to a height of 15 storeys, seven storeys higher than is currently permitted.

Candon is a real estate agent and, up until a few days ago, had a website that advertised the condominiums to be built in The Capitol project to prospective buyers.

Edmonton's Artists Quarters: Heating a condo with just a hairdryer
A proposed condo building in Edmonton will be energy efficient. Be interesting to see how well it holds up over time.

Price too high to silence noisy owner
None of the council members live near this guy, so never have to deal with his issues, and while a number of people on floors 24-26 have complained the council have done nothing. Their excuse is that it will cost more to enforce the bylaws than we can recover so why bother? A small group of owners are pretty frustrated and have gone to see a lawyer, but the cost estimates are very high. Is there no one who can force the strata to simply enforce the bylaws?

The answer was surprising.—editor

To enforce a bylaw and obtain a court order, the strata corporation would have been required to either make an application to the Supreme Court of BC or to commence an Arbitration. Either action would have required a three-quarter’s vote at a general meeting, and the funding to proceed with the action. As a result there have been very few such actions, and in most cases, strata corporations have voted down the applications because the majority of owners are rarely affected by the actions of one chronic bylaw violator.

Sounds like BC was the good place for a resident to act like a complete jerk. —editor

So the answer is for the owner to take the council (condo board) to the new Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT).

However, we will have to see just how effective this new cheaper Tribunal will actually be in practice. —editor

English not required for strata council meetings: Ministry of Housing
The BC government will not amend the Strata Property Act, to include English as the mandatory language of record in strata council meetings.

The board at one condo in Richmond uses Mandarin to conduct its meetings.

The Ministry strongly encourages strata corporations to choose an inclusive approach to provide accessibility to all strata members.

“One option would be to provide interpretation services to other languages; however, the technical requirements of strata legislation can be difficult to interpret accurately and should only be contemplated by a qualified official interpreter.”

The disgruntled owners plan to take their dispute to a Human Rights Tribunal.

Articles from Australia
Gold Coast City Council application to host property on AirBnb can cost as much as $8,086

The view from a property on the Gold Coast available on AirBnB.

Gold Coasters in Australia are to be charged $8,086 to rent out a room or their homes under changes to the city plan in February.

As part of city council’s enforcement of party houses, most Gold Coast AirBnb hosts must now apply for development permits to be able to rent out their properties legally.

Two show cause notices have been issued to AirBnb hosts since February and another 40 short-term rental owners separate to AirBnb are also believed to be under investigation.

Hundreds of other AirBnb hosts are potentially at risk of being issued show cause notices by council for having not applied for permits.

Municipalities all over the world are taking different tacks on how to deal with unregulated short-term rentals. It would be nice to see some consistency. —editor

Condo News
20 September 2016

The auditor's name is a secret?
A condo board in northern Ontario sends the owners the audited financial statements in the AGM package. However, the name, signature, and contact information for the auditor and the firm was removed from the statements.

All the owners can tell from this report is that the auditor is from Thunder Bay. The auditor does not attend the AGM and therefore the owners cannot ask him, or her, any questions.

An owner wrote me saying:
"Nothing we say matters. It is just the manager talking, saying: 'Let me tell you something.' Last AGM an owner asked why the Financial Statements had no logo or signature. He replied: 'This is not a place to ask that. Come to the office.' He says many things like that so why go to the AGMs?"

The name of the accounting firm was included in the Treasurer's Report that was distributed to the owners after the AGM.

After the AGM, the original financial statements were made available to any owner who requested one.

I ask you: have you ever come across anything like this?

Condo News
19 September 2016

Telus seeks exclusive access to multi-family buildings
Terms of agreements unfair to strata owners, condo advocates say.

Respecting the board
An owner responds to a demand that he treat the board with respect.

Condo developers could help to pay for Toronto public school repairs, board says
Toronto's public schools are "old," in desperate need of repair, and the school board says it could start fixing these problems if the province allowed it to collect fees from condo developers.

This is a brilliant idea. New condo buyers are now paying for new parks, traffic lights, affordable housing units, playgrounds, art, sidewalks, libraries, wind farms, solar panels, carbon taxes and bicycle lanes so why not have them repair Toronto's public schools as well.

Thermal metering crosses the pond
Technology used widely in Europe expected to gain traction in Canada.

So not only will you pay for your own electricity, you may be paying for your unit's heating and air conditioning too.

West End Vancouver condo owners say they’ve been harassed to sell
Threatening old people with 300% increases in monthly fees and renting units to drug dealers is despicable.

'Leaky condo' crisis hits Magee Secondary School pushing students into portables
Vancouver's newest high school is leaking so badly students will soon be sitting in portables while a contractor replaces all the windows and walls, the Vancouver School Board  has confirmed.

"Instead of it being a leaky house, it's a leaky school," he said on Tuesday.

Articles from USA
This bedbug-infested “American Life”: Ira Glass gets sued by
condo board

Radio legend has been accused of causing rodent and bedbug infestation in Chelsea. Neither Glass nor his wife, writer and editor Anaheed Alani, have allowed the building’s management to enter their one-bedroom apartment, which they bought for $1.27 million back in 2012, the condo board alleges.

HOAs meet with Garner police over embezzlement case
Police officials said they started the embezzlement investigating about a month ago. Now Garner Police says up to $1 million may be missing.

Articles from Asia
Cambodia's capital in condo boom

Phnom Penh has 45,000 new condo units being built.

Condo News
17 September 2016

Urbancorp home buyers lose fight to complete their purchases
Buyers in several insolvent Urbancorp projects have lost their bitter fight to convince a court to let them complete the purchase of their homes.

On Thursday, an Ontario Superior Court judge approved the sale of six Urbancorp development sites in the Greater Toronto Area to five different buyers – including Mattamy Homes and Fernbrook Homes. The developments are among several Urbancorp companies that filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year.

Watermain break causes another power outage at Minto condo tower
Residents frustrated as only 1 of 3 elevators working in 52-storey building

Condo News
15 September 2016

Fees waived for older cats adopted in Toronto this weekend
The City of Toronto in partnership with Toronto Cat Rescue and PetSmart Charities is holding a pet adoption blitz during PetSmart Charities of Canada's National Adoption Weekend from September 16 to 18.

Residents can go home with a cat more than eight years old without paying the usual $75 adoption fee. The adoption fee for cats younger than eight is $75 and it ranges from $185 to $215 for dogs. Standard pet licensing fees apply to Toronto residents.

Rabbits that are spayed/neutered and other small animals will be available for a $40 adoption fee.

Dozens of cats, dogs and rabbits are up for adoption at two PetSmart locations, 835 Eglinton Ave. E. and 2050 Eglinton Ave. E.

All cats, dogs and rabbits are sterilized (spayed/neutered), microchipped, vet-checked, de-wormed and vaccinated.

There is also a wide variety of animals available for adoption at each of Toronto's shelters, including cats, dogs, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits and birds.

Toronto Animal Services shelter locations:
• West Region, 146 The East Mall (Highway 427 and Dundas Street W)
• North Region, 1300 Sheppard Ave. W. (Keele St & Sheppard Ave W)
• East Region, 821 Progress Ave. (Highway 401 and Markham Rd)

The three shelters are open from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. seven days a week.

Pane of glass falls from balcony of downtown condo building

No injuries have been reported after a pane of glass from a downtown condo building fell to the ground Wednesday morning. It happened at a building located on Simcoe Street near Adelaide Street just before 8 a.m.

Police said the pane likely fell from the 25th floor.

It was not immediately clear what caused the window to fall.

As a precaution, police have closed a portion of Simcoe Street, Nelson Street and Duncan Street.

As the area remains closed, guests at the nearby Shangri-La Hotel have been instructed not to use its Simcoe Street doors.

Condo News
14 September 2016

No batteries in smoke alarm in Scarborough apartment where fire left man dead, Toronto Fire says
The Ontario Fire Marshal's office determined the cause during its investigation, in which it also found that there were no batteries in the smoke alarm in the ground-floor unit where the flames broke out before 5:15 a.m.

Toronto Fire is still determining whether charges are possible under the Ontario Fire Code.

All condo owners should ask to see their building's Fire Inspection Certificate and read the latest Fire Inspection report.

Actor J.P. Manoux’s condo had hidden camera, tenants testify in court
Renting a furnished condo unit? The owner may have installed a hidden camera to insure that his/her property is not being damaged. It is also possible that the owner has other reasons.

PMC recommends condos hire an armed security guard
I found this to be a strange article. It may have been written for American management companies as I can't see the need for any condo in Toronto hiring armed guards.

Condo lawsuit alleges balconies pose 'serious safety risk'
Owners of units in a four-year-old condominium complex near St. Anne's Road and Warde Avenue in Winnipeg have launched a lawsuit alleging multiple defects in their building, some of which they say pose safety risks.

Articles from USA
Gated Communities Sued For Negligent Security
Condo corporations in the USA and Canada may want to pay attention to this.

Beach Condo Sued by Woman in wheelchair for FHA discrimination
The owners at this condo better start saving up their money because I bet they are going to lose this one and it is going to be very expensive.

Judge: Aspen service-dog dispute likely headed for trial
How could the condo get themselves into such a mess?

Combat vet fighting protracted battle with HOA over covenants
I figure the odds are against this owner.

Olathe man’s war with HOA over landscaping: $400,000 at stake
This guy doesn't belong in a homeowners' association. He would also come to grief in Pyongyang. Too independent minded.

E-mails from readers
Boy, your Sep 12, 2016 news is brilliant, especially the "Six reasons you should promote yourself from landlord to real estate investor." Most people just don't get it.

I will be circulating this to the board.
Betty—North York

Hi Betty;
That article came from an investment magazine. The stark differences in the interests of condo "investors" and resident-owners is so rarely so bluntly spelled out.  What an owner sees as his home, possibly for life, investors see as a cash cow that is to be dumped before expensive repairs are required.

Condo News
12 September 2016

Six reasons you should promote yourself from landlord to
real estate investor

A Toronto based condo property management company, who also wants to manage individual condo units, posted a Tweet linking to this article.

It advises investors not to become landlords but to offload all those hassles onto a property management company. Reading this article gives an owner-resident insight on why 'investors' act differently than owner-residents.

"To be a real estate investor, you only need to have business at the forefront of your mind. You buy an asset with the intention to offload such property for good profit as soon as it is profitable ... Investors have no sentimental attachments to properties."

These are the type of people who may very well be controlling your board of directors.

You also should ask your property management company if they are also managing individual or blocks of units within the corporation. If they are, then who's interests are they looking after?

Evidence collecting is key in resolving conflicts
A lot of residents will complain about their neighbours but they will not collect evidence nor will they sign an affidavit about the misery they are subjected too. They are afraid. They want the manager or board to fix their problem without them getting involved. As Robert Noce—an Edmonton condo lawyer—writes, this is not how it works.

Why Are Condos So Crappy?
Investors mostly care about how much money they will make. They will never live in the place, chances are they will just rent out the suite for a year or two then sell it.

The developer is therefore marketing their product to the investor who just wants to make money and will never live in the suite.

Walk-in closet advertised for $580 a month in downtown Vancouver
The tiny space, which is described in the ad as a “den,” was posted to a Facebook group for international students this week. The door of the closet opens into a bedroom that’s rented by a couple, and another tenant is living in a separate room.

In total, four people are currently paying rent in the two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment, though the ad does say heat and internet are included.

Articles from USA
Fla. Condo Latest to Sue Over Hordes of Pokémon Players

Negligent Security Suit Filed in Home Invasion Slaying
of Halliburton Heir

"But Edwards said there is enough information to bring a negligent security lawsuit against Westridge property manager FirstService Residential Florida Inc. and security company G4S Secure Solutions USA Inc."

Condos and other home owner associations need to ensure that security measures are adequate.

Articles from Australia
A crack pipe was left in our vase
A couple claimed they needed an Airbnb condo to be close to a sick child in the hospital. They were drug users who robbed the unit and trashed what was left behind.

Condo News
09 September 2016

Can a real estate agent protect you from biker gangs?
Advertising standards agency says humorous advertisement 'over-promised' real estate agent's powers.

Don't expect compensation, Toronto Hydro tells CityPlace residents after 4th outage in 2 weeks
Will CityPlace ever get a break? Ever?

Got to wonder how many leases will be renewed?

Billion dollar fund manager comes out of retirement to bet against Canadian real estate
Investors who short stocks earn fortunes when they get the timing right. They lose fortunes when their timing is wrong. The doomsday prophets have been wrong for a few years now. Are they right now?

Airbnb ban? Not likely to happen, GTA councillors say
Calls to regulate short-term vacation rental services growing louder with neighbourhood problems

Maps show Toronto's building and population boom
Here is a series of maps showing the downtown areas that are facing the largest levels of construction and future population increases.

John Tory’s magical thinking can’t repair broken subway
air conditioning

Toronto's politicians and city planners allowed developers to build huge condos with too few parking spots along the city's streetcar and subway lines because in their "socialist dreams" condo owners would not need or want cars.

Multi-million dollar lawsuit filed re: Edmonton condos
A condo lawyer says that construction defects are common so these type of lawsuits are also common.

So why buy pre-construction when it can prove to be so costly?

Toronto company offering DNA testing for doggy doo doo
President Garry Bradamore says he got the idea last year when he started walking his girlfriend’s dog outside his Fort York condo.

“There was dog waste everywhere,” he said. “It was pure disgust. It was upsetting to see people were not being responsible for their pets.”

Bradamore reached out to property management in his and other buildings in the neighbourhood to see if anything was being done. What he mostly heard were horror stories.

“In Liberty Village, Fort York and Queen’s Quay, they’re telling me they find it in the stairwells, hallways and parking garages,” he said. “People are throwing it off the balconies.”

Mandarin language battle at BC condo resumes
The settlement between a group of non-Mandarin speakers and their board did not last long. It fell apart at its first AGM.

Who will win this? The lawyers and the Mercedes Benz salesmen.

Articles from USA
The shocking cost of running toilets in NYC apartments
A running toilet wastes about 25 times more water than a shower leak and four times as much water as a simple faucet leak. As you can imagine, the cost of such wastefulness significantly adds up over the course of a month, let alone a calendar year.

According to the City of New York, where the cost of water has risen 200% over the past decade, a running toilet with a medium leak will typically waste 250 gallons per day, costing over $100 a month. Got an open-fill valve? That can waste up to 4,000 gallons per day, costing about $1,350 a month.

Wrongful foreclosure claims rock the condo world
According to some lawyers, if this Hawaii class-action lawsuit is successful, it could be disastrous for two law firms and 72 condo corporations.

“It’s a gamble. If I’m right, it could bankrupt these law firms and many condominium associations along with them.” — Jim Bickerton, attorney

Superman’s building goes condo
Units at Brooklyn Heights condo start at $1.3 million for a one-bedroom.

Articles from Europe
Chinese firm to build Europe's tallest residential condo in London

Plans for £800m Spire London include controversial ‘poor doors’ for 96 units reserved for social tenants and private elevators and for the penthouses.

It gives us an idea how Queens Park plan for inclusive housing in condos will most likely be played out.

Articles from Australia
Condo building Defect Report
While an essential document if written properly, according to Michael Teys, a defects report should do more than list every crack and creak in a building.

Australia's most expensive balcony and it hasn't been built
This shows that all over the world, only the wealthy can afford to fight it out in courts.

Condo News
08 September 2016

Houses are not bananas
Economists explain why large increases in the supply of housing will not led to decreases in prices. Policies that would lower prices would be politically unpopular so our governments won't do it.

Condo News
06 September 2016

CityPlace buildings again without power
Toronto Hydro says a power outage that hit CityPlace buildings Saturday evening is expected to be restored by noon on Sunday.

It’s the third power outage to affect CityPlace this week, according to Toronto Hydro, and crews are currently working to replace damaged cables.

Court rules home buyers’ group must cover its legal costs
in Urbancorp case

Their home deposits have evaporated. Now there's legal fees.

Mortgages for all
Any schmuck can get a mortgage, and a great many of them do. If the major banks reject them, there are dozens of other lenders that won’t.

Permit problems leave new Winnipeg homeowners frustrated
They didn't hire a home inspector. Not very smart.

Mom and pop landlords
With cities such as Vancouver and Toronto struggling to cope with a housing-affordability crisis, many people are choosing to rent out secondary suites in, or attached to, their homes as they try to keep a handle on outrageous property prices.

In condo apartments, they rent out "dens" and "private spaces" or take in short-term rentals.

Condo pet owners protest proposed pet ban
Metro News recently reported that a proposed rule change to ban pets in a downtown Toronto condominium has caused considerable uproar among residents. The proposed rule would allow current owners to keep their existing pets, but no new pets would be allowed. However, service animals under 25 pounds would be permitted.

It is questionable if the proposed rule change is legally enforceable for several reasons.

Articles from USA
Percentage of voters is declining
The percentage of voters who are voting in US federal elections is dropping with the biggest collapse in the vote among the lower income Americans.

If people feel that they have little say in policy, it does not matter who wins.

Fellow unit owners creating unbearable condo rooftop noise!
Mr. Condo advises the owner to talk to the board. If that doesn't work then: "this sounds like a case of “buyer beware”. If so, and the noise cannot be controlled, I might suggest you also sell to an unsuspecting buyer during a time of year when the noise doesn’t exist. Good luck!"

Brickell House’s condo association runs into another snag in robotic garage predicament
Another new condo development where the owners are suing the developer over defects. This time it is a new hi-tech parking system that does not work.

Articles from Australia
High-rise apartments are bad to live in and bad for society, says respected architect.
"Much of the high-rise that is being constructed, we think is going to be unlivable within a generation," Professor Buxton said, because the standard of construction was poor and came with high energy prices.

Police bust illegal 'pop-up' brothel in Australian apartment
The SICU says its current focus is on illegal brothels operating out of apartment buildings.

Condo News
01 September 2016

Airbnb warning
Fake renters take out a lease and then list the condo unit on Airbnb. An easy way of using the landlord's unit to make money.

Dundas & Jarvis – is this the next big “condo corner?”
As far as the number of units being built, it sure will be. Will be be a great neighbourhood? Not in my lifetime.

In a crisis, condo board needs its own attorney
In a crisis? At all times a condo corporation needs its own attorney.

Edmonton condo developer faces $5.5M lawsuit
This is why I suggest not buying a unit in any condo corporation that is not 5-6 years old. You can't tell what expensive problems will show up.

Articles from USA
Ikea's 2017 catalog is a terrifying glimpse into the tiny apartments of the future
Micro apartments. They're all the rage, mostly because they're all that the majority of metropolis-living millennials can actually afford.

PwC settles $5.6B negligent auditing case mid-trial
The bankruptcy trustee for mortgage lender Taylor Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. sued PwC for allegedly negligently auditing Colonial Bank, missing a multi-billion-dollar fraud that led to one of the biggest bank collapses of the recession.

The latest in a long running list of audit scandals with the major international auditing companies.

US company launches self-driving cabs
The tiny Cambridge startup nuTonomy Inc outflanked Uber Technologies Inc. with the launch of the first self-driving car service, used in taxis in Singapore.

Articles from Australia
Hiring a property management company
A short video that explains the two management styles and the four ways management companies get paid.

Condo News
29 August 2016

Toronto fire crews quickly extinguish balcony fire at Scarborough apartment building
Fire crews battled a blaze in a Scarborough building balcony Monday afternoon. Toronto firefighters and police were called to 5 Brockley Dr. near Midland and Lawrence avenues for a fire on an 11th-floor balcony.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze and cleared the scene within 24 minutes. No one hurt and only slight damage. Still, there are too many fires on apartment balconies.

Sane people do not go to the Supreme Court of Canada to evict a cat
Back in 2006, a Condo board failed to have the Supreme Court hear their appeal to uphold the Declaration and evict a cat.

Mike Holmes: These are the four red flags to watch for when interviewing contractors
There are definitely a few things you wouldn’t want to hear from any contractor that you’re thinking of hiring.

Airbnb offering $250 for new hosts in rental-squeezed Vancouver
In an email campaign circulating this week, Airbnb is offering $250 for first-time hosts in Vancouver who sign up and complete at least one booking by Sept. 30.

In its promotion, Airbnb suggests new hosts could earn up to $2,309 per week if they rent out an entire house with two bedrooms. The company takes a three-per-cent commission.

Articles from USA
Threat of lawsuits crimps condo developments
Denver builders afraid of lawsuits for poor quality work if they build condos. They want the laws relaxed.

Grassroots group meets monthly to discuss HOA issues
An Arizona group of about two dozen homeowners, attorneys, and even a lawmaker now convene on the third Monday of every month at the state Capitol to discuss landscaping, parking, garbage bins and anything else related to home ownership. They say they want more oversight over the boards and community management companies.

"None of us are making money; we're just there to help people living in HOAs, even the ones who don't know there's a problem," Schweitzer said.

"I think the playing field heavily favors the homeowners associations over the homeowner," said attorney Steve Cheifetz. He has been dealing with legal disputes involving HOAs for the past 15 years. He's part of the group and said he wants to see more regulations, like requiring community managers to disclose gifts they receive from outside vendors.

This is the second time I read of a need for property managers/companies to disclose gifts or commissions from contractors and vendors.

Key West business leaders cited a third time for illegal vacation rental
For the third time in 15 months, Chris Belland and Ed Swift, of Historic Tours of America, have been accused by the Code Compliance Department for agreeing to rent two luxury condos at Key Cove Drive for six nights at roughly $4,000 each to an undercover code officer via and

The sightseeing tour operators and real estate developers face up to $24,000 in fines for the two condo rental cases.

Articles from Australia
City of Sydney cuts apartment levies (taxes) by up to $60,000 in global warming battle
One building, the 15-storey Aria Apartments in Waterloo, is saving $61,000 in annual levies through measures such as lighting upgrades and adjusting timers on car park exhaust fans to match peak traffic flows, while introducing new recycling stations and an e-waste bin.

An Australian website where condo owners rate their condo building and the developer/builder.

“This is a fantastic initiative which will empower purchasers to make better choices,” says Karen Stiles, executive officer of apartment owners lobby group the Owners Corporation Network.

Condo News
25 August 2016

Residents fighting back after condo board proposes pet ban
The board at two City Place towers are planning to ban all new pets from the property. Some owners are planning to fight.

A ban on all new dogs has been done by changes to the rules at three condos that I am aware of but banning all pets may not be found reasonable by the courts.

Here is an undated article from Metro.

Water leaks into the unit below
In two recent Small Claim lawsuits, unit owners sued the corporation. The owners were blamed by their condo corporations for being the cause of water leaks in the unit below. The corporations put a lien on the two units to collect damages.

In one case, the owner lost but in the other, the owner won.

Why you need fraud controls

Articles from USA
Property management signs the cheques
One property manager signature on the cheques is all this homeowner's association requires. Sounds dangerous to me.

Porsche apartments take car loving to new heights

A look at how the other 5% live at a new condo being built in Miami.

Thousands ordered to repaint their homes in Rancho Sahuarita
Half of the houses in this Arizona HOA, some that just were painted, were given orders to re-paint their homes.

What is interesting is that the one man who talked on camera, insisted on staying autonomous. Is the fear in these HOA's that strong? If so, it is time to sell and get out.

Articles from Australia
When the courts appoint an administrator
This article explains how an administrator is appointed in Australia.

What I found interesting is the risks one takes in owning a unit in a small condo corporation where the majority of units are owned by a single family.

Becoming a condo owner ('Owners Corporations')
An excellent three minute video on what it is like to become a new owner in a condo corporation. (the terms are different than what Canadians are use to but the concepts are identical.

Condo News
22 August 2016

Motorcyclist dies in Toronto condo parking lot after being shot
multiple times

A man was pronounced dead on Sunday afternoon after he was found in the King Street West area with multiple gunshot wounds, Toronto paramedics say.

Police were called to an underground parking lot at a condominium at 954 King St. West near Strachan Avenue about reports of a motorcycle on the ground and a man injured.

They arrived to find the man's injuries were not consistent with a collision as was initially reported, and are now treating the incident as a criminal one.

There is no word on the man's age at this time.

Toronto police dog services and forensics were on the scene, and the homicide unit is now investigating,

City of Toronto challenges Queen's Park over affordable housing
The city says the proposed legislation creates an impossible choice for the city - asking councillors to choose between badly-needed affordable units and badly-needed community infrastructure.

So does your local councillor get to decide whether a new condo tower will give the neighbourhood some low-income housing units, a new park or a playground?

The proposed new Act says that the councillor can't ask for both.

Ontario to License Home Inspectors
Minister of Government and Consumer Services Marie-France Lalonde announced Ontario's intent to introduce legislation this fall that would, if passed, regulate the province's home inspection industry in order to better protect consumers.

The proposed changes would:
• Require home inspectors to be licensed with proper qualifications
• Set minimum standards for contracts, home inspection reports, disclosures,
  and the performance of home inspections
• Establish an independent Administrative Authority to administer and enforce
  the home inspection licensing legislation and associated regulations

These changes would ensure consumers benefit from quality advice, are protected from surprise costs and aware of safety issues before buying a home.

The standards for condos should be higher than detached homes because condos include very expensive common elements.

A condo home inspector should, at a minimum, be able to advise the potential purchaser if the underground garage, the building envelope, the balconies, the hot water risers and the windows are in good shape.

Articles from USA
Solar snare: spend thousands and cut power bills by $9 a month
Global Efficient Energy promised to cut our energy bill in half with a solar power system that it would install at our house. The system cost $19,900, which we would pay off in monthly installments over the course of six or seven years. Once we owned the system outright, the company said, we’d pay next to nothing for energy.

That sounded great. But after the company installed solar panels on our roof, solar-powered fans in our attic and a bunch of energy-saving foam and sealants, our electricity bill barely changed. We saved about $9 a month.

More information on the Kornerstone investigation
The homeowner associations allowed their bank accounts to be kept in the property management company's name.

Article from Europe
Nash Kray Party launches first online rating of housing management companies, homeowner associations in Kyiv
The Nash Kray Party has launched a first social network in Ukraine for residents of multi-apartment buildings in Kyiv with an online rating option for housing management companies and homeowner associations.

What a great idea.

Condo News
19 August 2016

CRTC could suspend residents’ Internet service unless condo grants access to fourth telecom
It looks like the days of single-source cable TV and Internet services, in the areas with high-density condo towers are over.

Mississauga council approves three more high-rise condos along Hurontario’s LRT corridor
Rivalling the 50 and 56-storey Marilyn Monroe towers near the city centre, council approved the new condo units for the southwest corner of Hurontario Street and Elm Drive west. Slated to be 35, 40 and 50 storeys respectively, the new condos are part of a growing trend to build high-rises along the future Hurontario light rail transit (HLRT) corridor.

In return the city will get $3,020,000 in section 37 community benefits and a small park.

You’ve Really Got To Be Your Own Lawyer First In Condoland
Charles Hanes on why you need to read the pre-construction documents and then give them to an experienced lawyer to read.

Ontario hospital executive dismissed over ethics breach,
documents say

A high-ranking hospital executive overseeing a massive redevelopment project enlisted five of the hospital’s contractors to help renovate and decorate her custom-built home, doled out work to her friends and family, and became a paid consultant to one of the vendors, a forensic audit found.

The findings led Markham Stouffville Hospital to obtain court orders for several banks to hand over financial records for Suman Bahl, the former vice-president of capital development and corporate services, as well as companies linked to her friends and family.

This investigation is not related to condos but it does show that corruption is a serious problem in Canada and that it affects all kinds of our non-profit corporations.

Articles from USA
Homeowners In sinking, tilting Millennium Tower file class-action lawsuit seeking $500 million
After news broke that the 58-story, 419-residence Millennium Tower, completed in 2009, had sunk 16 inches in height and tilted two inches northwest, pissed and panicked homeowners were pretty sure to sue, and you know what? They did just that, filing a class-action lawsuit against both the developer of their shifting building and the public entity developing the neighboring Transbay Transit Center.

Congress Avenue shut down after glass falls from Austin's tallest skyscraper
No injuries have been reported, and the reason for the falling glass is unknown.

Standing 683 feet high, the 56-story tower at 2nd Street and Congress Avenue is the city's tallest skyscraper. It was built in 2010.

Condo inspections should include evaluation of exterior, common elements
This article spells out the many costly headaches a condo owner can face – from uneven heating to unsafe balconies to bad brick facades. It’s a must read for condo buyers.

Mould killed my cat
When my kitten started getting sick, I just panicked. I was so scared he was going to die like my cat had. My landlord didn’t seem concerned about the mould and didn’t want to have a professional come in and take care of it, so I decided to move.

After we moved, the kitten’s symptoms cleared up almost right away. I’m still really sad and angry about losing Bengy, though. I just had no idea mould could make a cat that sick.

Condo News
17 August 2016

Person dies after condo apartment tower fire in north Scarborough
Toronto firefighters say they were called to 150 Alton Towers Circle, south of McCowan Road and Steeles Avenue East, for a report of a fire on the 16th floor of the building.

Firefighters were trying to determine if the person was attempting to escape the flames or slipped and fell off of a balcony.

The trouble with POPS
The developer makes a deal with the city to build extra floors in a condo building in exchange for a privately owned public space (POPS), and then a ground floor business ignores the agreement.

By the way, The Globe and Mail rates their ice cream as:
Toronto’s most overrated ice cream (and where you should go instead)

Here is another great article about this misuse of POTS.

The restaurant caves in. I guess they did not like the publicity.

Buying a home in the GTA requires a six-figure income
A study being published Friday by real estate brokerage TheRedpin shows that the average required to buy a home in the GTA, anything from a condo apartment to a detached house, is $124,153, including the income needed for property taxes and utilities.

I don't think so. People can decide to live "house-poor" by forsaking a second car, expensive vacations and skimping on a lot of unnecessary spending. The condo or house can earn income by the owner renting rooms (to roomers, students or Airbnb) or by renting out the complete basement.

Some lawyers are clearly overcharging their clients for the amount of work they actually do
Three recent cases dealing with lawyers’ fees illustrate a pressing need for Law Society study and intervention.

‘Memorial garden’ disrupts needed repairs
I can't understand a condo corporation allowing a "Memorial Garden" above an underground parking garage. The soil will need to be dug up so repairs can be made sometime down the road.

What about termination in the years ahead? Could a legal challenge derail that?

Airbnb Investigation—video

What happens when renters spend their entire vacation solving the mystery of who their Airbnb host really is? A groundbreaking procedural drama you don’t want to miss.

Watch this spoof trailer for an upcoming television reality series. It may give you something to think about before renting out your apartment to strangers.

Articles from USA
East Lansing in court again over nearly $20K in rental fines
Renting out a condo units without a licence can be expensive in some municipalities. There are the fines and the legal fees.

Underwater in the Las Vegas desert, years after the housing crash
To visit this underwater America is to take a tour of too-easy money, bad choices and worse luck, and of the way the economic toll of the Great Recession still haunts much of America.

The crash tarnished their faith in that core American belief that buying a house was a foolproof path to security and prosperity.

New law says Uber, Lyft must be accessible to all
Companies such as Uber and Lyft must accommodate everyone in Massachusetts, including those with disabilities, thanks to the new state law regulating ride-hailing firms.

Articles from Australia
High rise condo towers use 25% more energy
People living in high-rise towers use about 25 per cent more energy than detached homes, Melbourne city hall councillor Arron Wood said.

Almost half of that energy was consumed in common areas such as foyers, corridors, pools, gyms and carparks, he said.

Condo News
15 August 2016

Toronto dealing with elevator technician shortage, industry says
There aren't enough elevator technicians in Toronto to keep up with the city's demand to build new elevators and fix aging ones, two industry experts say.

Don’t be tempted to waive the home inspection when buying a home
Whether a house or a condo, a home inspection is critical.

Pulver on Condos
Here is the link to subscribe to "Pulver on Condos" newsletter. Shawn L. Pulver is a litigation partner at Macdonald Sager Manis LLP. He focuses on condominium and real estate disputes.

Lawsuit alleges Alberta Motor Association victim of $8.2-million fraud
The court documents detail an alleged fraudulent scheme that was surprisingly simple and easy to sustain because the AMA appears to have trusted Gladden. It had given him sole authority to approve the payment of invoices for goods or services used by the AMA's information technology department.

Articles from USA
Condo owners see dead people, sue cemetery for $17M
Residents of a Lomita condominium complex filed suit Friday against the city of Rancho Palos Verdes and a cemetery, seeking $17 million in damages and a court order to stop rooftop interments that occur within eyesight of the homeowners.

They are interning people on the roof-top. There is a first time for everything.

Senator wrote HOA bills while working for HOA
Ethics? What's ethics? A Nevada state senator wrote bills that favoured the industry she works for. An example on how close some politicians are with the housing industry.

Historic Bulfinch facade to be part of condo project
A 211 year-old wall will be part of a new 12 story condo in downtown Boston.

The condo project will have a four-story underground garage with an automated parking system, a first in Boston. It will allows drivers to leave their car on a platform, where a computer system will then deliver it to a designated slot by way of treadmill-like technology. No valets will be needed.

Know your duty as HOA treasurer: 6 helpful tips
It is the treasure’s responsibility to protect the association’s assets.

Battling dog owners square off at HOA meeting in Maryland
Debo has been listed as a dangerous animal, but the board has not kicked him out of the sub-division as of yet.

Articles from Australia
Condo/strata sales contracts
A very good explanation on how the sales contract for a pre-construction sales agreement protects the developer more than the buyer.

Condo News
12 August 2016

Ontario electricity has never been cheaper, but bills have never been higher
Ontario signed long-term contracts with a handful of lucky firms, guaranteeing them 13.5 cents per kWh for electricity produced from wind, and even more from solar. Obviously, if the wholesale price is around 2.5 cents, and the wind turbines are guaranteed 13.5 cents, someone has to kick in 11 cents to make up the difference. That’s where the Global Adjustment (GA) comes in. The more the wind blows, and the more turbines get built, the bigger the losses and the higher the GA.

It gets worse. If people conserve power and demand drops, the GA per kWh goes up, so if everyone tries to save money by cutting usage, the price will just increase, defeating the effort.

Ontario consumers, are getting hit with huge electrical bills that are rising every year. Condos are hard hit because of all the electricity used in the common elements. People living in high-rise towers use about 25% more energy than detached homes, Melbourne city hall councillor Arron Wood said.

Articles from USA
Garner police investigate after HOAs say money missing
Police said Wednesday that they are investigating the possible embezzlement of tens of thousands of dollars from at least six homeowners associations in the Triangle.

Accounts for all six HOAs were, at some point, maintained by Kornerstone Community Management in Garner. Two of the HOAs have filed reports with Garner police, and four have filed complaints with the Consumer Protection Division of the state Attorney General's Office.

Kornerstone provides management services to about two dozen HOAs in the Triangle. Its office was locked on Wednesday – the company is listed as "permanently closed" on Google – and president Diana Ellis Kelly didn't return phone calls and emails seeking comment.

Tony Losada, an HOA vice president for the Greystone Crossing neighborhood in Garner, said about $52,000 is unaccounted for after the HOA decided to leave Kornerstone in May and tried to transfer its funds to another management company last month.

"We're still in the preliminary stages of that investigation and trying to get our victims together, trying to ascertain what happened and then where to go from here," Garner police Capt. Joe Binns said.

Binns said the investigation could be long and complex, giving the number of HOAs that might be involved.

"We have a lot of other victims to contact and a lot of potential victims to contact," he said. "Once we've made those contacts and kind of get an idea of what we're talking about, then we can proceed on to the other pieces of that investigation."

Condo News
11 August 2016

The tallest residential building in the country operating on just three elevators . . . . how’s that for “Lifestyle”?
Charles Hanes at his best. Naming names and describing problems.

Condo insurance primer
For those thinking of buying a Toronto condo for sale, existing condo owners considering a change of providers or renters looking at Toronto condos for rent, there are several aspects of condo insurance that make it unique, though similar in some ways to standard home insurance, that you need to know about.

Two short-term rental reports from Quebec
A Montreal man to pay $62,000 in hotel taxes after renting out properties on Airbnb and Régie rules that an apartment owner has right to change locks on tenant for Airbnb abuse.

Reserve Fund Fraud
In 2004 Chris Gaglowitz wrote an article about the owner of a management company who ripped off two condo corporations for $500,000. The boards and the auditors were asleep on the job. So were the owners!

Articles from USA
Luxury condo residents sue over broken promises
The residents of a Midtown high-rise were promised a building of “premier luxury caliber” — but all they got was a crumbling, leaky mess, a $67 million lawsuit charges.

Little plot of pansies costs homeowner $19,000
It appears that the board decided to teach this "wise guy" a lesson.

According to a statement from the HOA’s legal advisers, “Mr. Lane is known locally as a vocal opponent of homeowners associations while at the same time he markets himself as a for-hire consultant to HOAs and as a management company.”

Lane, who previously had served on the HOA board, said he believed the board went after him over the pansies because he had angered members by raising a legal liability issue during his tenure.

Condo board sues tenant, alleging vacation rental violations
A Chicago condo board wants the tenant evicted. The unit owner is a co-defendant.

How low will it go? Millennium Tower’s troubles haven’t peaked
The Millennium Tower, a leading symbol of San Francisco’s new high-rise and high-end living, is sinking — setting the stage for what could be one of the most contentious and costly real estate legal battles the city has ever seen.

Not only is the condo sinking, it has a two to six inch tilt. Is this going to become the Leaning Tower of San Francisco?

Hollywood condo association considers lawsuit against
'Pokemon Go' creators

Villas at Positano residents want game's maker to remove location as stop.

Articles from Australia
Airbnb guests just too noisy
Julie bought the harbourside property to list on Airbnb 18 months ago and was shocked when she opened the letter.

Airbnb tenants in a city strata apartment are driving their neighbours bonkers by having loud, early morning sex.

The owner of the Darling Point, Sydney unit has even been threatened with a fine, if the boisterous bonking continues.

Condo News
08 August 2016

Palace Pier condo gets a luxurious renovation
A $850,000 condo unit at Humber Bay got a seven-month $600,000 make-over. Shows that there is still perceived value in some older condos.

Associa Expands its Canadian Operations into Ontario
A second very large American condo/HOA management company has entered the Ontario market. (The first was First Service Residential.) By partnering with Maple Ridge Community Management, Associa has gained a solid footing in the GTA.

Bleecker St. residents say ‘ghost hotels’ ruining neighbourhood
They are having the same effect in some condo buildings.

Condo board must order offending owner to disconnect washing machine
The question is what does the owner do when the resident upstairs ignores the manager's letter and the board then does nothing more to enforce the rules/by-laws? That is the question that many condo owners have.

Will the Condo Authority solve this when it is up and running in the next year or two?

Strata council (condo board) lifers
A blogger believes that a strata corporation (condo) with long serving members is not a good thing. It's not a good thing in national politics so why small communities of people believe it's a good thing is baffling.

Changes will benefit owners of older strata properties
Changes to B.C.’s Strata Property Act will give strata owners greater flexibility when their property reaches the end of its life cycle or when the strata members want to sell the property.

The changes will allow strata owners to terminate their strata corporation by an 80% vote of all owners instead of the previous difficult-to-achieve unanimous vote, which also required the signatures of all lenders and other registered charge holders. Most other jurisdictions, including Alberta and Ontario, do not require a unanimous vote to terminate a strata corporation.

Condo owners lose legal fight with Vancouver strata corporation over renting their units
BC Appeals court rules that a strata (condo) with 158 units can limit the number of rented units to one (1). Lucky devils. In Ontario, we can just drool.

Articles from USA
Seattle’s push for ‘affordable’ condo construction
The problem, as we see in Colorado, is that in order to motivate developers to build non-luxury condos that moderate-income people can afford to buy, condo owners would have to give up some of their rights to legal remedies involving defective construction.

Anaheim California says "Lights Out" to Airbnb
Anaheim, California lawmakers approved new regulations targeting companies such as Airbnb, a peer-to-peer economy company connecting tourists seeking short-term housing and hosts who provide places to stay.

Part of the ordinance, which takes effect on August 11, requires the city government to deny electric and water utility service to any homeowners “who rent, offer to rent, or advertise for rent” space in their homes to individuals for fewer than 30 days. The Anaheim Public Utilities Department, a government agency, holds a monopoly on all electricity and water services for consumers in the city.

Homeowners violating the restrictions will be charged $500 per infraction, and companies accused of facilitating the voluntary transactions, such as Airbnb, will also be charged $500 for each violation.

Neighbor disputes turn wealthy areas into war zones
The wealthy can afford the legal fees. The rest of us can't.

Wrongful Death Suit Against Association Illustrates Perils of Negligent Security, Screening
This case appears to be the result of a perfect storm of failures on behalf of the three defendants. The contractor looked the other way to accommodate the company owner's criminal son; the homeowner turned over the keys to her residence containing a loaded gun to the employee and apparently enabled him to become a permitted resident of the community under her authority; and the association's security and screening protocols were completely disregarded by its staff, who also failed to contact the homeowner after becoming aware that the killer had taken up residence at her property.

Articles from Australia
Is Airbnb Destroying Strata Living?
Headlines about hired out apartments being used for all-night parties and pop-up brothels mask a larger battle which is gathering pace between some apartment owners on one hand and the growing prevalence of short-stay accommodation within residential complexes on the other.

Security FOBs are easily copied
Condos believe that electronic FOBs insure that only authorized people can enter their buildings. As this "A Current Affair" news story shows FOBs are easily copied and sold in food courts or coffee shops.

Condo News
07 August 2016

How we are affected by fraud

This recent graph by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners explains why Canadians should not think we are somehow more honest than people from other countries.

It's worse here, in losses, than in the United States and in Sub-Saharan Africa and even Southern Asia.

This chapter on corruption will help you understand what you need to know about the potential for fraud in your condo.

Please checkout our new Twitter address:

Condo News
04 August 2016

Ontario ministerial aides tapped to sell tickets to fundraisers
Political staff of many Ontario cabinet ministers double as fundraisers for the Liberal Party, encouraging companies that do business with government to buy tickets to private events hosted by the same ministers who make decisions on contracts and policy.

In some cases, staffers would tell stakeholders that a minister they wanted to meet with did not have time to see them during regular business hours, many of the sources said – but they could instead buy a ticket to a fundraiser and meet the minister there. The consequences to companies of not going was that their phone calls would not be returned and they would be treated more brusquely, some sources said.

What happens when elevators stop running at one of Toronto's tallest condos?
You take the stairs or rent a hotel room. What else are you doing to do? Hire Justin Beiber's bodyguards to carry you up the stairs?
This Canadian coalition, formed to urge politicans to regulate the short-term rental industry, is now on Facebook.

Insurance evaluations – no longer a luxury
An intersting article that all condo directors should read.

Rural P.E.I. condos aimed at baby boomer market
Don Reid looks to build condos in New London, Souris and Summerside. The Summerside developer is betting that baby boomers would be happy to settle down in one of P.E.I.'s smaller communities.

Articles from USA
Couple sues homeowners association over pink house
The HOA says the house needs to be re-painted. Instead the couple is suing the association. I can't see anything good coming out of this.

It’s not easy to take on an HOA, but it’s possible to win
In this Kansas City Star article, we read about a group of old ladies who beat their HOA who barred them from the clubhouse and a family that moved out of their HOA controlled home because of a petty rule violation.

HOA tells man to stop building treehouse
The owners says he will fight the HOA in court. I think he would be better off selling and buying a free-hold house where he free to do as he pleases.

Articles from Australia
Condo funds can't be used for Christmas parties
An Adjudicator also cited two earlier adjudications where it was decided that body corporate funds cannot be used for Christmas parties: Kensington Gardens Retirement Villages [2005] QBCCMCmr 269 and Pivotal Point Residential [2014] QBCCMCmr 370.

It is suspected that many bodies corporate (condo boards) in Queensland are not aware of this clear, consistent and long-standing prohibition of the use of body corporate funds for purely social events.

Condo News
02 August 2016

A home Inspection is an “investment”
A very good blog on why buyers should hire a qualified home inspector.

Toronto Real Estate: Condo Maintenance Fee Crisis
This article describes the history of 40 Panorama Court and suggests that the owners sell. However, the bricks & concrete have been repaired and so the building has another decade of life in it—at least—and the author doesn't say what the owners could do with the little money they will get if they sold.

Subway station called an 'underground palace'

Getting bored of the uninspired interior design found in TTC subway stations? One subway stop in Chongqing has been decorated magnificently enough to be called an "underground palace."

The Scarborough, one-stop line should be able to afford something like this.

Short-term Toronto house rentals jump 350% over last year
As tourists flock to Toronto they are adding fuel to an already hot housing market.

Why a condo needs anti-fraud controls
This graph by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners explains why proper financial controls are so important.

How the CRA is cracking down on non-compliance in Canada’s hottest housing markets
The tax man thinks he can help cool down the housing markets in Vancouver and Toronto. We'll see.

Condo vs. house
David Fleming writes on when buying a condo may be better than buying a detached house.

Broken elevators reaching 'crisis' proportions across Canada
Every day of the year, Canadians across the country are finding themselves trapped in faulty elevators, while countless more are suffering through inconvenience and isolation because of elevators that are out of service — and the problem is worsening, an investigation by The Canadian Press has found.

Hamilton Pasadena Apartments to become upscale condos
Built in 1914, the historic property will retain its façade of balconies, bay windows, bracketed eaves, galvanized-iron cornice and stone-and-brick pattern work. These attributes make it one of the earliest examples of the apartment house that came to be common in Hamilton during the Roaring Twenties.

Articles from USA
Resident stunned when HOA sends her a bill for $16,000
Special Assessments coming out of the blue are always a shock. However, condo owners need to pay attention to what is going on with their board, realize when major repairs have been neglected and they must read and understand their condo's financial statements.

‘Upstairs, downstairs’ redefined by staff quarters in today’s luxury condo towers
Accessory suites are small condo units in luxury buildings used to house the wealthy owners servants, nannys, personal medical personal, offices or even just storage space.

New Chicago ordinance helps condo associations enforce short-term rental restrictions
On June 22, 2016, the Chicago City Council adopted an ordinance that now requires property owners wishing to rent on a short term basis to apply for and obtain certain licenses. A part of the application involves confirming that the owner’s unit is not located in a condominium property that restricts short-term rentals. The city of Chicago plans to maintain a list of buildings that do not allow short-term rentals and will refer to that list before issuing renting licenses. Associations however, will have to report their own restriction status to the city. Each association must report their rental restricted status by submitting an affidavit form which is available from the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.

Additionally, the new ordinance will place requirements on unit owners who are selling their properties. If a unit owner knows that their property is on the prohibited buildings list, the unit owner must disclose that information when leasing or selling their unit.

Article from Australia
Young child in hospital after falling from a non-compliant window
A five-year-old boy is in a serious condition after falling from a third story unit window. This unfortunate  incident is a firm reminder of the importance to install your child window safety devices.

Apartment dwellers lose out as Airbnb here to stay, court rules
In a decision that clears the way for Airbnb and other short-term leasing sites to freely operate in Melbourne's apartment buildings, the Victorian Supreme Court found owners corporations could not make rules to ban short stay operators.

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