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Condo News
30  June 2017

Florida condo bills now law
Two bills were signed by Governor Rick Scott:

HB 1237
Makes several amendments and additions to statue 718, providing for criminal penalties for specific acts of misconduct, including altering or falsifying election ballots, and failure to provide access to association records in connection with covering up criminal activity.

SB 1520
Amends condo statute 718, and provides that, in order to move forward with a condo termination, at least 80% of unit owners must vote in favor, and less than 5% of unit owners can object to the termination proposal. If the termination is rejected by at least 5% of unit owners, the association must wait 24 months before making another attempt at termination.

These are two very important new laws that I wished we had in Ontario.

We sold our house for $100K over asking. Can the buyer back out?
A very good question in Toronto's hot market.

Trump Organization to check out from Toronto hotel, condo tower
A Realtor who has a condo listed for sale there likes the Trump Tower. One who doesn't says:
“I don’t like the commercial taxes, I don’t like the higher maintenance fees, I don’t like the potential for the hotel to make decisions that affect the condo. I think it’s incredibly risky and I would never put a buyer into a hotel condo, let alone this one in particular,” he said.

Video: Man accused of cutting gas lines in Toronto
Although this highrise contains student housing, Charles Street has a lot of condos. Glad to see this weirdo off the streets.

Ontario: Delays in implementation of Rental Fairness Act anything but fair, critics say
Rent controls are in place but evictions without compensation still go on.

Company involved in electrocution lawsuit admits it did not have permit for pool repairs
"There was a known danger and nobody did anything about it," said Adam Neijna, an attorney hired by the Rosoff family. "Rachel didn't have to die."

Lavish ‘condo ship’ hangs out in Monterey harbor
The World is touted as a combination private yacht/luxury vacation home, boasting 165 individual condominiums on board.

I am not fussy about owning a unit on a condo ship. Water leaks in highrises are enough worry. Water leaks on a ship could give a whole new meaning to having an "underwater mortgage".

Swallows learn to operate garage door at Norwegian condo
Residents of a Norwegian condominium building said swallows are nesting inside their parking garage after mastering the technique of opening the door.


Condo News
27 June 2017

Ontario capping rent increases at 1.8% for tenants in 2018
This will be next year's maximum rent increase for all condo rental units. Read more at the Ministry of Housing website:

If you can't sell your house, rent it
Those trying to sell their houses and not being able to… that’s really new.

Harold the mortgage closer
Harold the Jewelry Buyer is also into mortgages. Car loans too! Who would have guessed?

Lock-off suites touted as affordability fix in Metro Vancouver
Basement rental units in townhouses is common but having the builder make them a selling feature is new.

Fire 'hero' sued for wrongful death in Bellevue condo fire
Victims' family sue condo and self-claimed hero for setting apartment on fire while smoking pot & failing to call 911.

Teen died from carbon monoxide; property association may share blame, court rules
A clogged vent on a water heater sent excess carbon monoxide into the apartment. Reports of carbon monoxide issues in some units at Sagecrest dated back to spring 2011.

Combustible cladding could be on 600 English highrises
The British prime minister estimates 600 highrise buildings in England have cladding made of materials similar to what was found in a devastating west London fire.

Hundreds evacuated from London towers
Camden Council, first municipality to identify public housing highrises that are too dangerous for people to sleep in.

Airbnb is testing a luxury service that includes inspections for quality control
The quaint mom & pop hosts getting squeezed as Airbnb becomes more like regular hotel chain.

Flying sofa from 20th-floor condo unit nearly kills motorist

Singapore: The sofa is believed to have been placed on a balcony. Heavy winds during a rain storm sent it flying.

It is not unknown for light balcony furniture and cushions to go flying off balconies in heavy winds.


Condo News
22 June 2017

Here's why you're not going to get that starter house, city planner says
A recent TRBOT survey, on the housing preferences of would-be home buyers, shows how out-of-step with reality the perceptions of starter homes are, Keesmaat said.

The research showed that 81% of aspiring homeowners don’t want a condo and 69% want a house with at least three bedrooms. But 83% of housing units built between 2011 and 2016 in Toronto were midrise and highrise apartments.

Condo owner shocked her unit was being sublet on Airbnb
Toronto woman wonders if bed bugs discovered in the loft were brought there by a short-term tenant.

I was wondering when reports of bedbugs tied in with short-term rentals would start popping up.

Toronto tenants left in the dark on fire inspections
The city confirmed that fire inspection reports fall under privacy legislation and are available only through freedom of information requests.

Slow progress on Sudbury condo projects, but developers still upbeat
Major construction on general hospital condo project could be delayed another year. The brewery? Maybe longer.

Still little appetite for condos in Subdury
Two prominent Sudbury landmarks have become eyesores while waiting to be transformed into condominiums. The CBC's Erik White gave us an update on the plans for the old General Hospital and Northern Breweries... plus a look at the condo market in general.   CBC 7 minute audio report.

Break-ins at Vancouver condo tower blamed on short-term rentals
The Vancouver Police Department is investigating at least three cases of break-ins in apartment buildings that are home to short-term rentals.

They said there was no forced entry in any of the break-ins and believe the people responsible for the thefts had a key fob from a short-term rental.

5 scary home inspection deal breakers (and 2 that aren't)
Five good reasons for hiring a home inspector.

Construction mistakes may be cause of condo balcony collapse

If I owned a unit in that condo, I would be very careful where I parked my car.

Chongqing building has a road on its roof, how can residents get any sleep?

Chongqing is a southern Chinese city of 8.5 million and is situated on the steep banks of the Yangtze River. Land is scarce but building a road on top of a condo?

Condo News
17 June 2017


Ontario Condo Act a roadblock for electric vehicle owners
Hoping to hit its ambitious goals for electric vehicle ownership, Ontario is looking to overhaul parts of the Condominium Act that have become an unexpected barrier to owning one.

Ontario's Ministry of Government and Consumer Services gathered electric vehicle and condo groups together last Monday and Tuesday to look at how revamping the act could encourage more electric vehicles on the roads.

Both Clairman of Plug'n Drive and Jaglowitz will be part of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services' consultation on changes to the Condominium Act, which is now almost 20 years old.

"With these revisions to the condo act coming up we could put something in that would suggest electric vehicle owners had the right to install," said Clairman.

No injuries after balcony fire at downtown condo building

A BBQ on fire on a 290 Adelaide St. W. balcony. The fire was started by a tossed cigarette butt.

Toronto Fire Services new fees for service
Starting 01 July TFS will institute a fee for service related to the re-inspection of properties to confirm the status of previously noted fire safety hazards that were identified during the initial inspection. The introduction of these fees will end the current practice whereby TFS covers all costs associated with re-inspections, which are required when Ontario Fire Code violations are identified.

Toronto-area couple loses $30K deposit after bad advice from double-ending real estate agent, lawyer says
Double-ended agent advised couple to waive all conditions including finances and Status Certificate. Agent not identified due to Confidentiality Agreement.

Scott Terrio  Cooper Trustee
A 0.25% hike in the prime rate right now is like a 9% jump. Your variable rate mortgage goes up hundreds of dollars, & so do all your line of credits & home equity line of credits.

Conkrite Capital names head of condominium affairs
The Board of Directors of Conkrite Capital Corporation have unanimously voted on the appointment of Paul Endres as director of condominium affairs, effective June 5, 2017.

He comes to this role after serving as VP of asset management at Conkrite Capital. He is also a certified accountant and a registered condominium manager.

Vancouver city council votes down 12-storey Chinatown tower
"In my almost nine years as mayor, no issue or project has yielded such a passionate, emotional response as this rezoning application," said Robertson in a statement.

"The Beedie group (developer) put significant effort into this project over the years  ... and went to extraordinary lengths to adjust and revise the project based on public and community feedback.

"Yet, council heard overwhelming opposition from several generations of Vancouver residents on the rezoning for 105 Keefer, and concern about how to manage Chinatown's pace of change.  For that reason, I voted "no" to this rezoning proposal."

Grenfell Tower fire: Residents had warned of fire risk at London flats gutted by blaze
Local residents warned of the potential fire risk in London's Grenfell Tower apartment block nearly 18 months before the complex was engulfed in a giant blaze, saying they feared people could be trapped inside if a fire broke out.

Hong Kong car park space sells for record $664,200
That is a city where a 200 sq ft condo can fetch $500,000.

Readers' Comments
Wow, really good reading today about the truth about Vancouver real estate and about Airbnb. Thanks

A condo director writes;
Our condo is in bad shape and needs millions for major repairs. The fees have not gone up in several years.

Our property management's accounting team has been advising the Board that we are running low on cash and our president advised them at a recent board meeting: “Our maintenance fee increase is 0%...no more discussion...I don’t want to hear it anymore!”.

To make sure her message got through, she gave management their 60 days termination notice.


Condo News
14 June 2017

Condo Act—introduction pushed out
Some of the regulations that the ministry stated would be introduced on Canada Day have been pushed out. We were given only two weeks notice.

When Changes Take Effect:
01 Nov 2017 Most Condo Act changes, including the new tribunal.
01 Nov 2017 The licensing provisions of the Condo Managers Services Act will come into effect.
01 Feb 2018
Remainder of the CMSA will come into effect.

What’s Coming Next
The ministry will be releasing in the near future:

A series of new forms under the Condo Act to make it easier for condo corporations and owners to comply with the new requirements.

A set of plain language guides and fact sheets to help Ontario’s condo community better understand the new condo law changes.

The education and exam requirements for condo managers.

New changes to the general regulation under the Condo Act are now available on the e-laws website at:  http://bit.ly/2tfvZPR

Woman found not criminally responsible in Rosedale condo doorman stabbing
A 67 year-old condo doorman was stabbed several times by a resident in an upscale Toronto condo. He holds no ill will towards his one-time acquaintance.

Home prices could fall up to 40 per cent: economist
The Toronto and Vancouver housing markets are on the brink of a "severe downturn" that could hurt the country's GDP and drag home prices down by up to 40 per cent, a Capital Economics economist says.

He says it could, not that it will. Even if the worse happens, anyone who bought two years ago, will still be in good shape.

Realtor’s Revolt
Why Steve Saretsky is exposing the truth about Vancouver’s real estate industry.

Airbnb's mega hosts are turning it into just another travel booking site
Using commercial operators to short-term rent in hundreds-thousands of condo units is the way to make money. Mom & pop's spare bedrooms is small beer.

Vancouver pre-sale condos are overpriced and risky
A YouTube video on the high risks of buying a pre-construction condo.

Ads for Vancouver pre-construction condos

Pre-built condos put on the market in Hong Kong and Tiawan before the sales office opens in Vancouver.

Marijuana grow operation may have caused Woodhaven fire
Woodhaven Michigan police say a marijuana grow operation is to blame for a condo fire early this morning.

It had happened at the Kirkway Village condos, off Allen Road in Woodhaven. Fire fighters found a marijuana grow operation in the garage.


Condo News
08 June 2017

Balcony fires on the rise in Toronto
Balcony fires are on the rise in Toronto, according to a source, with 27 fires so far this year. All of them have been caused by people tossing cigarettes down from a higher balcony.

How Bidding on a home in Toronto just got worse
The new escalation clause. Got to wonder who would sign a sales agreement containing one of them?

Security footage released of violent home invasion
A man shot and stabbed during home invasion in apt bldg at Yonge-Sheppard.

Where's the condo engineering?
Four minute video. Multi-million dollar window replacements for a large condo. Job started with NO building permit.

Tenant showdown ratchets up in Rosedale apartment building
On Tuesday, (last Tuesday) the Pangs will be in front of the Landlord and Tenant Board to fight an eviction that alleges their behaviour has interfered with others’ “reasonable enjoyment” of the building.

The landlord accuses the Pangs of uttering the word “racist” around tenants, using profanities and having loud conversations and phone calls, which the Pangs say were conducted in Cantonese.

The dispute is a microcosm of contemporary Toronto life and the tensions that emerge as the city becomes more diverse and ever denser. It’s what can happen when the walls are thin and notions of privacy and sanctuary are put to the test.

Vancouver renter warns about shoddy condo construction
A tenant moves out due to poor quality construction in brand-new condo unit. You should watch the video. Very disappointing that such poor workmanship is allowed. Better idea? Buy a good quality re-sale.

NYC condo boards suing commercial gyms inside their building
The condo board of the posh Printing House, on Hudson St. near Clarkson St., sued the gym inside their building, alleging music is played at “ear splitting levels.” The suit charges that bass is set at “full throttle,” causing apartments to shake and tremble.

Court: Senior citizens can seek punitive damages in religious discrimination suit against HOA
A California court has rejected the latest attempt by a homeowners’ association to shield itself from punitive damages for shutting down Bible studies and a Sunday worship service.

Third Circuit: neighbors who criticized condo residents over emotional support dogs must face civil rights suit
In blog posts and comments, two residents of a Virgin Islands condominium complex criticized two other residents who were keeping emotional-support dogs despite a no-dog rule in the complex.

Vacation rental condo booking disasters
Before renting a condo for short-term vacation, do some research on the host and ask some important questions.

e-mail from reader:
Re: Sketchy condo living
I think the condo manager could show some courage. One director is not the entire board.

There are ways to report short-term rentals. Also most owners are selfish nitwits so if he does not want to alert people maybe he should quit.


Condo News
04 June 2017

Sketchy Condo living
Letter to The Georgia Strait
02 June 2017

A Vancouver condo property manager describes the dark side of condo living.

I have worked for a number of years as a building manager for different condo complexes and some of the less than legal stuff I see really gets me down.

Right now I'm dealing with people running a "business" where they rent several suites in the building, then rent them out again as temporary rentals and Airbnbs. I can't report them because they are doing this through a strata-council member who is also involved with their "business".

They're operating all over the city, not just in the building where I work, and they are only one among many "businesses" doing this, often without the owner's knowledge.

I have had to deal with gang assholes, drug dealers and sex trade workers. I've seen so many people snorting drugs on the security cameras it's not funny.

I had a resident tell me she was opposed to a low income complex being built nearby because she didn't want "druggies" living near her, unaware of the "druggies" living right beside her in her own building, but I guess it's okay if you're rich.

And Vancouver is just slapping up more of these things, everywhere I look, a new money tower is mushrooming up ready to be flipped for maximum profit.

When real-estate becomes a commodity rather than a place to live, it doesn't bode well for anyone, like me, who makes less than a six figure income.

Vancouver, you're breaking my heart, also Airbnb, I really, really hate you you with a burning passion.

You can do something...
Jun 2, 2017 at 2:53pm
Call CRA. Anonymous tip line. cra.gc.ca. Provide names, addresses, rental info, etc. The criminals will be assessed tax on the rental income. Hit them where it hurts.

You know what...
Jun 2, 2017 at 3:49pm
If i found out that someone was renting my home, and then going behind my back and renting it out on Airbnb as a profit making sideline - i'd fukn snap!!

And if, further to that i discovered that the building manager knew about the scam and had said nothing - that manager would wish they were never ever born!!

"... I can't report them because they are doing this through a strata-council member who is also involved with their "business"..."

What the hell are you talking about!? That's called a SCAM. It's highly illegal and deeply unethical! You get your scared little ass in to whatever authority you need to and expose it! Get these scumbags prosecuted. If nothing else, send an anonymous letter/email to the proper owners and tell them what's up, let them take action!

If it ever got uncovered, and the manager was implicit by not doing anything about it - i would sue your ass.

Jun 2, 2017 at 4:32pm
After reading 500 confessions written by crazies, finally a rational assessment of reality in Vancouver 2017.

Thousands of Richmond residents frustrated by repeated mailbox vandalism
City is one of the worst in Canada for mailbox vandalism and mail theft says union

Housekeeper set fire to condo to cover up theft, cops say
Florida: A housekeeper was jailed on arson charges Saturday after she admitted to setting fire to her elderly employer’s Coconut Creek condo to cover up stealing $160, police said.


Condo News
01 June 2017

Trump International Hotel and Tower
Falling glass still an problem at this condo tower.

Has the expanded rent controls had any impact on the sale or value of condo units in the downtown?
So far, there’s no definitive evidence that investors have backed away from purchasing condominiums.

I haven’t seen any decline in price, and if there were, I don’t know that we can trace it back to investors, as opposed to end users.

I’ve sold two condos to investors since the announcement, both of whom I was working with before the announcement.

There’s a sort of “natural turnover” in Toronto, since most tenants in smaller, 1-bed, 1-bath condos tend to move on every 12, 18, or 24 months.  Life changes, people move, get new jobs, move in with partners, etc.

The fear of a tenant staying for 20 years and the landlord not being able to raise the rents isn’t warranted – at least not in Toronto.

Condos add to congestion, lead to ‘mini highways’
Letter to Beach Metro from  J. Jones
More condo buildings along Kingston Road will only add more congestion and will do little to encourage stopping to shop or dine along the way, due to no off-street parking of any plenitude, during key times of the day.

Parking restriction times are increasing, so there is no incentive to stop and shop or dine on the way home. I fear that what is being encouraged are “mini highways with traffic lights” and if you are lucky to have underground parking, you can come out of your burrow each day.

The first luxury condo foreclosure on Billionaire's Row
NYC: A $22.5 million condo going on sale at auction.