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Condo News
27 May 2016

Eaton’s Lofts condo lawsuit settled after nine years
After nine years of legal wrangling, the long-suffering owners of the Eaton's Lofts condos have a settlement.

The city issued occupancy permits in 2006 for the units. Then in 2007, city and provincial officials cited long lists of safety problems so serious they threatened to evict residents, triggering the flurry of lawsuits.

Here is the 2007 judgment that lists the reasons why the courts appointed an inspector and an administrator.

How an artist's renderings differ from the real deal
Sleek condos and big dreams aren't always realized.

Only dandelions bloom in Finch Ave. flower planters: The Fixer
This is a nice part of Toronto. No reason that the nearby retail establishments or condo residents can't organize a volunteer garden committee and take care of the flower beds.

Articles from USA
Builder negligent in Jax condo case, jury awards $9.6 million
After four years of litigation and an epic 38-day trial, a jury found America’s largest homebuilder was negligent when it built the Jacksonville community of Heron's Landing.

The verdict requires DR Horton to pay $9.6 million to remove and replace the stucco, roofs and windows on the entire 240-unit development.

Woman says vacant condo has made her sick
A Vestavia Hills woman says the condo next door to her has been vacant for three years and blames its condition for her health problems.

"I've been sick since January. I've been to the doctor numerous times and I can never get well. Bronchitis, pneumonia, sinus infections, that just won't go away—my cat even got sick," Katie Burrowes said.

Recording HOA Meetings; Paying HOA Directors – Better Think Twice
Beth Grimm P.L.C., a California HOA and condo lawyer wrote a very interesting article about paying a director to take the minutes and should the board record the minutes of their meetings.

Condo News
26 May 2016

Toronto councillors need to grow up when it comes to raising money to sustain the city
David Nicole wrote was very thoughtful article on the need for Toronto's mayor and councillors to raise property taxes to pay for the expensive infrastructure that the city needs.

If our municipal politicians are too afraid of the voters to raise taxes then what message are they giving to the elected condo directors that need to raise the condo's monthly maintenance fees?

Ontario plan will keep house prices high
With its proposed changes to the Growth Plan and Greenbelt Plans, it’s clear the government of Ontario is not concerned about the price of housing in the GTA, BILD president says.

Patio garden prompts flower fight between condo owner and strata council
Letter from the BC strata says the blossoms are against the building's by-laws. It appears that the newly elected board is enforcing the by-laws stricter than the previous boards.

Maryann Wadge first began planting flowers on her patio about 15 years ago.
(David Horemans/CBC)

Articles from USA
The ‘Brutal Reality’ Of Owning A Condo In Hawaii
They’re often the only homes people can afford, but maintenance fees can suddenly explode. Should the state do more for owners?

Ex-President Stole $366,000 From Homeowners Association He Oversaw, DA Says
From Oct. 1, 2011 to Feb. 6, 2015, Juliano allegedly made withdrawals from the association's checking account without the authority of any board members because he had signature authority over the account as president.

He was indicted on grand larceny, offering a false instrument for filing and criminal tax fraud at his arraignment.

Why would a board allow cheques to be signed by only one person? Will condos and HOAs ever learn? Didn't the auditor raise red flags about this?

Condo News
24 May 2016

Rent control misconception
A loophole in the Ontario rental increase caps may force many middle class families out of their homes.

What loophole?
CondoMadness is of the opinion that there is no rent control loophole and that there will not be any new rent controls introduced in Ontario.

Ontario Lawyers can sue clients in Ontario Small Claims Court Again
In a recent decision of Justice Dambrot, the Divisional Court has ruled that a lawyers can sue clients in Ontario Small Claims Court for legal fees.

Who are buying houses in Vancouver

This chart from Garth Turner's blog shows that 11% of all house buyers are "Condo refugees". This is a term I have often used to describe disgruntled condo owners.

For readers who are not familiar with Garth's terms, "Virgins" are what he calls new home buyers.

Building and fire codes mandate condo smoke alarms
Here is another excellent question and answer newspaper column from Robert Noce that is published in the Edmonton Journal.

Two topics of interest; no smoke alarms in the condo units and should the monthly fees stay low by underfunding the reserves.

Articles from USA
Condo board borrows from reserves. Owners afraid it will not get re-paid.
Here is a reply from a reader to a condo owner who has the above problem.

"In my building the majority of owners are elder, singles or young couples, they are often short term thinkers. They will be promoted to another state, dead, or get married and buy a house.

When people buy a house, they often think long term, when they buy a condo they often think in terms of 5 to 10 years. It is easy to kick the can down the road year after year, if you do not want to get caught up in their short term lack of planning make sure you have your personal reserves."

North Naples boating dispute leads to Nazi name-calling
This is unaccepatble name-calling taken to extremes.

Condo News
20 May 2016

Ontario to give cities new affordable housing powers
Long-awaited provincial legislation would allow cities to force builders to include affordable homes in new developments.

A raccoon's amazing climb down from a 10th floor balcony
Raccoons are good climbers, and a Hamilton apartment dweller discovered just how much that's true when a raccoon ended up on his 10th-floor balcony.

The raccoon appeared to use its claws to climb 10 floors and onto the balcony.
Watch the video from this CBC News report.

Don’t believe the wipe hype: So-called ‘flushable’ products clogging Vancouver pipes, costing millions
“A lot of the industry is calling these things flushable. And they’re not, because they don’t break down,” said Mussatto, mayor of the City of North Vancouver. “The only things that go in the toilet are number one, number two, and toilet paper.”

Clogged drains can be a messy problem in condo apartment towers.

Beware of condos without depreciation reports
There are several condos in Metro Vancouver that are in need of repair or major work. In some cases, owners are going to the courts to get an administrator appointed in order to force the work to be done.

In 2011 the province updated its regulations, requiring strata corporations to obtain depreciation reports on their buildings every three years. The intent was to make sure that the buildings would be properly maintained and safe. However, the policy doesn’t force the strata councils to do the necessary work.

In Ontario a Depreciation Report is called a Reserve Fund Study. I don't think that any provincial or state legislation forces a condo board to have major repairs done. For that to happen, an owner may have to go to the courts to apply that the board of directors be replaced by a court-appointed administrator.  —editor CondoMadness

Articles from USA
Unfriendly, uncooperative condo board makes life tough
A condo board has gone self-managed and will not show records or hold elections.

"When I was on the board before all of this the current treasurer told me he wanted to go self-managed and cook the books so he wouldn't have to pay assessments. I want to see the financials to see if he is paying or not or even allowed the other board members to not pay either."

I know of a couple of cases in the Toronto area where condo directors didn't pay their unit's fees. This can be a problem anywhere.

About HOA's
An informative website about issues and disputes in American HOAs.

Real estate standoff leaves single condo standing
Here is a rare example of a condo "nail house". A very interesting TV report of "the last townhouse standing."

Condo News
18 May 2016

We start off with two reports that describe how the Liberal government plans to change how people in Ontario will buy homes, get to work and heat their homes. This will create a huge change in our lives and it will be very expensive.

Ontario setting new rules to end era of suburban sprawl across GTA
This new legislation will make detached home owners in the GTA extremely rich and privileged and may make it very difficult for condo owners to upgrade to a detached house.

Ontario to spend $7-billion on sweeping climate change plan
The Ontario government will spend more than $7-billion over four years on a sweeping climate change plan that will affect every aspect of life – from what people drive to how they heat their homes and workplaces – in a bid to slash the province’s carbon footprint.

While such policies are likely to be popular with ecoconscious voters, who will now receive government help to green their lives, they are certain to cause mass disruption for the province’s automotive and energy sectors, which will have to make significant changes to the way they do business.

Homeless in the lobby?

If you leave your condo early in the morning and see a homeless man sleeping in your lobby, it is time to suggest that the board have the security firm make at least one spot check a night.

After all if a homeless man can get in then so can muggers and crack smokers.

Judge refuses severance application in civil case linked to Surrey Six murders
Eileen Mohan, whose son Christopher was one of the six men murdered in a 15th-floor suite of the Balmoral Towers in October 2007, filed a lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court for damages, naming as defendants the strata corporation, the property manager, the landlords and the men criminally charged.
Background on the murders.

Articles from USA
Lakewood homeowners claim they were duped by hidden maintenance costs
Buying a used condo is like buying a used car. Of course the sellers are going to hide defects and the sellers will not pay for expensive repairs that will be needed after they sell their units.

Owner is locked in a losing battle with HOA board
Threatening litigation is rarely effective against business entities or bad directors. Not only are bad boards accustomed to such threats, they also can defend against litigation with the association's deep pocket or insurance.

Condo News
16 May 2016

Electric cars for everyone? Most of us aren't buying
Environment Minister Glenn Murray told an influential business group, also last week, that there would be additional incentives to convince people to go electric. Unless he plans to give everybody an electric car — and that certainly would be an incentive — I don’t see how even that would work.

Regulations Applicable to Condominium Pools
This article written by Rod Escayola should be read and taken seriously by all condo directors and residents.

"Finally, keep in mind that the condominium corporation is considered to be the “occupier” under the Occupiers Liability Act.  As such, the corporation has an obligation to take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of all occupants and visitors of the condominium complex. Something to keep in mind when operating a pool."

Robert Noce, Edmonton Journal
Here is another great newspaper column on condominium legal issues written by Mr. Noce.

Young Vancouver couple thrilled to find 4 square foot condo to call their own
A short CBC radio skit on buying your first condo in downtown Vancouver.

Articles from USA
Man admits stealing $2.5M from homeowner associations
Not bad, not bad at all. Sure beats bank robbery. Yet it is less than a tenth of the money that I believe Manzoor Khan stole.

So Toronto can still claim the Number One spot for Condo Crime.

Michigan Condominium Buyer's Handbook
The Condominium Buyer’s Handbook is a guide for people who are interested in buying a condominium. For your protection, you should read this booklet before you sign a purchase agreement.

At Tampa Bay farm-to-table restaurants, you’re being fed fiction
A Tampa Bay Times food critic exposes fraud on restaurant menus and at farmer markets. It is a fascinating article that will open your eyes to the level of fraud, the lack of government oversight in our food chain and how people love a good story but where cheap price rules.

Condo News
11 May 2016

Let others look after your investment—Part 2
In our last blog, we featured condo corporations where the manager is facing criminal fraud charges and the condos are burdened with huge costs for failing to monitor their finances.

This is something different. After a long period of poor management by different boards, especially by the last one, an Etobicoke condo tower went into court-appointed administration. The monthly fees went to the moon (see below) and I believe there is also a special assessment on top of the high fees.

Here is the lowest priced unit for sale at that building (10 May 2016).
Notice that it is NOT being sold as an owner-occupied unit but as a business:
an illegal rooming house.  (See the article below)

$60,000  Listing ID: W3477694   Single family unit   (Unit # is not stated)
3 +2 bedroom 2 bath, 1 parking spot
Maintenance Fees $918.13 Monthly

Investor @ Investor @ Investor @
All Bedrooms Already Rented !! ( 3+2 Bedroom)... Fully Rented !! Total Rent Collection $2,200 Per Month ). ( Up to $1,000 Per Month In Pocket)
Tenants Are Willing To Stay @ Close To York University. Close To All Amenities. All Bedroom Rented Since 2011 ... Walking Distances To Shopping Plaza And Close To Hwy 400. Rough In laundry in the apartment.

Dangerous–but affordable–fire-trap apartments a risk to Toronto tenants
This Globe and Mail article refers to houses but fire-trap accommodation also exist in many condo townhouses and in a lot of condo apartment units.

As long as no one dies, nothing will be done about it. However, woe to the condo directors and management company if someone dies on their watch! The fire department and the city inspectors will need scapegoats and the grieving families will look for someone with deep pockets to sue.

Articles from USA
Let others look after your investment—Part 3
Residents upset over piles of trash at Orlando condo complex
Florida Department of Health investigating.

I suspect that the board has not been paying the trash removal company so they stopped picking up the garbage. I bet if the owners reviewed the condo documents they will find that there are a lot of bills that have not been paid.

Should HOA board sue an ex-director who used association funds for a condo upgrade?
This is another interesting column from the Los Angles Times. Sounds like the association needs a new law firm.

Condo News
09 May 2016

High cost of corruption
A year and a half after the story first broke about an owner of a property management company was suspected of robbing his company's clients, we get a news report on the financial damage done to those condos.

Fees doubled at one with the property values cut in half.

A high price for the directors and the owners: "Pay one cheque a month" and let the professionals do all the worrying for you".

Here is when the story first broke a year and a half ago.

Buying a pre-built condo?
​A real estate agent sent me this hard-to-refuse offer.

You are invited to a First Release VIP Condo Event for:
875 Queen East 
One Night Only
Suites Starting From $310,900*
Luxury Loft Style Living in Leslieville
Investors Earn 11.3% Return Per Year*
Easy Deposit Structure*
4 Year Insured Rent Guarantee*
7 PM Wednesday May 18th 2016—One Night Only
Sales Centre
1260 Caledonia Road
Toronto, Ontario  M6A 2X5

* Representations and information contained herein do not form part of any Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Hersh Condos Inc. Brokerage, 875 Queen Lofts Inc, World Class Realty Point Brokerage do not warrant or represent any or all of the figures and statements above. No placement of mortgage is guaranteed and it is the responsibility of each purchaser to arrange suitable financing. You are advised to verify all figures and statements with your accountant and obtain independent legal advice. Price and availability are subject to change without notice April/May 2016 E.&O.E.

Read the small print. Do you see:
"World Class Realty Point Brokerage do not warrant or represent any or all of the figures and statements above ... You are advised to verify all figures and statements with your accountant and obtain independent legal advice."
I'd bet a lot of buyers wouldn't see this warning or follow this advice.

Make a Bedbug Trap for $1 Using Household Items
This is an awesome idea. The text does not make much sense until you watch the video. Good for condos units where you suspect you may have an issue and when you are travelling and staying in hotels.

Articles from USA
Woman suspected of defrauding homeowners association
Another suspected fraud at a Florida homeowners association. There should be a special jail in Florida for all the Condo Crooks that are convicted to keep them isolated from the jailbirds.

We don't want them teaching all the other convicts how easy it is to steal from condo owners now do we?

Condo president admits wrongdoing in court after Local 10 investigation
Watch the video. The criminal sentence was a joke. He has to return the car that he bought with the association's money and do a few hours of community service. Hopefully the upcoming civil lawsuit will make him pay restitution.

White collar crime pays.

Condo News
05 May 2016

Ontario partners with Airbnb to inform users of rights and responsibilities
How does all of this affect condo owner-residents? This five-minute news announcement basically says that Ontario hopes that the short-term rental hosts will pay taxes and little else of substance.

Berlin bans Airbnb from renting apartments to tourists in move to protect affordable housing
Airbnb's listings in German capital fell by 40% in the last month.

Why is the Ontario government and the city of Berlin going in opposite directions?

Condos being rented out as private hotels raising safety concerns
About time the Greater Toronto Hotel Association (GTHA) woke up.

Short-term rentals pit condo "investors" against owner-residents. Condo owners who are looking to live in the condo need to read the Declaration and the by-laws before buying a condo unit to help decide if this is going to be a suitable place to call home.

Ontario Residential Tenancies Act
Changes to the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 are in the works. It looks like the government is going to weaken some of the renters' rights in a bid to encourage more homeowners to rent rooms and/or their basements.

It doesn't appear that the proposed changes will affect renters in condos.

The public are invited to offer their written feedback by the end of June by e-mail or by post.

Officials shutter Edmonton condo unit, scene of murder, drug seizures, complaints
I wonder if the board did much to get the residents evicted.

Articles from USA
Gentrification gone wild: Luxury building forklifts SUV off street
Contractors for Two Trees Management used a forklift to move a parked 2004 Infiniti while working on the $2 billion redevelopment of the former Domino Sugar Refinery.

Man who fell off a condo roof is awarded $43 million
An aspiring writer, 31-year-old Alexander Tirpack, was paralyzed after he fell from the top of a Brooklyn condo building during a party. The writer shattered his spine after he stepped into a two-and-a-half foot gap between the condo and an adjacent building in the dark.

Tirpack says that the accident could have been prevented if the condo building had city-required wire fencing around the rooftop area. The writer was awarded $43 million by a six-person jury.

Buying a condo? Get a home inspection
Here is an interesting article, with photos, on why you should get a home inspection from a qualified inspector when you buy a condo, especially a townhouse.

Article from UK
Tackling fraud in the charity sector
A summary of conference proceedings. Condos are not charities but we are non-profits and the amount of fraud, or suspected fraud, that I am seeing is so high, this report is most welcome.

Condo News
01 May 2016

Two Toronto gang members kidnapped, forced to play Russian roulette
A condo party shoot-out turned into a kidnapping that included daily beatings and a game of Russian roulette for two teen gang members in Toronto last week.

The incident happened in the early-morning hours of April 19 at a condo unit on the 25th floor at 300 Front St. W. at Blue Jays Way.

Condo owners could face expensive legal fees for short term rentals
Many condo declarations set out rules for renting units and those who don’t abide by them could be taken to court by condo boards. Mark McAllister reports.

CondoMadness has two issues with this report. One, many newer condos, like 300 Front St. W allow short-term rentals in their Declarations. The developer did this to attract as many buyers as possible. The condo boards are therefore powerless to stop them. The second issue is that other condos may not have by-laws that prevent short-term rentals.

Condo owners must insist that their municipal councillors change the by-laws and condo buyers should avoid these condo corporations.

A new debt retirement charge for Ontario electricity customers
Ontario’s ratepayers – who have already experienced the fastest bill increases of any electricity customers in North America over the last decade – will be left picking up the tab.

Oh, no. Tell us this can't be so.

Why do tenanted properties usually have no MLS Photos?
As I (David Fleming) said at the onset, not all tenants are messy.  But it would SHOCK you to see what the “average” tenanted property in a downtown Toronto condo looks like.

Strata Watch
Here is a BC condo website that is fascinating. Along with rating BC condo management companies, they publish the names of the condo managers that have been disciplined by the Real Estate Council of BC for professional misconduct.

Strata101's Blog
A blog from BC.
I believe you can’t have enough strata information for strata owners. Despite all the glowing rhetoric about development in the real estate market, really, we are just developing future slums where there will be little to embrace beyond location if we are unwilling to educate ourselves about our assets and how those assets work collectively

Articles from USA
Can homeowner association's attorney give sports tickets
to board directors?

Question: Is it acceptable for a homeowner association attorney to offer expensive sports tickets for free to board directors? Is it acceptable for the attorney to wine and dine board directors especially when the board is responsible for hiring him and signing his retainer agreement?

Condo News
28 April 2016

Tips on buying a home
Sound advice from Garth Turner's latest blog.

Latest news on Urbancorp
Toronto Star article.

Tarion's latest updates on Urbancorp.

Urbancorp bankruptcy in Israeli courts.

Restaurants in private homes — sharing economy's latest trend
Sharing economy now serving home-made meals for dining in or takeout.

Another way to make money from your tiny downtown condo. A couple of eat-in guests once a day is one thing; running a full-scale sit-down or a take-out restaurant is something else.

MealSurfers offers hungry people authentic food from home cooks
Start-up website aims to create Uber of home-made meals.

The start-up website connects people who love to cook with people who love to eat. The difference is the home-cooked meals are provided and the customers must visit a house or condo to pick up their grub of choice.

So what condo wants a stream of strangers flowing through their lobbies and elevators picking up food orders? Where will the customers park?

Strata councils keeping woefully inadequate records, contingency funds
This editorial in the Vancouver Sun states: "It serves no one’s interest to keep owners in the dark about their personal financial obligations."

This is not so. The astute owners who sell early are the winners. The owners who stay too long and the future buyers are the big losers.

Pet owners feel snubbed in Metro Vancouver housing market
In BC landlords can ban pets. In Ontario pets can be banned only in condos that have restrictions in the Declaration or in some cases, the rules.

Bags of dog poop thrown on North Vancouver condo roof could lead to mischief charge
You got to see this. Not pretty.

Article from Australia
Start-ups target Uber, Airbnb users
There's a flurry of start-ups popping up, aiming to feed off the success of sharing-economy apps Uber and Airbnb.

KeyHub is an early stage start-up that aims to help Airbnb hosts by allowing guests to pick up keys at local cafes and convenience stores for a $5 fee. The business targets apartment owners on Airbnb who cannot use a pin-enabled smartlock because of strata rules and security systems.

Urbankeyz goes a step further. The business does all the "heavy lifting" of Airbnb hosting, from communicating with potential guests from booking and greeting to cleaning and changing the linen, for a 20 to 25 per cent commission.

Condo News
25 April 2016

Family watches in horror as dog mauled to death in their own home
It was gory and graphic, a sight that will haunt John Dunnill for years to come.

Tuesday night his little Havanese named “April” was mauled to death on the floor of his condo by a neighbour’s pit bull that got loose in the hall and muscled its way through his front door.

“It was very, very violent and there was a lot of blood everywhere,” Dunnill told CityNews. “It was very, very disturbing.”

Although this was a freak incident, I think its time for that condo to look at banning certain breeds of dogs.

Ask the expert: Brad Lamb on parking
The average price for a parking space in a new condo development is between $40,000 and $75,000.

That is about all Brad Lamb and I agree with.

I believe that the reason the buyers of the smaller condos don't buy a parking spot is that they can't afford one or the developer will not sell one to a buyer of a cheaper unit.

Dream of owning your own home? Get a roommate, says Toronto’s chief planner
Toronto's chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat says its time to lower your expectations.

“Part of it is about expectations. You know, buying a house and renting out two thirds of it and living in one third of it as a way of getting a foothold if you’re interested in ownership in the market.

Historically that’s actually been a really good approach – getting into the market and renting out a portion of your condo. Renting out a room in your condo is a way of bringing your costs down. It means you live in less space. You know, you might need to buy a fixer-upper instead of maybe buying a place that has fancy countertops but I think there are innovative and creative ways to still get into our market.”

Sounds to me that Keesmaat is suggesting that over-crowding small condo units is the way to home ownership. So the future for young people will consist of bicycles, transit and rundown tenement housing.

Should Agents “Hold Back” Offers On Condos?
In this blog David Fleming states just because there are a lot of condos listed for sale, not all are worth buying.

"There are 57 new listings for condos in C01/C08 today, and only a handful I would even consider sending to a client, let alone showing, let alone selling:

That’s 38 of 57 listings that I’m discounting immediately, and this is a good thing if you’re my client.  I’m not putting you in anything risky, over-priced, or that will appreciate at a rate less than the market average.

Maybe I’m more discerning than many agents, and many buyers for that matter.  But I don’t sell crap, and that’s why people like working with me."

Articles from USA
Hidden Harbor Homeowner's Association President indicted
Hamilton County Deputies say John Brian Markee, age 47, turned himself in Friday. after the Hamilton County Grand Jury handed down an indictment charging him with one count of theft over $10,000.00.

The indictment came after a five month investigation conducted by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division.

This is not much of a news story except for one thing. The American police forces will investigate and lay charges when a condo or HOA complains about fraud. In Ontario it seems that this far less likely.

Association Required to Provide Names and Addresses of Delinquent Owners
The Kansas Court of Appeals held that Kansas law requires a homeowners association to disclose the names and addresses of delinquent homeowners. Although this case was decided in Kansas, it could be an indication of how a Washington court might decide a similar issue.

However, there were no privacy protections for delinquent owners, especially when any lawsuit against a delinquent owner for nonpayment would be public record.

The court also stated that the payment of dues was very important to the operation of an association, and disclosure helps the association function by holding owners accountable. For these reasons, the court held that the names and addresses of delinquent owners were not the type of information that could be withheld.
Condo News
21 April 2016

Monday Morning Quarterback: Mortgage Break Fees & “Fairness”
Another interesting blog from David Fleming.

Buyers don't read their mortgage contracts, they do not read the status certificates, the condo declarations, by-laws and rules and so some of them run into trouble.

Calgary's condo surplus during slump tough on investment property owners
Hilliard Macbeth, author of the book When the Bubble Bursts: Surviving the Canadian Real Estate Crash, argues that condos just aren't a good investment.

"There's kind of a myth about investing in condos about price appreciation. All of my research shows that the only thing that really goes up in value is the land value," he said.

"When you talk about condos, there's very little land involved."

Griffintown co-op near condo construction site to be demolished
A Griffintown housing co-operative that was evacuated in a rush is so unstable that residents aren't allowed to retrieve their belongings.

Residents say problems with building started when construction began on condo project next door.

Manitoba Liberal to file complaint after manager blocks access to condo
The campaign manager for Donovan Martin, a Liberal candidate running in the Concordia constituency, is filing an official complaint with Elections Manitoba after being denied entry to a condominium complex at 775 Kimberly Ave. in Winnipeg.

Not surprised that condo managers, who are responsible for insuring condo elections are done honestly and with transparency, seem to hate politicians and their supporters coming to canvass the residents.

Articles from USA
Property manager pleads guilty to condo theft, official says
 "I can't believe that homeowners like myself, hardworking, honest people, can get ripped off that badly... New Jersey has such soft laws on white-collar crime."

"If that's the end of it, that would be outrageous. In the future, people thinking about being criminals will know they can swindle a million dollars, and IF they are caught, it will only cost them a few thousand," condo resident Andrew Seidenfeld said via email.

Condo owners are often victim of fraud because it is such and easy crime to commit and when the crooks are caught, most of the time there are no penalties.—editor

Articles from Asia
‘A-class’ con artists dupe condo buyers
It is not just low to middle income-earners who are robbed of their dream homes by scheming real estate sellers. The well-to-do also fall victim to con artists of high-end reputable developers as this case shows.

In 2007, Fil-Brit couple Andrew and Leonila Gudgeon relocated from the United Kingdom to the Philippines for what they hoped to be their patch of tropical paradise in which to raise their two kids in the genteel surroundings of Bonifacio Global City – only to fall victim to a scam perpetrated by officials of an industry-respected developer.

Why people will buy condos in foreign lands without taking every possible precaution is a mystery to me.

Best possible advice? Don't buy a condo in a foreign country. Rent.

Condo News
21 April 2016

Tenement building
A tenement unit was recently sold in a Mississauga stacked townhouse condo corporation.

Great investment! Positive cash flow. $2.920 a month. All room rented.

With a complete disregard for the declaration's "single-family only" clause, this is definitely a non-licenced rooming house.

Note that the Master Bedroom, at 8 ft by 5 ft, is by far the smallest room in the condo unit; smaller than the kitchen or the laundry.

Urbancorp (Finally) gets slapped with Tarion notice
If Urbancorp was known in the industry as Urbancrap, then why was that kept a secret?

Victoria woman surprised to find own condo listed on Airbnb
Alix Causer-McBurney decided to rent out her suite because she was going to be working out of town for a significant period of time. She found a tenant who signed on for a six-month lease.

Everything seemed fine, Causer-McBurney said, until her brother sent her a listing from the vacation rental site Airbnb.

She was shocked when she saw pictures of her own suite.

VRBO 'luxury villa' turned out to be cockroach-infested 'nightmare'
They kissed their $11,000 away despite all the great reviews and references.

Don't bring back any bedbugs
On vacation bring back nice memories, not these pesky critters. Here are tips to keep bedbugs at bay.

Wish the media would listen to your condo woes?
Submit your story ideas
Go Public is an investigative news segment on CBC-TV, radio and the web.

We tell your stories and hold the powers that be accountable. We want to hear from people across the country with stories they want to make public.

Submit your story ideas at Go Public.
Follow @CBCGoPublic on Twitter.

Articles from USA
Hundreds protest against condo fraud in South Florida
More than 250 South Florida condo residents marched Saturday through the streets of Doral to demand that authorities take steps to stop a wave of fraud hitting their neighborhoods.

With posters, flags and whistles, the group of protesters marched through downtown Doral shouting about alleged abuses by their board of directors and the private companies hired to manage the condominiums.

Austin's newest $60 million condo won't have parking
No parking in Texas? Really?

Will the next James Dean ride a bicycle?

Condo News
18 April 2016

Trump vs Trump
At Trump International Hotel and Tower, the developer is fighting Donald Trump and what it sees as a tainted brand. Trump’s management company is not going quietly.

What I feel is depressing is how the developer owns the majority of the residential units (on top) and the majority of condo hotel units so he has full control of both condo corporations. Therefore the individual owners have no power what-so-ever.

MTCC No. 933 vs ICC et. al
You can read the lawsuit's Notice and the Application here.

Can you opt out of a conditional deal for any reason?
According to David Fleming, the answer is yes. Me? I am not so sure about this. I'd get legal advice before trying it.

Etobicoke drive-by shooting sends man, 18, to trauma centre
CBC News 12 April  2016

An 18-year-old man was rushed to hospital in serious condition after a drive-by shooting in Etobicoke early this morning.

Toronto paramedics say they were called to the Dixon Road and Kipling Avenue area just after 4:30 a.m. for a shooting.

They arrived to find a male victim suffering from a single gunshot wound and transported the 18-year-old to a local trauma centre in serious condition.

Paramedics say that the injury does not appear to be life-threatening.

Then two days later:

Shots fired at security guard booth near Kipling and Dixon

Toronto police investigate after a security guard's booth was shot on April 14, 2016. CITYNEWS.

One of three overnight shootings left bullet holes in a security guard’s booth, but the guard himself was not injured.

It happened on Kipling Avenue north of Dixon Road around 3:20 a.m. on Thursday.

The security guard was inside his booth in the parking lot when someone fired shots. It’s not clear if the guard was the target, or if the gunman was aiming at someone in the parking lot.

No arrests have been made.

This is the security guard booth for condominium YCC # 60 that serves 370, 380 & 390 Dixon Road. I believe that there is a strong possibility that the two shootings are related.

How Much Should My Condo Fees Be?
David Fleming wrote a good article about condo fees in downtown Toronto.

2411 new Street
The owners at the New Landing condo in Burlington have failed to maintain their corporation for many a year and they have spent $500,000 in legal fees suing the builder, engineers, the developer, a real estate agent, their own corporation, their property management company and the city. Now they want the city to buy them out.

Regulations applicable to condominium pools
Toronto's Safe Swimming program, which is modeled on the Save Dining program will inform condo owners and guests if the city inspectors has found issues with a condo's hot tub and swimming pool.

Too bad it is taking so long to get the website up and running.

Toronto rent map shows subway stops determine what you pay
Interesting map on the costs of renting a furnished apartment in Toronto.

Is it shocking that Scarborough is cheaper than downtown?

Burnaby condo owners ordered to pay fines for 'unacceptable' behaviour
A couple accused of screaming bigoted and obscene taunts at their neighbours and smearing dog feces on doors in their Burnaby condo complex have been ordered to fork over thousands of dollars in unpaid strata (condo) fines.

City of Vancouver wades into heated short-term rentals debate
Both sides of the question give their views but condo owners will want to scroll down the page to "Canary in the coal mine" that describes how an owner whose family rents out 20% of the condo's units on Airbnb took control of the condo board.

Articles from USA
Be wary of restrictions on major interior repairs
A condo townhouse owner lives in a corporation that has termites. The board refuses to treat the whole complex as they think it is an individual unit problem.

Termites is something that owners of wood frame condos, (townhouses and stacked townhouses) need to be aware of. Although little is said about it, Toronto has termites.

Condo News
13 April 2016

Canadians for Properly Built Homes
We wanted to let you know about this petition we just started on, "Kathleen Wynne: End Tarion’s new home warranty monopoly NOW: Give home buyers a choice!"

We need your help.  Please sign and forward to others to sign, too!
Thank you!
Canadians for Properly Built Homes

You can read more about it and sign the petition here:

Zero fee increase this year
A reader sent me a status certificate to take a look at.

The directors at this condo must be financial geniuses. How did they do this?

Oh! Now I get it. They are not financial whiz-kids after all.

So if they have to have a special assessment to cover an existing deficit, then how is a zero monthly fee increase going to help anything but create the need for another special assessment by the end of 2017, if not sooner?

Toronto considers apartment licensing to crack down on bad landlords
City council set to explore a “Rent Safe” landlord licensing system to improve tenant quality of life.

Condos and co-ops would be excluded.

Condo sues property manager alleging theft and mismanagement—again
This appears to be an unusual lawsuit. It is took a very long time to find its legs. The Notice of Claim was filed in November and the defendants have not yet been served. The management company is listed as a defendant yet it still manages the property.

Justice Denied: Huge legal bills push many to self-represent in court
This is never a good idea. However some condo owners may have to self-defend as the costs of retaining a lawyer are just too high.

Real estate 'chaos' sends millennials scrambling before they're priced out
The average price of a detached home in Toronto is now nearly $1.2 million, and a semi-detached costs more than $800,000. Further, about 71.4 per cent of household income is needed to cover the costs of the average family home in the city.

Dumb and dangerous: Alberta thief risks fiery death by puncturing fuel tanks to steal gas
The crime in question involved an unknown thief who crawled under five pickup trucks in a condominium parking lot in order to puncture their gas tanks and collect the gasoline that poured out.

Residents noticed the crime the next morning when their parking lot was covered in spilled gasoline — and drivers who had recently filled up noticed that their fuel gauges were now reading “empty.

Your Future Home Will Be Designed For Sharing (By Airbnb)
The rental company is considering the next step: designing spaces made specifically for homeowners who want to easily rent out spare rooms.

Og my gosh. I hope this will not include designs for condo units.

Condo News
10 April 2016

Homebuyers ask questions as Toronto-based Urbancorp’s troubles keep piling up
More bad news about this builder. My question is why did it take so long for the industry to catch on that Urbancorp was so bad.

Urbanation Review of CMHC Investor Survey Results
"The latest CMHC survey release on Condo Owners in Toronto and Vancouver unfortunately sheds very little light on investors of new condos, who have been driving market activity over the past several years. In fact, when combined with other related data, and performing some residual calculations, the survey results actually show a very large gap in information on condo investors."

I agree with Urbanation. No one knows how many condo units in Toronto are being bought to be rented long term (one year or more), how many are being rented by the month, how many are purchased to be rented as hotel-suites and how many are bought to be owner residences.

Woman struck and robbed of BMW in her building’s underground parking garage in Galloway, Lawrence area
This kind of crime is rare but it is something we all need to be aware of. Security cameras can only show what happened when they are viewed later.

Chances that a security guard, if you have one, has seen a vehicle tailgate behind a resident and recognized it as a security threat is slight.

B.C. politicians dealing with competing interests in Airbnb debate
Sure they are. Those who want to rent their condo units out on Airbnb are looking to maximized their private income.

In a detached house that is fine but in a condo, you are in a shared property, with shared costs and individual interests have to yield to the best interests of the rest of the condo community.

Unfinished condos in Columbia Valley declared a 'nuisance property'
They look like a modern western "ghost town" that's just waiting for a movie production.

Articles from USA
Willowbrook residents sue to block condo sales
This is an alleged attempt of "blockbusting"a condo corporation by driving the existing owners out by some very unethical means.

The complaint alleges 16 counts including fraud, unjust enrichment, deceptive business practices and criminal conspiracy against real estate broker Daniel Berger and others who allegedly orchestrated a hostile takeover of the property in order to auction it to a developer.

Condo News
07 April 2016

Urbancorp warned over warranty claims, financial health
Tarion Warranty Corp. filed notice it could revoke registration for 17 Urbancorp companies.

Tarion has set up a special customer service team to specifically serve Urbancorp home buyers and home owners at 1-877-982-7466.

David Fleming wrote about Urbancorp. They were never his favourite builder.

Urbancorp’s financial issues unnerve investors in Israel
This Globe and Mail article is full of bad news about Urbancorp.

Developer donations influence local election outcomes, study finds
An amazing scientific discovery. We would have never had suspected? Coming soon: a study to determine if Ontario bears poop in the woods.

2 cats die, 3 condos destroyed in fire in Regina
Regina fire services is warning smokers not to use plastic flower pots or planters as ash trays, after two cats died and three condos were destroyed in a fire in Regina's Glencairn neighbourhood overnight.

The fire broke out shortly before midnight on the back patio of one unit at 3750 7th Ave. E. on the east side of the city, crews said.

Small claims and strata disputes to move online
In BC, soon you will be able to settle squabbles without setting foot in a courthouse.

North Vancouver condo sold for $500,000 below value in 'double-ending' sale
The neighbours are upset because they think the price was too low. There would be no complaining if the unit sold for $500,000 too high.

Articles from USA
Mom and son ‘stoners’ are ruining our Central Park West pad
The board of 400 Central Park West is suing the residents of Unit 1S, occupied by Josefina Henriquez-Berman, saying the apartment is a virtual smokestack.

Henriquez-Berman, 65, who lives in the building on West 100th Street with her son Charlie Berman, 33, has been fined 20 times for marijuana smoke and loud noises since 2011, according to court papers.

One-bedrooms in the 414-unit building go for around $1.5 million.

Disabled woman fighting condo’s one-cat-only rule
The two cats were fine until the disabled elderly woman won authority from the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission to install a ramp to her front door.

Colainanni’s lawyer, Karen Copeland, said Colaianni had a doctor’s note saying the 9-year-old cats served as “emotional support animals” and called the demand that she keep only one “unthinkable and heartless.”

'Hoverboard' catches fire inside Arlington condo
This is far from the first time one of the hoverboards has caught fire, and the Arlington Fire Department is now warning owners to use caution with the machines. Citing the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the department asks users to charge the boards in an open area, away from any combustible materials.

Matthew W. Heron, an attorney with the law firm of Cummings, McClorey, Davis & Acho, P.L.C. wrote an article on how condo boards can best protect themselves from fires and accidents from the use of "hoverboards"

Minneapolis condo owners threatened with $5,000 fine for Super Bowl rentals
US Bank Stadium is still months away from completion and nearly two years away from hosting Super Bowl LII, yet listings for places to stay are already popping up on sites like VRBO and Airbnb.

At least one is asking $4,000 a night for a one-bedroom, one-bath condo in downtown Minneapolis for the weekend, but the listings are getting some condo owners in hot water.

Articles from Asia
Japan's oldest condominium building to be demolished
Built in 1953, Japan had their first condo 14 years before Ontario. What's more, it was a mid-size, mixed-use condo. The first floor had retail shops, then there was three stories of offices with residential units sitting on top.

So what we think is modern thinking, is not all that new at all.

Condo News
04 April 2016

Car-free condos on the rise in Toronto
Just the second car-free condo in the city and it will have only 14 up-scale residential units. At this point this "wave of the future" is still just a novelty.

Fee for land transfer registration amounts to tax on a tax
This new fee amounts to a further tax on top of the municipal land transfer tax. But since the fee itself is subject to HST, Ontario property purchasers are being charged a tax on a tax on a tax.

No-rentals rule frustrates White Rock suite owners
A no-rentals by-law that is legal in BC is not legal in Ontario. It is surprising how different the provincial Condo Acts are.

Vancouver needs new bylaws for Airbnb crackdown, says councillor
I can't see this being a big deal. All you need to do is insure they meet hotel-industry standards for fire and occupancy standards. Fire sprinklers, handicap bathrooms and door sizes, lever-style door handles, fire resistant furniture and drapes, etc, etc.

Articles from USA
Another Condo Bust Looms in Miami
Developers, seeing sharp drop in sales, inventory surge, take steps to avoid a ‘bloodbath’

This guy lives in An 8-foot box inside of an apartment to save on rent
The plywood box is unique but "private spaces" whether a shower curtain placed in front of a "den" or a couple of mattresses on the floor are far more common in small Vancouver and Toronto condo units than you may realize.

High rents are causing condos to become "invisible" tenement buildings.

Condo boards should work smarter, not harder
Good advice from a column in the Chicago Tribune.

With short-term vacation rentals at stake, board elected for Oxnard Shores homeowners group
A battle over short-term rentals has record numbers coming out to fight for control of the board.

Most of the election battles I see is between the ones wanting low fees and those who want to maintain the building. However, fights between "investors", who think their unit is a private business, and resident-owners, who resent short-term renters is another battleground.

Condo News
01 April 2016

Toronto petition seeks to prevent dogs being left on balconies
Nicole Simone, a self-described animal lover and the woman behind the Redemption Dogs photo series, has created a petition calling on the city to make it illegal for dog owners to leave pets unattended on a balcony for longer than an hour.

“A balcony is not a yard,” she said, noting dogs stranded on balconies can face extreme weather conditions, violate noise bylaws, damage property by defecating or urinating — or even fall to their deaths.

Increased fines for specific illegal parking on Toronto roads
In support of the City of Toronto's congestion management plan, fines for certain types of illegal parking have been increased effective  01 March 2016.

Parking ticket fines will rise to $150, including for the following four illegal parking practices that add to congestion and pose safety concerns:
• blocking sidewalks
• engaging in double parking
• standing in TTC zones, and
• blocking high-occupancy/reserved vehicle lanes (HOV lanes).

Ten Important Tips for tenants
Good tips for condo tenants and landlords too.

GTA housing developers targeting golf courses
For years, golf courses were seen as an assurance that there would always be green space nearby. And many residents say they paid a premium to have their home back onto pristine green space, even at the risk of the odd golf ball hitting their window.

But in recent years, the city’s hot housing market—and a downswing in the number of new golfers—has turned sprawling GTA golf courses into lucrative real estate investments.

Money for refugees lost gambling, says Catholic Church in London
Lesson here for condo directors and owners? Make sure no one person has control of the finances. Two signatures must be required on all cheques.

Articles from USA
Benefits of volunteering in your condo (or HOA)
Being a volunteer director, or a committee member, is not only a way to add value to your home but it can make you a better person.

Better Condo Life
A condo director's blog on condo living for directors and owners. Very well written.

Condo Fraud Alert
A property management company in Florida has a website that exposes a racket by a court appointed blanket receivers in southern Florida.

Condo News
28 March 2016

Tory wants waste-diverting condo to be model for city
Mayor John Tory wants to spread the waste diversion lessons from a Scarborough condominium to highrises across Toronto.

Tarion Review—consultations
The Honourable Justice Douglas Cunningham, QC has been appointed as a special advisor to review protections for owners of new homes and identify opportunities to improve consumer protection.

The ministry has released the dates for industry/organization consultations (which include condo corporations and homeowner advocacy groups) and the dates for the public consultations with J. Douglas Cunningham.

If you have purchased a unit in a poorly built new condo, and got little or no satisfaction from Tarion, this may be your opportunity to help others avoid similar problems.

You can find the dates and locations for these meetings if you on this page from the ministry's website.

Second-hand smoke in rental units  (including condos)
Here are the guidlines from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Quebec woman living in deplorable conditions after condo flooding
She said if the Sunnybrook Village condo association doesn’t act fast, she will have no choice but to take matters into her own hands.

“I’m gonna stop paying them my condo fees,” said Nazarian. “And that’s that. For now.”

The condo president and the property management should have been more helpful even if they just suggested that she rent large air dryers to dry out her apartment and prevent mould. (That tiny fan they lent her won't do much, if anything.)

Not paying her condo fees? That is a VERY, VERY bad idea. This woman needs to consult with a lawyer that is experienced in condo law to find out what she should be doing.

Articles from USA
The Miami Herald Editorial Board has called for investigations into condominium abuses in southern Florida. In an editorial it states:
"Miami-Dade Commissioner Bruno Barreiro is calling for the creation of an elite unit, including police departments, assigned to curb abuses by condo associations."

This follows a three-part series on investigations of several Florida condos were there are allegations of election fraud, corruption and fraud.

The newspaper goes on to say:
"Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle can, and should, impanel a grand jury to focus on condo-association abuses. And the state should also exercise stricter supervision."

It would be hard to overstate the seriousness of these allegations. They touch condo directors, management companies, contractors, court-appointed receivers and involve shady practices that have gone on for years.

Questions arise over bids in condo roofing repairs
“Unfortunately, the bidding procedures in condos can be easily manipulated, and that is very common in Miami,” said José Pazos, owner of Pazos Robaina Association Management, a company that manages condos.

Condo board—and owners—failed their duties by not uncovering alleged embezzlement
A California lawyer and an arbitrator writes:
"But for the board's failure to adequately supervise and diligently uncover mismanagement and theft, let alone catch this employee's misconduct, it would not be forced to raise assessments so it can continue to do business.

Substantially raising assessments to this extent places all titleholders at risk, but owners are not without fault. A systematic review of association books and records by every titleholder, or even the denial of requests for documents, may have alerted owners that something was wrong.

Owners who sit back and think the board is handling it all have a rude awakening that their "everything's OK" attitude is misplaced. A responsible owner shares the board's responsibilities by acting as a watchdog for association resources and waste. This is accomplished by making regular document demands."

Well this is quite the warning isn't it?

Condo News
24 March 2016

Part 1—Noisy Airbnb renters raise ire of Willowdale residents
This is the Toronto Star article from March 2015.

Part 2—Man shot in the head during party in house advertised on Airbnb, VRBO
This is the Toronto Star article a year later, March 2016. Same house.

There are condo skyscrapers in downtown Toronto where a 100 residential units, out of 680, are short-term rentals. Potential purchasers better be aware of these tips before buying.

Condo Furniture: Small Space Desks For Your At Home Office
The flip-down desk idea has potential but can anyone in a small condo unit afford to give up a closet to gain a tiny office?

Articles from USA
Owners sue HOA, Hargray for alleged illegal kickback deal
Some Lowcountry neighbors are taking their cable company, Hargray, and homeowner’s association’s (HOA) officers at D.R. Horton to court. They’re suing the two companies, accusing them of an illegal kickback deal.

Condo boards should work smarter, not harder
When meetings at your community association run on for hours. When unexpected bills mount up. When civility has been forgotten. It's time for board members to work smarter, not harder.

Very good advice for all condo boards.

Idaho lawmakers want to forbid homeowner groups from blocking AirBnB rentals
They should have read the two articles above from the Toronto Star.

Man survives 11-story fall into shallow pool at Florida condos

Articles from Asia
The Shanghai real estate bubble
Oh my gosh, if you think Vancouver and Toronto has a residential condo bubble, you know little about China.

There are signs that a real-estate bubble is bloating once again, fueled by monetary stimulus and a loosening of property requirements stipulated by the government.

"When I was in Shanghai earlier this month, prospective buyers were lined up for blocks outside property agents’ offices, the lines so long that they blocked traffic. The Party’s official mouthpiece, the Xinhua News Agency, began to warn against “panic” buying, and Shanghai’s municipal government issued a call for cool-headedness on its Weibo microblog account."

Ren Zhiqiang, a real-estate tycoon and influential microblogger has thirty-seven million followers. (Canada has a population of 36 million.)

Apartments near top Beijing school selling for almost 100,000 yuan per square metre
A residential district next to an elite primary school in Beijing was given the name "the centre of the universe" by Chinese netizens because of its unbelievable real estate prices. According to National Business Daily a 22 year old, 37 square metre residence in "the centre of the universe" sold for 3.5 million yuan (or approximately 95,000 yuan per square metre).

That works out to about $1,700 a square foot.

The Chinese will pay as much as they can afford, and then some, to give their child an advantage in getting the best possible education.

Kazakhstan bars smartphones at government offices to prevent leaks: leaked memo
So a leaked memo informs the world about a government plan to stop leaks. Some condo boards may need to adopt this policy when discussing sensitive board issues.

Chongqing woman falls to death from 24th floor after balcony gives way while watching snow
A woman from Chongqing has fallen to her death after the guardrail on her balcony gave way as she was outside appreciating the snow.

A guardrail from her balcony was found on the ground beside her body, leading authorities to speculate that the 49-year-old must have been leaning over the balcony to take in views of the snow before it gave way and led to her fall.

3-year-old girl falls from third floor window due to her smartphone addicted dad's negligence
A 3-year-old Zhejiang girl is in life-threatening condition after falling from the third floor of an apartment building earlier this week while her father was too immersed in a game on his smartphone to watch over her.

Think none of this can happen in Canada? Sure it can.

Condo News
17 March 2016

Tarion Review Town Hall Meetings
Have construction problems with your newly built condo? Been jerked around by the builder and Tarion? Here is your chance to be heard.

Dates and locations for the town hall meetings with Mr. Cunningham, who has been tasked with reviewing the present Tarion warranty for new homes, including condominiums, have been scheduled as follows:

April 13, 2016, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Ramada Hotel
Room: Metro
300 Jarvis Street, Toronto, ON M5B 2C5

April 14, 2016, 6:00pm – 8:00 pm
Hilton Garden Inn Mississauga, Room: Ontario
100 Traders Boul, Mississauga, ON L4Z 2H7

May 18, 2016, 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Quality Inn Hotel and Conference Center
Room: Durham North and Center
011 Bloor Street East, Oshawa, ON L1H 7K6

Thunder Bay
May 19, 2016, 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Valhalla Inn
Room: Odin
1 Valhalla Inn Road, Thunder Bay, ON P7E 6J1

May 24, 2016, 6:00pm – 8:00 pm
Courtyard London, Room: South Wellington

May 25, 2016, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Scotiabank Convention Center
Room: 200 Series
6815 Stanley Av, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3Y9

May 26, 2016, 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Quality Inn Hotel and Conference Center Downtown
Room: Senator
390 Elgin Street South, Sudbury, ON P3B 1B1

May 31, 2016, 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Ramada Ottawa on the Rideau
Room: Rideau
2259 Prince of Wales Dr, Ottawa, ON K2E 6Z8

Those planning to attend have been asked to send their RSVP to:

Affordable housing units coming to all new condo projects?
It sure sounds like it. All new rental buildings too. But what about detached housing developments? Who will end up paying for this and what will the term affordable housing actually mean?

We will have to wait and see. These changes are a couple years in the future.

Ontario looks to close loophole on energy standards for buildings
To address that loophole, the Ontario legislature is currently considering legislation, now in third reading, that will force building owners and developers to disclose the actual energy performance of their structures, as is now done in jurisdictions such as Boston, San Francisco and New York.

Bid‑rigging scheme leads to $140,000 fines for Quebec company and its President
Second guilty plea in residential construction bid‑rigging scheme in Montreal.

Mr. Raby admitted that he had secretly participated in the coordination of his bid with competitors to pre‑determine the winner of the contract.

To date, one other company, Les Entreprises Promécanic Ltée, pleaded guilty for its participation in this bid‑rigging scheme. The companies and individual were fined a total of $565,000.

Bid‑rigging is a serious criminal offence that harms all Canadians by reducing competition. Consumers and businesses have a right to expect a competitive marketplace that encourages continuing innovation, low prices, high quality services and products, and greater efficiency.

City orders Winnipeg builder to fix condo flaws
One of the city's large homebuilders has been ordered to repair hundreds of deficiencies in a Richmond West condominium project.

A civic committee Friday rejected an appeal from A & S Construction, involving 260 construction issues at 56 units at the condominium on Keslar Road.

City officials said they became aware their staff had not carried out inspections after unit owners contacted the city in February 2015, complaining about shoddy construction work — which included lack of attic insulation, poorly insulated dryer vents and improperly insulated dryer vents — and subsequently issued the work orders after A & S refused to do remedial work cited by city inspectors.

Balconies not safe for cats
Butterball explains why you should never let your cat go on your balcony.

Articles from USA
How to Successfully Live Under a Homeowners Association
You may own your home, but your HOA calls most of the shots.

Some good advice here. Especially the part about staying out of court.

Condo News
14 March 2016

Condo buyers caught off guard by sky-high closing costs
"We said, 'No, you don't want it, walk away.' They didn't walk away," Lapoyan said. "They wanted the unit and we delivered. So now it's time to pay."

Toronto Community Housing: Thousands of units could close due to lack of cash for repairs
Housing corporation has already closed 400 units deemed unfit for people to live in.

I have seen a few older condos in the GTA that are creeping up to this level of neglect. Condo owners need to wake up. Major repairs to roofs, underground garages, windows, the building envelop and hot water pipes must be made.

Construction company fighting order to repair condos
A Winnipeg building firm says it shouldn’t have to fix alleged defects on a condo building because of a multi-year inspection backlog at the city.

The city is ordering A & S Construction to repair a number of problems with 56 units of a condo complex in Richmond West.

Documents say, in many cases, requirements for insulation have not been met, material used to vent dryers is incorrect, and access doors to attics have not been weather stripped.

Articles from USA
Dozens of Lowcountry homeowners associations sue property manager
"I only took money from the ones I could get away with."
This quote says it all. If the directors and owners makes it easy to steal, they will become victims.

Washington condo builder reaps sales with grow closets for pot
What an interesting feature to have in a new condo. Of course the chances of break-ins and home invasions may become a big security problem.

Condo News
11 March 2016

Tenants awarded $30,000 over vulgar posters, tribunal rules
The anonymous messages, put up over several months in 2012 in the co-op building, targeted several residents.

The board did not move fast enough to end the harassment by an unknown poster. It seems that members of the old board were targeted by someone.

Condo fire exposes need for education, prevention officers say
Management, owners and tenants all have responsibilities for fire safety in buildings. A fire that hit Kitchener's Kaufman Lofts last week has revealed a lack of appropriate safety knowledge among condo dwellers.

Rise in Airbnb renters causes security concerns for Edmonton condo-dwellers
Condo boards unprepared for revolving doors of short-term tenants, says Edmonton lawyer

Spring Walk Around- Condo Style—CCI Seminar
A great idea for a seminar that is being held in Edmonton. The cost is very reasonable too.

Articles from USA
Illinois Condominium & HOA Report Reveals 50,000 Associations
This survey of condos/HOAs in Illinois is a waelth of information about the sizes and  locations of all the condos and HOAs in the state.

Mastermind of $300 million fraud involving Clearwater condos gets 40 years in prison
For a few heady years, Fred Davis Clark Jr. enjoyed the perks of an ill-gotten success — aircraft, yachts, waterfront homes.

But now Clark likely will spend the rest of his life behind bars for masterminding a $300 million fraud scheme involving condos in Clearwater and other vacation spots.

Article from Spain
There's A Lesson In Spain's Surreal, Unfinished Cities
The financial crisis left scores of abandoned development projects and showed the consequences of "speculative urbanization."

Condo News
07 March 2016

Police find missing three-year-old
Jaitra Pakala was found in a vacant unit of his apartment building a couple of floors down from his own. He went missing at around 6:20 p.m. at 25 Telegram Mews when he didn’t follow his family out of an elevator.

More than 100 police officers were dispatched Friday night in the search of the boy. Police said late Friday that he was now safe and was reunited with his family.

Lessons here?
There is two of them. Lesson One; while in a tall condo bldg elevator, keep an eye on your purse, your keys and your child. Lesson Two; lock your door.

It is common for highrise condo residents not to lock their doors. I can think of a couple reasons for that. Some think that they live in a secure building and others are stuffing three to six people in a one bedroom unit so not everyone has FOBs or keys. (How else can they afford the rent?)

NSF cheques on the increase

‘Saw this visiting friend’s upscale condo in Toronto.’ – Blog Dog Jeremy

This photo, from Garth Turner's blog The Greater Fool, shows that some condo owners in Toronto may be living from paycheque to paycheque. Not a good sign.

Condo owner must pay for meter or unplug electric car
Ottawa man offered to pay for all the added hydro costs caused by electric vehicle

The Condo Construction Boom At Yonge & Eglinton
David Fleming writes about the 9,400 plus new condo and rental units coming on the market near the corner of Yonge and Elginton.

British Columbia a lesson in economic incompetence
Flipping property has become the only profitable business in town. This is how one writer for the South China Morning Post sees Vancouver.

A house in the Point Grey neighbourhood of Vancouver, British Columbia, that was built in 1930 and recently listed for sale for C$2.4 million. Photo: AP

Articles from USA
Woman convicted of looting homeowners associations in Simi Valley, Calabasas
The owner of a  California property management company found guilty and probably going to prison. Her financial officer served 180 days in jail and testified against her former boss.

Former HOA accountant pleads guilty
A former bookkeeper for a homeowners association pleaded guilty today to using the HOA’s money as his personal piggy bank.

The plea deal was announced in Pima County Superior Court. Former HOA accountant Joshua Bonillas changed his plea from not guilty, admitted he stole $45,000 from the HOA to pay his bills, and agreed to pay it back.

Condo owners: Hotel will block views
One resident, Michael Maschio, said after the meeting that the real estate agent who showed him Two City Plaza indicated nothing would be built in the vacant lot to the west. A number of his neighbors have told him they were told the same, he said. Now his view toward Clear Lake will be blocked, he said.

Condo buyers believed a real estate agent when he said a vacant lot would not be developed?

Condo News
01 March 2016

Condo fraud case back in court next month
Rhonda McCarthy, 41, of Springwater Township faces more than 50 charges connected to alleged fraudulent financial activity involving several condominium corporations in Collingwood, The Blue Mountains, and Barrie.

A successful condo termination in BC
The termination of this condo was a possible because it was a small corporation on a desirable piece of land that could support far more density, the developer could easily afford to pay a premium for the units and the owners allowed the property to be so run down that they could not afford to maintain it.

The larger condos in the less desirable locations of the GTA, that are starting to fall apart, will not be so lucky.

Another excellent condo newspaper question & answer column by Robert Noce. It answers questions about Alberta condo issues but is worth reading by owners throughout North America.

I need my own computer
Another interesting column by Butterball, our Condo Cat Columnist.

Riverview landlord warns others after tenant leaves 'disgusting' mess
So you want to be a landlord do you?

Articles from USA
20 forced from condo complex deemed uninhabitable
This very small Rhode Island condominium has hit rock bottom. Termination is a certainty.

Letter from a reader
I can't tell you enough about how much your emails are informative on condo buying, renting or living in them. Superb and I wish I had access before I bought and lost money on two condos

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