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Condo News
31 May 2018

I am being criminally harassed by a person in my condo building. I have installed a doorbell camera. Condo board wants it gone.
“I presume the doorbell camera has been installed on the common elements. Owners are not allowed to make any alterations to the common elements without first obtaining the consent of the Board. The Board does not have to consent to same. I would  suggest approaching the board again and this time explain the situation and see if they are willing to consent.”

How Mississauga's 10-tower, $1.5B condo complex could reshape the city's future
The first two towers of the complex are scheduled to be completed in 2021, one year before the scheduled opening of the Hurontario LRT, which will include a stop just blocks from M City.

What will make T.O. condo investors less bullish?
A study released this year by CIBC and Urbanation revealed that a significant portion of investors who are renting out their new condominium apartment units in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) are cash-flow negative, and people are questioning whether investing in new condos still makes sense. With unprecedented new condo price growth, a record number of new high-rise apartments under construction, rising interest rates, a foreign buyers’ tax, rent control, and a higher minimum wage putting upward pressure on monthly condo fees, what will be the straw that breaks the condo investor’s back?

The Ontario Condominium Authority Tribunal - Why is it still so limited?
A good question that was posted in an e-mail by Shawn Pulver, a Toronto lawyer experienced in condominium law. I suspect that many condo owners are wondering about this.

Canlii Decisions
The CAT decisions page is now on Canlii. As you can see, so far there are no decisions. Nothing. What a big disappointment.

Red Deer condo owner frustrated by property crime told to take down cameras
For the fourth time this month, Christopher Neitz woke up to his vehicle being the target of a crime.

Pampering the pups: Why dog-washing stations are a must-have in multifamily developments
Dog ownership has risen 29% in the past decade, claims pet-food market researcher Packaged Facts. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, singles and renters make up the fastest-growing group of new dog owners.

Can we force an audit?
The condo laws in Massachusetts is different than in Ontario. However, the bottom line is the same:
“Of course, if all else fails, you can try to get your fellow owners to vote in a new board.”

Florida homeowners association pays up after woman loses leg to snake bite
Florida attorney Brent Reitman and partner Joseph Slama reached a $5 million settlement with the home owners association and the property management company.

Their client, a Silver Shores resident, was headed outside when a water moccasin hiding in the track of her sliding glass door bit her big toe.

Australian unit owners call for cladding cost bailout
Mr Barnard, who represents 1.1 million Queenslanders living in apartments and units, said many private building owners were mums and dads who did not have the estimated $30,000 to $60,000 required to fix any property found to have the cladding.

'Water everywhere': Flooding forces Southbank apartment evacuation
More than 120 people staying at an apartment block in Melbourne's Central Business District have been evacuated after a man let off fire hydrants on 18 floors, causing thousands of litres of water to flood the building.

Condo meetings

Condo News
25 May 2018
Businesses in ‘ghost town’ condo mall suing developer Canderel Residential
“I keep losing money every day, actually,” said Wong, who paid about $356,000 for his condo in 2013. “There is no traffic at all going through our floor. It makes business very difficult for all the owners. Most of us have been suffering since day one."

CMRAO Public Registry
The public registry contains information on condominium managers and condominium management companies licensed to provide condominium management services in Ontario. You may search the registry by name or by licence number. Licensees are required to keep their information accurate and current.

Condo board loses bid to stop proxies, communication with owners
A vacation condo corporation faced a requistion meeting to remove teh directors. In response, they went to Superior court to get order that would:
• prevent the use of proxies.
• prevent the requistionist from communicating with the owners.
The board failed, the meeting will proceed and the owner got costs.

Thoughts on condo association board ethics training
This blogger things the training is useful but weak.

Toronto plan puts focus on two- and three-bedroom residential units
The city is planning to force developers to build two & three bedroom condo units in all new downtown condo towers.
I'd like to know what the developers think of this.

Elevators a let-down for Toronto condo dwellers
While you might think people in this situation might be yelling from the rooftops looking for help, in recent days the condo board at 59 East Liberty has urged the opposite, telling residents not to tweet, not to talk to media, not to make waves. And while The Globe spoke to multiple residents who were only too happy to vent grievances, none wished to go on the record and some were desperate not to be seen as the squeaky wheel that drew unwanted attention, which some feared might hurt the resale value of the building.

Condo boards racing to clamp down on cannabis before pot becomes legal
Late last week, Goldview Property Management, the company that runs OneEleven Condos in the King West neighbourhood, informed its residents of new rules governing the use of cannabis.
Among them: no smoking or growing pot inside units and common areas, including on balconies and patios, and no deliveries of pot to the building.

Toronto-area millennials want their own backyards, report says
There are one million millennials still living with their parents in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, and over the next decade, 700,000 of them will be looking to move into their own houses, according to a report released Tuesday.

Tips for navigating a condo association insurance casualty
A good article on why condo insurance can be so troublesome.

New York judge orders man, 30, to move out of family home after parents sue
Pretty bad when you have to go to superior court to throw your son out of your house.

Condo News
21 May 2018

Cannabis in Condos – CAI Canada’s Informational Seminar
This 14 June 2018 seminar is awful close to the date when cannabis will become legal. If your condo expects toking problems, there is not much time to lose.

Two men wanted for allegedly stealing jewelry, clothes and cheques from downtown Airbnb condo
Toronto police are looking for two men wanted for allegedly stealing from an Airbnb-rented condominium unit in downtown Toronto.
Police said one of the men rented a condominium unit on Richmond St. W. and Simcoe St. from a woman on Airbnb on the evening of Feb. 3.
Lessons here? Don't leave valuables in your condo when you rent to strangers.

TREB & Urbanation Data for rentals is shit
An experienced renatl property manager gives seven reasons for us to mistrust the published data on how much condo rents are climbing in Toronto.

What is a 'small dog' anyway? Little guy wins big strata (condo) battle
A North Vancouver condo owner gets to keep his golden retriever after successfully arguing the 'small dog' bylaw was too vague.

Battle for the ballot: Inside the bitter nominations that divided the Ontario PCs
So there were forged proxies, the leadership rigging rules, playing games with the election dates and selecting the people who control the registration desks.
Candidates having trouble getting a copy of the membership lists so they can canvas the membership for support. Expensive lawsuits to try to get an honest election.
Nothing here that's new to many condo owners who have tried to get elected to their board of directors.
If there are jobs, power and/or money involved, ethics quickly gets kicked out the window.

HOAs: Overzealous busybodies or valuable neighborhood protectors?
Condos and HOAs both have directors; some good and some bad. It depends on so many different things.

Florida teacher caught going through condo mail
A Monroe County teacher was arrested on a theft charge Tuesday after detectives say security camera footage from a condominium shows her stealing a resident's beauty supplies that were just delivered to the complex's mail room.

Florida mobile home owners forced to move out
Owning a mobile home on a rented lot is risky. When investors buy the land, you got to move with only a few months notice.
Moving a mobile home to a new location is out of the question for most owners. For starter, moving a trailer home even a few miles can cost thousands of dollars. The cost of a long-distance move can exceed $10,000. And that assumes that the owner can locate a suitable piece of land, zoned for a mobile home, with access to utilities, and affordable rent.
The mobile home owners usually move out with next to nothing.

Our apartment buildings could very soon be invaded, thanks to Airbnb
Sydney Australia: We know the government is considering an option to limit the number of days that you can “Airbnb” a property, but this causes new problems.
There are already stories about people being forced to sign 11-month leases so that landlords can cash in on extra Airbnb rates at Christmas time. Limiting the number of days you can rent a place on Airbnb would encourage this further.
I'm not sure this could happen in Ontario.—CondoMadness

Condo News
17 May 2018

Man dead after shooting at Airbnb rental in Vaughan
Police have a suspect in custody and are searching for another after a man was shot and killed at an Airbnb rental in Vaughan (a suburb of Toronto) early Saturday morning.

Condo insurance confusion
A Toronto condo owner who repaired damage from a leaky pipe is having trouble getting reimbursed for thousands of dollars.

Toronto Water says $2,500 bill caused by leaking toilet, Scarborough man disagrees
Without knowing it, a Scarborough man may have been flushing thousands of dollars down the toilet.
Leaky toilets can cost a condo $800 a month per toilet in excess water bills.

Man seriously burned testing camping equipment in North York apartment
A man is in hospital with serious burns after accidentally starting a fire in an 18th floor apartment building in North York. Police said the man was testing his camping equipment in preparation for a camping trip.

Toronto wants to make condos more dog friendly
As city dwellers compete for green space, high-rise developers are starting to cater to canines.

Ontario's new organic waste plan puts focus on composting in highrises
So far, it is just a plan. Let's see which political party gets elected in June.

'The Airbnb for hourly paid work': How a Toronto app is feeding the gig economy
Hyr, an app connecting restaurants with temporary workers, is expanding to include retail later this month.
Can temporary condo cleaners, superintendents and security guards be added sometime soon?

Condo board ramps up security following suspicious fires at southeast complex
Calgary: Two fires and a pulled fire alarm station has a condo increasing security.

Why a whopping 6,500 condo units are being built in Calgary right now
It's because the developers are sure they will be able to sell them.

See Ya! Local millennials are abandoning Toronto and Vancouver
Maybe a few are but I don't think it is a stampede. To get by, many young people are sharing one & two bedroom condos & living in basements.

NYC: Artist faces eviction after renting out loft through Airbnb
Landlord Robert Moskowitz says Hickey made $4,500 a month by renting her Manhattan loft to visitors at triple what she pays and she violated state
laws against short-term renting and profiting off rent-stabilized apartments.

The Vision thing
Too many boards think their mission is to keep fees low, period. Ironically, the mindset that this engenders pretty much guarantees that in the end, everyone will pay more.

Condo News
13 May 2018

News from Fairbnb
Please note: The Fairbnb team has moved from our previous union to Unifor in early January. While we can still be reached at fairbnb@fairbnb.ca, my new work email address is twieditz@unifor7575.org. Please update your contact information, if necessary. 

On December 7, 2017, and January 31, 2018, City of Toronto Council approved the bylaw and short-term rental regulation we have fought for.

The new rules require short-term rental operators to register with the City and limit short-term rental use to an operator's principal residence. The new rules also require short-term rental companies to obtain a licence with the City and pay a Municipal Accommodation Tax of 4%. The new rules were planned to come into force on June 1, 2018.

Unfortunately, the City of Toronto's zoning bylaw amendments to permit short-term rentals as a use have been appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) by four individual home owners.

The OMB has scheduled a two-day hearing on August 30 and 31, 2018.  The City of Toronto does not expect to receive a decision from the OMB for at least eight weeks after the hearing. Therefore, the new rules will not come into force on June 1, 2018. Given that the City needs to provide notice once it receives a decision from the OMB, we are not hopeful that we will see any implementation/enforcement until sometime in 2019.

We are currently considering options to participate in the hearing process and other ways to make sure that the rules will come into effect as soon as possible.

As always, thank you for your support and please get in touch with us with any questions or concerns.
Thorben Wieditz

For more information:

Condo News
12 May 2018

CIBC: Over 44% of Toronto condo investors don’t get enough rent to cover the mortgage
The landlords are speculators so that is okay as long as:
• condo prices continue to rise.
• the mortgage rates don't go up by 2-3% or
• we go into a recession.

Liberty Village families and pet owners face off over scarce park space
Toronto: Space is at a premium as the dog population in the condo-rich neighbourhood spikes.

New fines for turning away canvassers take effect
Ontario’s Election Act has been updated since the last provincial election to establish administrative penalties starting at $500 for first-time infractions and escalating up to $1,000 and $2,000 for second and third infractions, respectively.

Planned hikes in development charges rile Toronto-area condo industry
The City of Vaughan and the City of Toronto are among the municipalities considering large increases in their local development charges, which are the taxes that cities collect on newly constructed homes. Brampton, too, is mulling significant fee hikes.

Calgary condo owners feeling powerless as they try to lobby for change
The board will not release the names and addresses of the absentee owners so the board gets an 50 extra votes. The disgruntled owners need to pull the land registry records to get that information.

Serial Defecator? Elderly St. Petersburg man targeted by poop vandal
Ex-condo president gets his front door vandalized—twice.

Michigan lawsuit between bar owner and condo unit owners ramps up
Mixed use condos can be such a pain. Twelve residental condo units are suing the owner of two commercial units because of food odours and noise from her jass bar and grill. Now suit and counter-suit.

Managing Curb Appeal
Dealing With the Eyesore Next Door.
At the end of the day, however, neighbors tend to blow the whistle on their neighbors for personal reasons. “When a unit owner makes a complaint against a neighbor, quite often it’s because he’s just annoyed,” explains Bartzen. “But he may couch the complaint under the guise of ‘property values’ or ‘resale values’ because that’s a little bit more of a palatable, quantifiable complaint. It’s just a more respectful or sturdy position to take, as opposed to ‘I subjectively don’t like that.’”

When an Emotional Support Animal irritates the neighbors
The condo will need reasonable Rules in place and then enforce them.

Condo News
09 May 2018

Police arrest two in alleged theft of baby shower gifts from condo loading dock
Toronto police say two people, a man and a woman, have been arrested after a couple told CityNews over $5000 worth of their belongings were stolen from a condo loading dock as they were moving in late last month.

New fines for turning away canvassers take effect
During the upcoming provincial election, which officially runs from May 9 to June 7, political candidates and their volunteers have the right to canvass door to door and in common areas in multi-residential buildings that have seven or more units.

Ontario passes legislation to improve elevator availability
The province is reducing elevator outages and improving access to elevators through enhanced enforcement of maintenance requirements, publishing information about elevator performance to help consumers make better decisions before they rent or buy and creating new standards for new high-rises to ensure they have enough elevators to adequately serve residents.

The people who bought at the peak of Toronto’s real estate bubble, and then lost hundreds of thousands within months
Who would ever have thought that buying a condo—at least in the short-term— was a safer than buying a detached house.

Thinking of growing your own pot? It could lead to home insurance headaches
There's concern that admitting to growing marijuana at home for recreational use — which would be allowed under proposed federal legislation — could result in a homeowners' or renters' insurance premiums growing like a weed.
Is this just ignorant fear mongering or will condo owners have yet another problem to worry about?

Broken promises, but no fix, for Downtown Eastside condo building
Vancouver—The developer of Sequel 138 promised his building would provide social housing, affordable home ownership, an arts centre with community programming and a lane leading to Chinatown through the site in the city’s Downtown Eastside.
Two years after the building’s completion, the lane is now locked off behind a gate, four retail spaces sit empty, there is no arts centre or programming, and BC Housing acknowledges some homeowners rented out or put their units on Airbnb, abusing a housing covenant that was supposed to prevent real estate speculation.
Living beside the Regent, a notorious single-room occupancy hotel, comes with its own special challenges. Regent residents often throw used syringes, garbage and human waste onto the Sequel 138 courtyard.
Social planning of a condo project where almost everything that could go wrong, went wrong.


China’s tough new recycling standards leaving Canadian municipalities in a bind
China's decision to impose tough new purity standards on the recycled materials it takes in from around the world has Canadian municipalities facing pileups of garbage, hefty extra costs and the risk of losing millions in revenue.
As of Jan. 1, 2018, China, which buys approximately two-thirds of North America's recyclables, requires that contamination levels—newspaper smeared with ketchup, plastics mixed with broken glass—can't exceed 0.5 per cent.
Toronto has a one-bin-for-all-recyclables system and its contamination rate is high—25 per cent, concedes Mr. Angove.

Hamilton's recyclables Top Contaminants

What are condo residents to do? Who can keep track of what is recyclable and what is not?

Another question that needs an answer is:
At what point does the price of the water required to clean a food container cost a condo corporation more than what it saves by recycling a glass jar?

In other words, is it cheaper to throw dirty glass jars in the regular garbage or is it cheaper to clean the jar and put in the recycle bin?

Downtown Auckland tenant subject of $800 manhunt after parking in wrong spot
Parking in the condo president's parking spot has condo engaging in an expensive manhunt. Condo owner, not his tenant, is hit with the costs.

Condo News
04 May 2018

'I can't afford it': Owners outraged after monthly payments double at Ottawa condo  (Part 1)
With less than two months’ notice, residents of 85 units at 2630 and 2650 Southvale Cres. in the city’s south end were told by their board of directors in mid-February that they would have to contribute more than $2.3 million over the next three years after a “special assessment” concluded the buildings were in need of major repairs and upgrades.

Also read:

Condo owners keep board of directors after fees double  (Part 2)
The owners would have needed 43 votes in favour of each new board member in order to remove any original board member. When the votes were tallied, each new member received between 34 and 37 votes, according to two owners who attended the meeting.
Only 69 of the building’s 85 unit owners attended the meeting, they said.
I wouldn't say that this was a strong vote of confidence in the existing board.

Alleged condo thief returns to scene of the crime
A couple that were moving into a Toronto condo had some of their belonging stolen from the loading dock.
Ciaran says, in hindsight, they shouldn’t have left their belongings unattended, but he believed the loading dock was a safe space because there are security cameras all around and a guard around the corner. He adds he didn’t think twice about leaving their boxes.
What makes this incident unusual is that 680 News interviews a suspect when he returned to the crime scene.

Why your Airbnb could be used for sex work
There’s been a “trend” of short-term rentals being used by sex workers unbeknownst to owners, police said, especially in downtown Vancouver.

Have you been a victim of property management fraud?
Property management fraud has been on the rise since the Great Recession. Repair and maintenance billing is at the center of the fraudulent activity, with property managers mischarging for work or billing for work that has not been completed or that was not needed.
Jason Hartman, president of Platinum Properties, has been the victim or fraudulent activity and has worked to educate other investors on the risk of potential fraud from property managers.
Lawsuit brewing: SC family sustains injuries after jumping off of 3rd floor condo balcony to escape fire
Windsor Green Condominium, Myrtle Beach, was the site of a second major fire in five years. Back in 2013, according to a report by horrynews.com, fire destroyed 26 condo units and displaced close to 200 residents.
The most recent fire, which occurred in mid-April, destroyed 11 units and injured seven residents.
Several residents jumped off of their balconies to escape the smoke and fire, including members of the Alewine family. Brian and his wife both jumped off of the third floor balcony, after dropping their sons, ages 3 and 10 to the ground below, as the fire raged close behind them.
Incredibly, despite the devastation of 2013, condo buildings at Windsor Green still lack basic fire safety infrastructure. There are no sprinkler systems, working smoke alarms, or fire escapes from second or third floor condo apartments.