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Condo News
29 November 2018

Rent a bedroom in a Toronto condo
$1,500 plus utilites seems quite steep to me.

Going to rent your condo unit?
There is a school in Toronto to help you out.

Vancouver strata council dealing with theft, vandalism, rowdyism, blame Airbnb guests
The city isn't much help in getting the illegal units shutdown.

Want some giant roof rats with your condo?

What’s a tenant to do when her landlord and the condo association don’t work together to exterminate unwanted pests?
Imagine living with an infestation of giant rats in your home for six months. Makes me wonder why she didn't get a cat.

Real estate claims of “Strong Reserves” – be careful!
I also know, based on 30 years in this industry, that only small fraction of the 380,000 associations in the United States have had a Reserve Study prepared by a credentialed provider within the last three years. Of those that have, about 70% are underfunded.  That means very few associations can support a claim that they have “strong Reserves”!

Unsafe balconies, water leaks, other flaws claimed at luxury Sunny Isles Beach condo
Sunny Isles Beach's luxury Regalia condominium, where each unit takes up an entire floor and has floor-to-ceiling glass walls, needs $30 million in repairs due to construction and design defects, an attorney for residents said.
Problems include safety hazards like using the wrong or no screws for balcony railings and putting electrical grills meant only for indoor use on oversized balconies. Other issues include water leaks blamed on design and construction flaws and missing luxury finishes.

Grenfell inquiry: Information on vulnerable residents 'was 15 years out of date'
The former boss of the firm that ran Grenfell Tower in London England waited more than two hours before forwarding a list of residents to firefighters, part of which was “15 years out of date”, the inquiry into the blaze has heard.
And key parts of an emergency plan drawn up by Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) had not been updated since February 2012, the hearing was told.
Seventy-two people died when the 24-storey building was consumed by flames on 14 June last year.
Is the list of residents requiring assistance in case of emergency up-to-date at your condo?

1,000-year prison sentences upheld in case hinged on Eighth Amendment
A divided Florida Supreme Court ruled that convicted rapist Arthur O'Derrell Franklin's three 1,000-year prison sentences do not violate the U.S. Constitution because he's still eligible for parole—when he's 387 years old.

Condo News
14 November 2018

Arson in Toronto condos
A Toronto firefighter told me that there were three cases where someone set cars on fire in downtown parking garages. The fires all happened on the same night earlier this November.
Something else for us to worry about.

Toronto's musical condo tower
The video captures wind gusts whipping off the metal facade of the E Condo Tower, at the ultra-dense corner of Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue, creating a sound like heavy traffic or the roar of a sports stadium.

Man facing charges after Whitby home explosion
Late Wednesday, Durham Regional Police said that the three males had been in the basement and one of the men was trying to chemically create oil from marijuana when the explosion occurred.

Police said a Whitby man has been charged with criminal negligence, arson, and production – a new charge under the Cannabis Act.

Condo owner on the hook for inaccurate ‘clean’ status certificate
A man buys a resale condo unit. Prior to his purchase a second bedroom was added to the unit and the kitchen was relocated without the required consent of MTCC 723’s board of directors. Yet, he was given a clear Status Certificate.
Sometime later, when he goes to sell his unit, the new Status Certificate warned that the condo corporation might take steps to remove the alteration and restore it to its original layout, with the costs being added to the common expenses for the unit.
An Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that the condo corporation has the right to change a Status Certificate if it has new information.
Lesson here: If you buy a resale that has obvious major alterations, you need to insure that the alterations have been registered on title.

Police investigating following break-ins to Milton storage lockers
Halton police are investigating following break-ins to several storage lockers at a Milton condo.

Calgary landlord refuses to pay locksmith after price nearly triples, no invoice provided
A Calgary condo owner says she's refusing to pay a local locksmith (Locksmith Calgary) until they send her an invoice after they asked her to pay almost triple the quoted price.
Locksmith Calgary told CBC Calgary they don't provide a billing service, even for larger companies, and require all payments be made before an invoice is issued.

Vancouver Island townhouse owner loses access to guest suite following sex worker dispute
A Vancouver Island townhouse owner has lost the right to use the building's guest suite for a year after he allegedly permitted a sex worker use it for her business.
He was president of the mixed-use condo development and had multiple votes.

Strata (condo) tries to pin $15K security camera bill on landlord—after catching tenant doing nothing
A Chilliwack, B.C., strata that hired its own security company to try to catch a tenant breaking the law has lost its battle to have that extra security paid for.
One of the main reasons it lost? The cameras didn't catch the tenant doing anything illegal.

Strata (condo) shouldn't be holding mail-in vote to remove gate
BC: The Strata Property Act does not permit mail-in balloted or proxy-vote-only meetings.

Neighbours of scofflaw North Vancouver hostel operator claim she’s still hosting guests
Barely a month after a judge found a North Vancouver townhouse owner in contempt of court for renting out her unit as a hostel, neighbours say she's at it again.
At the Oct. 24 contempt hearing, Emily Yu agreed to no longer rent out her rooms to short-term tenants. Justice Barry Davies said he would give Yu four months to prove it before handing down a sentence.
Got to hand it to Emily Yu. She sure is stubborn.

Hell’s Kitchen condo residents are rebelling against its ‘creepy’ boss
Yet another battle between condo residents and short-term rental landlords.

San Francisco fines 2 landlords $2.25 million for illegal Airbnb rentals
As part of today’s settlement, the Lees are not allowed to rent out any of their units as short-term rentals until at least May 2025. The property owners must also pay the city $2.25 million to cover the costs of the investigation and other penalties.

Five common rental scams that you should know about
Renting a property overseas? Then watch out for these scams.

Mom killed after using her body to protect son from explosion. Boy dies in hospital 4 days later
The blast occurred after an electric scooter caught fire inside of an apartment building.
The batteries in electric scooters and other devices can explode if allowed to charge too long. Something condos should be aware of.

Hamilton Police have made two arrests but not laid any charges in probe into alleged voter fraud in PC party
Hamilton police made two arrests – yet laid no charges – in their investigation of alleged voter fraud at a Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario nomination meeting, but the lead officer said details of the probe should be kept under wraps to avoid creating “undue negative bias” toward the government.
In addition, he wrote “a number of witnesses have been uncooperative with police and have refused to provide statements, or have attempted to control the interview, which has hampered the investigation.”

Dead brothel owner wins Nevada state assembly seat
Hof, who ran as a Republican, defeated Democratic challenger Lesia Romanov by more than 7,000 votes, the office said.

Condo News
07 November 2018

Elderly man dead in 2-alarm fire in North York highrise building
There was no batteries in the unit's smoke alarm.

Fort McMurray condo owners financially ruined by embattled rebuild
Owners of a Fort McMurray condo project entangled in lawsuits and plagued by delays are becoming increasingly desperate.
Residents have been burdened with the escalating cost of rebuilding the original complex, which was destroyed in the May 2016 wildfire.
Some are even talking about suicide.

What's the Pest Control Industry's Biggest Challenge?
It is not the bugs or rodents.

A lesson in selective enforcement and officer’s authority
The big lesson here is that a president of a condo board does not have the authority to authorize unit renovations without a majority vote of the board taken at a properly convened board meeting.

Condos and townhouses coming to corner of Birchmount and Lawrence East
Condominiums and townhouses are coming to a former Chrysler dealership at 2180 Lawrence Ave. E., a property on the edges of Scarborough’s Wexford and Dorset Park neighbourhoods.

When a community has no newsletter…
There are very few condo directors that didn’t begin their service as volunteers for their communities. Today’s volunteer is likely to be tomorrow’s active director, maybe even the future president.
However, the board should edit/review newsletters before they are distributed.

Woman leaves child in front seat as she uses screwdriver in brazen break-in
Seattle: Woman uses screwdriver to enter condos to steal from mailboxes & parcels from hallways.

Black residents at South Beach Condo say racist board members made their lives hell
"When the board changed about two years ago, that's when everything really went downhill," says Daley, who is black.

A complete bombsite': British couple's Auckland Airbnb nightmare
They ended up in a hotel room that cost only $195 more than the Airbnb rental, "with great big double room, sofa, TV and en suite."

Using smart door locks with facial recognition? China says you should think twice
The Chinese State Administration of Market Regulation is warning people to be wary about smart door locks that use facial recognition, saying that they pose high security risks and contain “hidden dangers” -- especially for those that also use smart cards to unlock.

Condo News
02 November 2018

Toronto condo crimes

I hear about the increase in crime in downtown Toronto that concerns condos.
This bicycle was locked to the metal sign pole in front of a couple of midtown condos and within an hour a thief stole the back wheel. I'm not sure why the front wheel and seat weren't taken.

This stolen bicycle was abandoned in a pedestrian walkway behind a row of condos. Working alone, or in pairs, thieves steal bicycles and then cruise around looking for opportunities to steal. At the end of the night, they often abandon the stolen bikes where ever.

How Uber Eats and Car2Go are changing the way developers build condos
Experts are already expecting autonomous car, electric scooter and bike companies to invade Canada in the coming years, giving condo developers and operators a whole new set of challenges. They could be joined by drone-based delivery services, pet-sharing companies or businesses centred entirely on delivering products like cannabis or medicine.

North Vancouver strata short-term host found in contempt of court
“The best case that I can think of is that Miss Yu accepts she’s not the sort of person who should be living in a strata and move to a house location where she has more control of her life,” a neighbour said.

Eight steps every strata council (condo board) should take when responding to a smoking complaint
BC: If a condo owner complains about second hand tobacco smoke entering their unit, the board best not ignore the complaint.

Can't find an affordable home? Try living in a Pod

The cost of housing is out of reach for many residents in cities such as Los Angeles and Seattle. One solution is called co-living, and it looks a lot like dorm life.
The pods consist of a twin bed with a small flat-screen TV in a communal bunk room, some immediate storage space and access to lockers. The kitchen, bathrooms, yard and other common areas are all shared.
To me, this looks like a flop house where you share a large bedroom with up to 15 strangers.
The price? $1,400 a month. Some co-living buildings offer private bedrooms at higher prices.

Airbnb: Buy a higher rating
Danny shows new Airbnb hosts how to rank higher in Airbnb search, increase their nightly rate with his Airbnb Optimization Report.
Another way "experts" make money off of short-term rental hosts.

Three new headaches for homeowner associations

Washington: Now residental homeowner corporations may have to worry about drones, copyrights and mould.

Former policeman filmed Airbnb guests in shower with hidden cameras
New Zealand: A policeman turned prison officer who filmed women using the shower in his Airbnb homestay in New Zealand, then uploaded the videos to a porn site, has been sent to prison.
Eleven of the videos were put on a pornography website and shared worldwide. One had been viewed more than 7000 times.
He hid the cameras in shampoo bottles.

Prestige property agent charged with $3.6 million fraud
Australia: A real estate agent specialising in luxury properties with high-profile owners, including fashion designer Collette Dinnigan, has been charged with 15 fraud offences after she allegedly misused $3.69 million which was placed into her agency's trust account by various clients over the course of two years.

Fire that left 120 families homeless caused by cigarette butt

Sharjah UAE: Suspects questioned as police urge care in discarding embers.
A discarded cigarette caused the fire that gutted a high-rise in Sharjah and left 120 families homeless, investigators say.
A report from the Sharjah Police forensic laboratory found the January 25 blaze began after a cigarette was thrown from the fourth floor of Al Baker Tower 4 and landed on the balcony of apartment 104, setting clothes and papers alight.
The fire quickly spread to the rest of the 25-storey building. Of the 125 flats, 51 were gutted and 14 cars parked nearby were also destroyed.