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Condo News
28 September 2018

Ontario government to allow cannabis smoking wherever tobacco smoking is permitted
So it looks like the condos that have banned both tobacco smoking and cannabis made a prudent decision.

Mississauga woman with pot allergy fights weed-friendly condo
Adele Schroder has a life-threatening allergy to marijuana. Just the smell of pot smoke can set off a chain of reactions. “My lips and throat start tingling, my eyes water, I have trouble catching my breath."

Hotel workers fear condo conversions threatening jobs
Toronto: An estimated 2,500 unionized hotel jobs are at risk from condo redevelopments, according to a recent report from Unifor Local 7575, the union representing hospitality workers. Examples include the Courtyard Marriott on Yonge St. north of Carlton St., and the Chelsea Hotel at Yonge and Gerrard Sts., where condo developers have proposed significantly reducing the number of hotel rooms on site.

Hoarding in the Region of Peel
Mental health issue needs collaborative approach.

How to spot a hidden camera in your Airbnb suite
There are several apps on the market that can help tell if you're being spied on. You can buy a camera detector.

Condos easy to list, hard to sell in crowded market
Edmonton: We are seeing condos that sold for $300,000 in 2007 sit on the market today at under $200,000 without selling. That’s a huge hit for any one person or family, let alone a senior on a fixed income.

Short-term rental owner fights North Vancouver City lawsuit
Emily Yu is still fighting city hall by short-terming her condo townhouse. Now she is listed on HomeStay.

Turf war: artificial grass sprouts along Vancouver streets despite city disapproval
Many of the artificial grass installations in Vancouver are outside condominium buildings. He said owners like the material's durability, low maintenance and cleanliness.

Challenge bully president, then vote him out
This advice column has the right idea but unfortunately it makes it all seem far, far easier than it normally is.

Can we keep bad condo board president away?
A former board president of our condo ( along with 2 other members) was legally forced to step down due to negligence several years ago.
She and the other board members refused to maintain the property which resulted in extensive repair costs and assessments to unit owners once the new board took over. It was nearly impossible for anyone to finance a unit through a bank because of the condition of the property. Many of the needed repairs have been made and are still ongoing.
This person is now trying to get back on the board. Is this legal? How can she be stopped?
If she is promising to lower your the condo's monthly maintenance expenses, she'll have an excellent chance of winning.

Elderly Seal Beach woman accused of embezzling over $100K
SEAL BEACH, CA — A 71-year-old Seal Beach woman was accused of embezzling over $115,000 from the Costa Mesa homeowner's association, of which she was treasurer, court documents said.

Supreme Court dismisses neighbour noise complaints against hotel
Australia: “When the plaintiff [Ammon] bought his apartment, he was aware that the Raffles operated as an entertainment venue and had operated in that way for many years. He could not have known precisely what level of noise would emanate from the hotel. But he must have been aware that there would be some noise. Any hotel plays music. The plaintiff could not have expected anything else.”

Condo News
22 September 2018

Why this young family has been living with pot smoke in their condo for the last 5 years
A Toronto man says he's tired of waking up to the smell of weed coming in from his neighbour's unit and wants his condo corporation to do more to resolve the issue.

Woman's deadly cannabis allergy highlights complexity of condo living
Schroder says she has largely been able to manage the allergy since then, but as pot legalization looms, she has noticed a change in the habits of other residents in the building.
"Now that it's becoming legal it's leaking into the hallways, getting into the ventilation system," she said. "I can't control my environment."
But Schroder's situation is "life-threatening," she said. "Who is qualified to decide anything in the circumstances of peoples' rights and whose are more important than others?"

Condo Essentials
Besides offering various services to condo buyers and renters, Condo Essentials has reviews for condos in Toronto, Mississauga Condos, Vaughan and Richmond Hill.
They also have condo reviews where you can post and read reviews on condos in the GTA. The best reviews are posted by renters as they say it as it is and are not worried about hiding things from potential buyers.

Vaughan: Icona project cancelled
Hundreds of Toronto-area home buyers are once again furious to find out that the prestigious condos they'd purchased more than a year ago will no longer come to exist.

Parcels get stolen
One of the unfortunate side effects of the increase in deliveries, especially in buildings without doorman and other security staff, is an increase in thefts of packages left in lobbies. Believe it or not, Cohen explains, a lot of the package thefts were perpetrated by food delivery people. “We have security cameras, so we saw it,” he says. That’s not to say that all, or even many, food delivery couriers are thieves, of course -- but that theft does occur, and is often a crime of opportunity.

Renter prohibited from practising First Nations ceremony files human rights complaint
BC: Crystal Smith, who is Tsimshian and Haisla, says her former landlord, Parminder Mohan, discriminated against her on the basis of ancestry, race and religion because he forbade her from smudging in her Burnaby suite — a common Indigenous practice that involves burning plants like sage or cedar to cleanse a space and one's mind and body of negative energy.

B.C. renters set to face biggest rent increase since 2004
Landlords will be allowed to hike rents by up to 4.5% in 2019. In 2018 landlords could raise rents by 4%, more than double what Ontario allows.

Residents at posh Soho condo cheer celeb photog’s exit
High profile residents at the Greene House, a posh Soho condo building, are celebrating the exit of celebrity photographer Ken Nahoum, who finally left last week after allegedly tormenting them for decades.

Why not director training?  (a reader writes)
I know how you feel. Knowing too much is a dangerous thing. It hasn't got better at my condo despite all the promises and money out the window(s).
I asked the manager why his company does not run an orientation class, so that when a board starts to work, it actually understands how the property is supposed to operate.
You can imagine the look I got. In condoland it is the only place where I have been a director and you just show up. Reading the Act, the Declaration, by-laws and rules isn’t needed. Those things just get in the way. The owners don’t know or care either.
Rules are for other people, sadly is the operating principle so many have adopted.
I know how you feel. I am just one director out of five and it gets pretty frustrating at times. The senior directors think that showing up for one-two hours a month is all they have to do.

Why sinking San Francisco condo tower is now a top tourist destination
It can’t be fun to know your 58-story home has sunk about 18 inches and tilted 14 inches to the west.

Phoenix man accused of stealing from HOAs to accept plea
The former head of a Phoenix-area property management company accused of stealing nearly $1.3 million from homeowners associations has agreed to a plea deal to spare his wife prosecution.
Prosecutors say the couple made unauthorized transfers from accounts of HOA clients of Eagle Property Management Inc. for personal expenses.
Their two daughters and a former son-in-law have already pleaded guilty in the case. All four will be sentenced next year.

More than 100 people displaced after flames rip through Revere condominium complex
Evers Mass. - A five-alarm fire at a four-story condominium complex in Revere forced more than a hundred people out of their homes Sunday afternoon.
Residents are now forced to turn to others, like the American Red Cross, for help as they begin the difficult task of starting over.
“I’m speechless now,” resident Zouhair Nouty said. “I can’t think, I can’t tell you what’s going on or what’s gonna happen.”

Condo News
15 September 2018

Toronto police now require evidence before responding to home security alarm calls
Force says 97% of the time a home security alarm is triggered, it's a false alarm.

When board directors have ‘skin in the game’
When a director works in the condo industry.

Tourist finds hidden camera in Entertainment District Airbnb condo
Scottish tourist makes harrowing discovery at Airbnb apartment in Toronto — a hidden camera in a clock.
Should not be much of a surprise as condo owners may want to insure that their guests aren't stealing or their units are not being damaged.
However, the odd time, the motive may be nastier than that.

Affordable rentals would be 10% to 15% of new condos under Victoria proposal
Victoria BC: It is my view that if the city wants affordable rental units then the city should build them. Or they can subsidize developers to build purpose-built rental buildings.
Why should future condo owners be forced to deal with affordable rental units in their condo buildings?

Rat jumps and pulls fire alarm at DC condo
Residents of a D.C. condo building last summer hustled out of their units when a fire alarm went off — But there was no fire.

Owners of condos burned in M's Pub fire ask city for $685,682 to help rebuild their homes
A Omaha condominium association Inc with 12 residential units whose windows face Howard Street, is asking for nearly $700,000 in tax-increment financing, or TIF.

Delivery overload
Coping with an ever-increasing number of package deliveries.

Chinese tourists leave giant mess in Japan Airbnb apartment, refuse to compensate owner
There is a video of the mess the students left behind.
However, Chinese netizens digging up their identities and harassing them on social media and over the phone. Soon, one of the women wrote on Weibo that they wanted to “seek forgiveness,” apologizing to the apartment owner and saying that they were willing to pay compensation.

Distracted dude on phone walks straight into truck backing up
There are two very good short videos showing the perils of mobile phone distraction.

Condo News
10 September 2018

GTA real estate broker demands commission even after failed house sale
A real estate broker north of Toronto is suing a consumer for commission even though a $900,000 home sale arranged by his company fell through.
The brokerage claims, in a statement to Global News, that it had a signed deal with the seller “which provides that our commission is payable upon acceptance of a satisfactory offer, even if the deal doesn’t close.”
Hans Ohrstrom, broker of record at HomeLife Eagle Realty, Inc., sent a bill for $45,765.00 to Nemeth in February of this year. A month later, he sent her a revised bill for $30,510. When Nemeth refused to pay either invoice, on the advice of a lawyer, Ohrstrom’s company reduced its claim to $25,000 plus HST in order to be able to sue her in small claims court.

A reader wrote:
If the Buyers have never owned a house, they don’t know about turning water on and off to make repairs or upgrades.
We had a $40,000 flood because some idiot decided to change his kitchen faucets while the plumbing line was being repaired. His stack got a notice that the water would be shut off in that line for the day, so he thought great time to change the faucets. He disconnected his, then went to the store to get a new one and guess what? The stack repair was completed early and they turned the water back on. Our deductible is $5,000.

Vaughan condo buyers take developer to court over cancelled project
Buyers in a cancelled Vaughan condo project are asking a court to declare their contracts void so they can sue the developer for the appreciation they lost in the two years between when they bought the pre-construction units and when their deposits were returned.
stay within those contract rules, even in the kind of heated real estate environment that the Toronto area experienced when the Cosmos units went on the market.
The court application notes that Liberty is now planning a new condo project adjacent to the Cosmos site at Vaughan Metropolitan Centre and it is redeveloping the Promenade Mall near Bathurst St. and Clarke Ave. in Vaughan with 1,006 condos in three towers, a hotel and commercial space.

Montreal-founded hotel business disruptor Sonder Canada raises $85-million
Sondor Canada leases higher-end condos units and other rentals and then short-term rents the units on Airbnb & other websites.
The idea is to take business away from hotels and ordinary short-term rentals.
The company rents 2,200 apartments from real estate owners in 14 cities in the United States, Canada and Europe and, in turn, offers them up online for short-term rentals to business travellers and vacationing families. Sonder positions itself as a better quality experience than a typical rental through Airbnb – and a more distinctive stay than a typical hotel offers.
For a condo investors, this may be a safer way to get cash-flow than either leasing the unit (rent-controls & bad tenants) or short-term renting the unit on their own.

Ontario's only Consumer Protection Critic
The new NDP Government Services & Consumer Protection Critic is MPP Tom Rakocevic, and you can reach the office of MPP Rackocevic at:
Email: TRakocevic-QP@ndp.on.ca
Address: Room 330, Main Legislative Building, Queen's Park,
Toronto, Ontario, M7A 1A8
Telephone: 416-326-7585

Why I fought for sold real estate data—and why the fight is not over
When will innovative Toronto-area brokerages like Realosophy finally be able to share home sold prices with consumers online?

Condo resident starts petition to ban smoking in all B.C. multi-unit dwellings
After two years of putting up with second-hand smoke, Naomi Baker has started a petition to convince the provincial government to ban cigarette smoking in all multi-unit buildings in B.C.

Mould in condo prompts human rights complaint against strata (condo)
A Vancouver condo owner enmeshed in a years-long battle against her strata has filed a human rights complaint saying there is toxic mould in her unit, which she says has exacerbated her health problems.
With only 17 units in a seven storey condo built in 1992, the owners of Fiona Court don't seem willing to spend $170,000 each, or more, on fixing the water leaks and removing the mould.

After regime change, HOA board is still awful
Changing property management and condo directors doesn't necessarly mean that everything will improve.

Condo owners often pay for deferred maintenance of previous owners
It is common for condos to ‘kick the can down the road,’ deferring maintenance for years, in order to keep assessments as low as possible.
Even worse, it’s all too common for condo and homeowners’ associations to ignore defects, damage to infrastructure, and environmental contaminants, simply to avoid the cost of fixing problems.
Condo boards are sometimes more fearful of making the unpopular short-term decision to raise assessments, than they are of the long-term financial, health, and safety consequences of delaying repairs.
Owners can avoid special assessments for deferred maintenance by passing that obligation to their successors. It happens when assessments are kept artificially low by the present owners which defers funding for repairs to later owners who have no voice in those earlier decisions and who have no idea what they are buying into.