Kill the cat

“This case may not be about murder or millions (though a cat’s life may hang in the balance) but it does have wide importance.”

W.S. Schlosser, Master in Chambers

Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta
The quote above came from a court case in Alberta where the judge allowed a ten-year-old cat stay with its owner in a condo as it was not harming anyone.

In early December 2014, a woman at a west-end Toronto condo was sent a notice by registered mail that she had 12 days to remove her three-year-old short-hair cat from the property or face court action.

Did the cat cause any harm? Of course not. Cats are the invisible pets that rarely bother anyone. So why did this woman get this notice to get rid of her cat, even though there are several cats in the building, including one owned by one of the board of directors?

The board does not like this owner because she has been fighting for several years now to get the board to stop serious water leakage problems and to deal with operating deficits and depleted reserve funds that are so bad that the auditor wrote in the latest audited financial statements that:

“These conditions indicate the existance of a material uncertainty that may cast significant doubt upon the Corporation's ability to continue as a going concern.”

This owner had the gall to write to the board requesting to examine certain corporation documents and to have a volunteer from CondoMadness visit the corporation to take a look at the physcial condition of the common elements. She had the nerve to question the board’s poor performance and to run for a position on the board.

For her crimes, her three-year-old cat may have had to die. It can be tough to find a home for a cat during the Christmas holidays. If the cat has to go to the shelter, it is most likely a death sentence.

So “This case may not be about murder or millions (though a cat’s life may hang in the balance) but it does have wide importance.” because it deals with a dysfunctional board trying to stop an owner from exercising her democrat rights to examine the corporation records, from challenging the board at the infrequent AGMs that this condo has (every two or three years) and for trying to protect her home, her investment and to live in a building that she can be proud of.

There will be casualties
In many condo disputes, the participants can be very nasty. This is especially so when the directors feel that their "unpaid volunteer" positions are at risk.

So when engaging in a fight with your board, make sure that you are following all the by-laws and rules so there is nothing that the board can use against you.

Also keep in mind that you will lose sleep, you will get stressed and, if they can, your board will stoop to next to nothing to get "even" with an owner who dares to stand up to them.

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