“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
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
“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.
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.