Out with the old, in with the new

Considerations when replacing rental housing units with new condo developments

June 11, 2013

The Toronto Official Plan is the blueprint for development across the city over the next few decades.  It contains the policy directives that govern new development on lands currently occupied by rental apartments, and other forms of low cost housing.

Specifically, it establishes clear policies aimed at preserving the city’s existing rental and affordable housing stock (housing policies in Section 3.2.1), including thresholds for demolition and conversion of rental housing.

The Official Plan states that any new development that would have the effect of removing all or a part of a private building and would result in the loss of six or more rental housing units will not be approved unless certain conditions are met.

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Common Expenses Arrears in Dispute?

Don't Just Stop Paying

May 31, 2013

It may be a cautionary tale for owners:  just because you are disputing the validity of a lien or common expense arrears does not mean that you can cease payment altogether of your current common expenses.  It is also an important procedural note for condominium boards and management: make sure your owners understand how the process works once the arrears reach the lien stage.

Section 84(3) of the Condominium Act states that an owner is not exempt from the obligation to contribute to the common expenses even if the owner is making a claim against the corporation.  The Court of Appeal in Carleton Condominium Corp. 396 v. Burdet confirmed this proposition.

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A Police Investigation on Condominium Common Elements

Policy have to follow the law...

April 22, 2013

In a recent Ontario case, police were found to have breached a condo owner’s privacy rights by investigating parts of the condo’s common elements with the intention of gathering evidence against this owner for criminal charges.  The police did not notify the management or the condominium corporation, through its Board of Directors, of their intended actions.  Indeed, the police had to sneak into certain parts of the condo that were/are not publicly accessible.  The court found that this was an egregious breach of privacy rights, and that the police require a warrant to access even the common elements of the condominium in such a scenario.  Essentially, the police were trespassing, and the evidence in the case against the owner was thrown out as a result.

Condominium owners should remember the words of the court Justice in this case: “The rights to privacy start at the garage door”.