AODA Requirements Coming January 1, 2017

time.jpgIt has been almost five years since the first deadline for compliance under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Like previous years, New Year’s day will have a deadline for many organizations. On January 1st, 2017 organizations (including condominiums) with between 1 and 49 employees must ensure the following requirements are satisfied: Continue reading

Is your Meeting Date a Human Rights Violation?

meetingIn 2015 I wrote about an interesting human rights complaint that had been started by three owners because of the date selected by their condominium and manager for the AGM. The owners claimed that they were discriminated against because the meeting was held on an important religious holiday for Muslims. They claimed that the condominium would never have held the meeting on another religion’s holiday, such as Christmas, and that they had been discriminated against because they were Muslims.

The decision has finally been released. Continue reading

Tips for Buying a Condo

buying.jpgIf you’ve told people that you’re planning on buying a condominium they’ve probably told you about the horror stories – underfunded reserve funds, special assessments, unplanned major repair projects, crooked boards or managers, and aggressive condo lawyers (no way!?). With all the negative attention given to condominiums it might seem like a terrible idea, but a well-managed condominium can be a great place to live, work, or invest. Continue reading

Halloween in Condos: It Doesn’t Need to be Frightening?!?

stencil-default-10Yes, it is a bit early for this topic, but I love everything about Autumn, including Halloween! If you have any Halloween enthusiasts in your complex you’ll likely see the decorations out in the next few weeks (if your rules allow decorations) so it may be a relevant topic sooner than you think.

Halloween can cause all kinds of headaches for boards and managers in condominiums. There are safety and security concerns with young children going door-to-door and running around on the property. Maybe you have rules prohibiting decorations.  Maybe you have a very diverse group of residents with different ideas about Halloween. Maybe you’ve had issues with vandalism in the past on the day before Halloween (sometimes called “Devil’s Night” or “Mischief Night”). Whatever the issue, Halloween in your condominium doesn’t need to be frightening for the board or manager.  Continue reading

Can the Condo Demand My Dog’s DNA?

dogToday I was on Newstalk1010 with Jim Richards to discuss an annoying enforcement issue faced by many property managers – dog waste left on the common elements. The question posed to me was this: can the condominium demand that an owner provide his dog’s DNA for enforcement purposes?

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could identify the dog (and its owner) by examining the waste left on the common elements? That would make enforcement pretty easy, right? Well a new service promises to do just that. PooPrints will create a DNA database for all of the dogs in the condominium using a simple cheek swab. When dog waste is left on the property a sample is sent to the company and they let the manager know which dog left it. If a match is found the costs of testing and clean-up are charged to the owner of the dog.  Continue reading

Guest Post: Minute Taking Made Easy

I’ve been to so many meetings where the property manager or board did not want to take the minutes that I’ve lost count. One option might be to hire a professional minute taker. It is a pretty common practice in the GTA, but less popular in other areas. Today’s guest post, by Marko Lindhe and Noah Maislin of Minute Solutions, describes some of the benefits of using professional minute takers.

Minute Taking Made Easy

Taking minutes at condo meetings is a task that needs to be done: it’s the law and helps protect boards from liability. Unfortunately, it can be a daunting task that requires the minute taker’s undivided attention and is a specific skill and responsibility that many individuals are not willing to shoulder. There is pressure to ensure that the minutes are taken correctly, the salient components are included, and, just as important, superfluous discussions and redundancies are avoided. As most board members and property managers understand, minutes should be succinct while ensuring all motions, action items and important conversations regarding potential decisions are clearly recorded – for example, contractors’ quotes, financial figures and projects that involve spending other people’s money. Continue reading

Trespassing in Condos


trespassTrespassing is an issue many condominiums have to address at some point in time. Maybe the condominium is located beside a local hangout, like a school, a mall, or a park. Maybe the common elements include features that attract people to the property, like railings for skateboarding or a large green space for tossing a football around. Whatever the reason it is likely that your condominium will have uninvited people on the property at some point.

A trespasser is a person who, without legal right, enters another’s property when entry is prohibited, engages in a prohibited activity on the property, or does not leave immediately when asked. Section 2 of the Trespass to Property Act makes trespassing an offence punishable by a fine of not more than $2,000.00.  Continue reading