Kitec – Don’t Forget the Deadline to Submit a Claim

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It seems like many years since the Ontario Superior Court of Justice entered an Order for Approval of Class Action Settlement back on November 29, 2011 and the Kitec Settlement Agreement (“Kitec Settlement”) for defective plumbing systems became effective way back on January 9, 2012.

I suppose 7 years is a long time depending on how you look at things, especially as discussions about Kitec have also seemingly faded into the background at industry events in recent years as new hot button topics  such as amendments to the Condominium Act, 1998, cannabis legalization, and electronic vehicles have all arisen.

We last wrote about Kitec in March of 2017 reminding condominiums the first step should be to contact their engineer to determine if the condominium has a Kitec plumbing system, then filing a claim and/or consulting the Condominium’s lawyer. You can read the post here: https://ontcondolaw.com/2017/03/07/kitec-piping-claims/

So here again is a friendly reminder for condominiums in Ontario that the deadline to submit a claim form to be eligible to be included in the Kitec Settlement is fast approaching: January 9, 2020.

You can find the claim form, information regarding the case/settlement, and FAQs here:  http://www.kitecsettlement.com/index.cfm

Finally, just a few key reminders about completing the claim form and providing supporting documentation to file a claim:

  1. Complete the whole form – if sections/questions are inapplicable remember to note “N/A”
  2. Make sure to provide copies of invoices and cancelled cheques for plumbing services . My understanding is banks can be quite slow to provide old archived cheques to the condominium so make sure to get on this request quickly.
  3. If possible – provide a sample of a failed Kitec fitting and an engineering report to support the condominium’s claim; and
  4. Finally, if the condominium has suffered numerous plumbing failures over the years it may be best to complete one comprehensive claim. Already made a claim but the condominium has suffered further plumbing failures? Submit a new claim. Organizational Tip: Use a spreadsheet to track the cancelled cheques and plumbing invoices to be submitted with the claim.

Elevators Let You Down?

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A recent case offers some insight into the standard expected of condominiums and others when it comes to injuries related to malfunctioning elevators in condos.

The Facts

The claim was brought by a unit owner and her mother against the condominium, manager, security/concierge, and elevator servicing company.  The plaintiffs alleged that the mother was visiting her daughter when she fell while exiting one of the elevators due to mislevelling of the elevator. The mother apparently sustained a broken left wrist and dislocation of her right shoulder. She sought damages of $2 million. The daughter claimed $200,000 for loss of care, companionship and guidance due to her mother’s fall.

The defendants all brought summary judgment motions asserting that there was no genuine issues for trial. Continue reading

Construction Lien Changes

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As you may have heard, the first round of amendments to the Construction Lien Act are scheduled to come into force on July 1, 2018. The purpose of this post is to provide a brief overview of some of the key changes as they may relate to condominium projects.

For starters, the Construction Lien Act will be known as the Construction Act. The amendments will not apply to all situations, including contracts entered into before July 1, 2018 (even if subcontracts were entered into after July 1, 2018) or the procurement process was commenced before July 1, 2018. There are other exceptions.  Continue reading

Unreasonable Owners + Reasonable Board = Costs for Condo

A recent decision of the Superior Court of Justice illustrates how the conduct of the parties can sway a judge when it comes to the issue of costs. The case is York Condominium Corporation No. 922 v. Frank Lu et al (2016). The facts are straightforward. The owner refused to permit the condominium’s contractors to enter the unit to investigate it after a flood in the unit, which was caused by the owner’s tenants. The condominium made repeated attempts to gain access to the unit and offered to meet with the owner to discuss the issue, but the owner refused. The condominium engaged a lawyer, who wrote several letters, but the owner still refused to grant the condominium access to the unit.

The condominium started a court application under sections 92, 117, and 134 of the Condominium Act, 1998. The condominium asked the court for an order requiring the owner to allow it to access the unit to investigate the damage, and if necessary, repair the damage to the common elements.

The condominium was successful in its application and sought $15,416.00 in costs from the owner. Continue reading

Condo successful against owner with bed bugs and hoarding issues

An Ottawa condominium brought an application against an owner because of the owner’s failure to maintain and repair his unit, which was infested with bed bugs and full of an excessive amount of debris. There were various inspections and communications between 2013 and 2015. The condominium attempted to work with the owner, but the owner refused to take steps to clean the unit and prepare it for treatment for bed bugs. Continue reading

The Condominium’s Duty Regarding Hoarding (Part 2)

I know what you are thinking: “Now that I know what hoarding is and why I should care about it, how do I fix it?” Well, like I said in my last post, there is no one size fits all solution. In some cases, it will be relatively easy to deal with the hoarding. In other cases, it will require court intervention. It really is a case-by-case determination.

The first step whenever an owner breaches the Act or any of the condominium’s documents is usually a letter from the board or property manager. The reason? You want to give the owner an opportunity to comply before taking further steps and incurring any costs. For hoarding, the letter should describe the specific concerns (i.e. during a recent inspection we noticed a large amount of combustible material stored on your stove), provide a date for entry to the unit (for a further inspection), and outline the consequences if the owner does not take steps to alleviate the problem (i.e. involvement of the condominium’s lawyer and a chargeback of the costs, if possible).  Continue reading

The Condominium’s Duty Regarding Hoarding (Part 1)

We have probably all seen an episode of, or at least a commercial for, one of the various hoarding shows on television these days. The shows depict a person or family living in unimaginable conditions with piles of goods, garbage, and who knows what else. I have even heard of an episode where several of the hoarder’s cats were missing in the home. The cats were found dead among the debris.

In Ontario, hoarding became a hot topic after a fire in a Toronto apartment caused the evacuation of over 1000 people, injured several, and caused millions of dollars in damage. The unit was occupied by a hoarder and all it took was a single cigarette being tossed on the balcony, which was full of combustible material, to start the fire. During the clean-up they found several other units in the same building with hoarders. Continue reading

Condo fails to address smoke complaints

Smoking in condominiums has become a popular topic in recent years. A number of condominiums have amended their declarations to prohibit smoking on the common elements. Some condominiums have even amended their declarations to prohibit smoking anywhere on the property. Notwithstanding all of the amendments, there have been very few reported cases on smoking in condominiums.

In one recent case (MacKay v. Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 985) the owners claimed the condominium was in breach of its duty to maintain and repair the common elements and their unit. The owners complained of cigar smoke entering their unit from an adjacent unit. The owners’ insurance adjuster determined that the unit was uninhabitable. The insurer paid for the owners to stay in a hotel for 10 months. The owners reported their complaints to the condominium. The condominium did very little to address their complaints so the owners commenced an application.

Continue reading