We are routinely asked to provide advice to our clients about the installation of security cameras on the common elements. Sometimes the cameras are installed by the condominium on the common elements to reduce vandalism and property damage. Other times an owner wants to install a camera on the common elements adjacent to his unit to protect the occupants of the unit. For both situations the primary concern is normally the privacy rights of the other residents, but secondary concerns are often possible damage to the common elements caused by the installation of the camera and compliance with the legal requirements of the Condominium Act, 1998.
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As 2020 approaches I find myself reflecting on the most important news, cases, and events from this past year. There were several notable decisions released this year and a few that I’m sure we would all like to forget! The hardest part of these lists is selecting only ten to speak about. Here is my list of the top ten condo lessons for 2019:
Counting Isn’t as Easy as 1, 2, 3
The Court confirmed the 10 day notice requirement for liens can be calculated by excluding the date the notice of lien is mailed and including the date of registration. Sending the notice of lien on January 21 and registering the lien on January 31 was acceptable. (Note: this is the minimum; more time is generally better). See CCC 476 v. Wong (2019). Continue reading
If you live in or work for condominiums you’ve heard of the three p’s: people, pets and parking. These are three of the most common sources of problems in condominiums. (It really boils down to one problem – people – but let’s leave that aside for now.)
Lately, it seems like condominiums are encountering problems related to a new set of p’s: pot, prostitution and petty crime. Here we use “pot” to refer to drug activity generally, “prostitution” to include related crimes like human trafficking, and “petty crime” to refer to other sorts of criminal activity, such as vandalism and bicycle thefts. For some really unfortunate condominiums they experience all three of these at once. Continue reading
What does the board have to do if the police attend with a warrant? What if they don’t have a warrant? When should the condominium contact the police because of an incident that occurred on the property?
In the past these questions were not easy to answer. While the condominium’s lawyer could provide general advice, there wasn’t really much case law to support the advice. Fortunately, in the past few years there have been cases that give some guidance.
The courts have confirmed that residents have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the common areas of a condominium. Here are a few court of appeal decisions in the area: R. v. White (2015), R. v. Labelle (2016), and R. v. Drakes (2009). Continue reading