Condo Law Digest – December 2017

One Canada Square, Canary Wharf.jpg

TSCC No. 1556 and No. 1600 v. Owners of TSCC No. 1556, et al., 2017 ONSC 6542
Decision Date: November 2, 2017
http://canlii.ca/t/hn83r

TSCC No’s 1556 and 1600 are condominium corporations developed by Tridel Co. Their declarations include provisions permitting short-term rentals. (DelSuites, a company that provides short-term rentals and is part of the Tridel Group of Companies, manages units in both condominiums.) In this action, the corporations seek to prohibit short-term rentals by eliminating the provisions in the declarations that permit them. There have been no complaints regarding the rentals, however the corporations argue that AirBnB has changed the nature of the short-term rental market, and they seek to prevent future problems.

Justice Akbarali denied the application, reasoning that the declarations were not inconsistent with the Condominium Act, the relevant municipal zoning by-law, or the restrictive covenant registered on title to the lands on which the corporations sit. If the corporations want to amend their declarations, they will have to follow the provisions laid out in s. 107 of the Condominium Act (which specifies that 80% of unit owners must agree to the changes).

Comment: If you are purchasing a condominium unit and feel strongly for or against short-term rentals, make sure to have the declaration reviewed by a lawyer who specializes in condo law.

Peel Condo Corp 166 v. Ohri, 2017 ONSC 6438
Decision Date: October 26, 2017
http://canlii.ca/t/hmt8h

In this application, PCC No. 166 seeks a declaration that Mr. Ohri is in breach of the Condominium Act, and of the corporation’s Declaration and Rules. They seek an order requiring him to comply, and acknowledge that one of their purposes in seeking the order is to allow them to request he be removed from the Condominium, should he not comply. The conflict between the Board and Mr. Ohri dates to 1) a January 2016 altercation in the parking garage between Mr. Ohri and two Board members; and 2) an election of the Board of Directors in February 2016. Mr. Ohri supported his friend, a Mr. Singh. The Board posted a notice implying that residents should not vote for Mr. Singh. Mr. Singh lost the election by 9-10 votes when 20 votes against him were disqualified, based on Mr. Ohri’s alleged intimidation of unit owners into providing proxies. Mr. Singh sold his unit and moved out of the condominium.

Justice Price dismissed the application, finding the complaints against Mr. Ohri unfounded. Mr. Ohri has no history of violence, the police did not charge him, and video footage of two incidents from the surveillance camera were ambiguous as to who started things. Mr. Ohri was also able to provide a statement attesting to his good character signed by 15 residents of the building. Justice Price declined to order Mr. Ohri to comply with the Condominium Act, etc., saying that judges don’t generally order people to comply with the law.

Comment From Justice Price: “The court must be vigilant, especially in the context of a Board election in a condominium corporation, to ensure that its process is not manipulated by Board members who seek to maintain political control within the condominium by seeking a venue in which the condominium’s superior legal resources, and the indemnification terms of its rules, give it a significant advantage in a contest with a Unit owner.”

Pollock v. Wilson, 2017 HRTO 1476
Decision Date: November 8, 2017
http://canlii.ca/t/hnqvf

The applicant, Ms Pollock, is diabetic and relies on a service dog trained to recognize low blood sugar levels. Ms Wilson is her across-the-hall neighbor in a condominium. On Ms. Pollock’s door there is a sign alerting EMS personnel that there is a service dog in the unit. Ms. Wilson complained to the property manager about the sign, saying that such signs “serve to lower the tone of the building.” The property manager asked Ms. Pollock to remove the sign. (Apparently other signs, such as one proclaiming “World’s Best Grandma” were not similarly targeted.) In response, Ms. Pollock pasted additional notices and signs about disability and service dogs on her door. Condominium staff removed these notices; Ms. Pollock re-posted them. Finally, after speaking with a police officer, the property manager agreed that Ms. Pollock could continue to display the “service dog” sign. There was some additional back-and-forth among the two women, the building staff and the condominium board, about various issues related to the dog.

Ms Pollock filed a complaint against Ms Wilson with the Human Rights Tribunal. The adjudicator found that Ms Wilson’s complaints about the door created a poisoned environment for Ms Pollock and subjected her to adverse treatment. Ms Wilson was ordered to pay Ms Pollock $200 in compensation for injury to dignity, feelings, and self-respect.

About the image: One Canada Square at London, Docklands. By Garry KnightFlickr: 4:06 PM, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

Posted in General.

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