The CAO is investigating if legal costs should be awarded in CAT cases.  The effect of CAT’s Costs Rule No. 45 has generally resulted in no costs awards in records cases except in exceptional circumstances.  Condos should take advantage of this opportunity to convince CAO to award legal costs to the successful party, for the following reasons.

CAT’s jurisdiction was expanded beyond records cases to include disputes regarding pets, vehicles, parking and storage cases as of October 2020, with some mixed results applicable to recovery of legal fees in some CAT cases.  CAT will also assume jurisdiction for noise, odours, smoke, vapour, light or vibration disputes as of January 2022.

Compared to owner-initiated records cases, nuisance cases enforced by Corporations would often involve many kinds of legal concepts.  Condos and their lawyers have already developed systems to process various types of scenarios, having careful regard to previous court precedents.

After a manager’s initial efforts have failed to persuade an offending occupant to cease creating a nuisance, a condo’s  lawyer issues a demand compliance letter to the offender and often educates boards and managers how to assemble conclusive evidence.  Over 90% of rules breaches are resolved (to the relief of neighbours), usually immediately upon receipt of the lawyer’s letter, or through a negotiating process.  If lawyers will no longer be encouraged to warn owners and occupants of their obligation to bear legal fees in cases of proven nuisances, then CAT can expect an avalanche of cases.


Continue Reading CAT should award legal fees

GMA is proud of our comprehensive Standard Unit By-law (“SUBL”) and streamlined processing arrangements.

Our SUBL precedent has recently evolved.  We have buttressed its existing strict liability insurance deductible provision by specifically defining circumstances where an owner is liable for a water leak, fire or other “act or omission” perils, in case the government proclaims the proposed amendments to s. 105 of the Condo Act.

The SUBL can be adjusted to protect the Corporation from incurring excessive insurance deductible amounts.  We have also clarified the Corporation’s optional rights of inspection of various unit safety devices and hazards, including chargeback rights in s. 92 or s. 105 scenarios, as described below.   Here are some of our SUBL improvements:


Continue Reading Standard Unit By-law Upgrades

A brand-new Occupiers Liability Act provision requires Notice to be given by a person injured by ice or snow on privately-owned property, within 60 days after the date of injury.

That Snow/Ice Injury Notice must describe in writing the location, date, time and circumstances giving rise to the injury.  The Notice must either be sent

As we blogged on July 14, 2020 – The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services intends to proclaim a “Condominium Guide” into force effective December 1, 2020.  Submissions from the public on the proposed contents are due August 14, 2020. 

We made brief submissions on further potential headings for the Condo Guide table of contents.  These include status certificate and pre-construction condo purchase topics, first year deficiency and funding issues, conversion condominiums, and touch on the requirements for condo insurance, owner insurance and an explanation of standard unit vs. improvement coverage 

In our view, the suggested contents are comprehensive and hopefully the plain-language content will be too! 

In making our short notes, we had longer thoughts.  Here are some items we hope get fleshed out in the Condo Guide content: 


Continue Reading Considerations on the proposed “Condo Guide” 

Directors, managers and condo lawyers will spend at least the next year struggling through intricate implications arising with respect to the major amendments to the Condominium Act, 1998 (“the Act”) and its many new regulatory provisions flowing from the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015. Managers have the obligation to refrain from rendering professional advice beyond their expertise. Provide advance notice and allow lawyers more time to respond. Budget for increased legal fees to enable your lawyer to properly analyze and respond to the new amendments to the Act, revised Ontario Regulation 48/01 and future regulations as may apply to your condo’s circumstances.

For instance, in addition to the increased number of various legal opinions your Corporation may request, consider asking for our list of 30 Condominium Document Packages. We can also customize any of the following projects to suit your condo:
Continue Reading Bob’s AGM tips

The Province of Ontario has rolled out proposed new legislation to reform the existing Condominium Act, 1998 and establish mandatory licensing and regulation of condo managers.

Following a careful review and elaborate public consultation process from 2012 to 2014, the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015 was introduced in the legislature on May 27, 2015 as