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Renters are also subject to board rules
Marilyn Lincoln, National Post
Q. Our condo board is having a problem with the declarant (builder) who is leasing out units and is not providing the corporation with the names of the renters or any other info. These renters have not received copies of our bylaws from their landlord (declarant) and they continue to violate our rules and claim ignorance. The builder informs us he does not have to provide any information and he thinks section 83 (1) of the Condominium Act does not apply to him. Is this an error on his part?
A. The declarant, otherwise known as the builder or developer, is the owner until the date of registration of a condominium declaration and description. Following the registration, the builder must appoint the first board of directors for the corporation. Once the majority of units have been sold, the declarant must hold a turnover meeting at which the owners can elect a board of directors. Sometimes a declarant will continue to be part of the corporation long after the turnover meeting, especially if they still own some of the units. As a condo owner, he or she is entitled to rent their units. However, they are not exempt from following the Condominium Act of Ontario, which is the law.
It clearly states in section 83(1) of the act that any owner who leases a unit or renews a lease shall, within 30 days of entering into a lease or renewal, notify the corporation. The owner must provide the tenant’s name, the owner’s address, copy of the lease or a summary of it, along with a copy of the declaration, bylaws and rules of the corporation. The owner must notify the corporation in writing when the tenancy terminates. The corporation must maintain a record of all notices that it has received.
Failing to provide the above information can result in consequences. For instance, in our corporation, an owner didn’t read our rules prior to leasing his unit. He rented his condo to a family with two dogs, when our documents state only one dog per unit. Needless to say, it was a very stressful time for both the tenants and the board of directors who had to enforce the one-dog restriction. The tenants moved out within six weeks.
Owners, take note: You are responsible for your tenants, who are subject to the same rules as owners under the Condominium Act. In the above case, the writer mentions the tenants are violating the rules and claiming ignorance. The board should send a letter to the tenants and the owner indicating the oversight. If tenants refuse to follow the rules, the corporation can obtain a court order under Section 134 of the act, requiring compliance. If the tenant refuses to comply with the order, the court has the authority to terminate the lease.
Marilyn Lincoln is a condo owner, director and author of The Condominium Self Management Guide, 2nd edition.
By Marilyn Lincoln – New Dream Homes and Condos
Toronto condo living can be a great way of life, and may actually be preferred over a single-family home. However, to be absolutely sure that this lifestyle suits your needs, you must be prepared to do your research.
For example, what style of condo do you wish to consider? If you choose a high-rise Toronto condo, you will have people above you, beside you and below you. Therefore, are you a good neighbor who will respect other people’s rights to quiet enjoyment in this vertical village? Can you turn down the volume of your stereo, walk softly, close doors without slamming them and vacuum at reasonable hours?
It is very important to remember that most condo owners share walls with their neighbors, and the odds are that you are going to hear some type of noise. Sounds travel from elevators, laundry rooms, gym and swimming pool, so be sure to consider how close your unit is to these facilities. Even the best soundproofing won’t block out every noise.
Due to the high density nature of Toronto condo living, there are several rules and restrictions to consider. Be diligent in your search for the perfect condo and don’t rush into it without checking the restrictions that are attached. On more then one occasion, our board has welcomed new owners to our complex who were very misinformed.
For instance, one family was told there was plenty of parking available for four vehicles, when in fact there is limited parking of two cars per unit. Get written confirmation of all assurances you have received from the seller. Verbal statements will be of no use to you should there be conflict between what you were told and what appears in the condominium documents.
Another fact of life you must consider when you choose this lifestyle is a condominium owners association.
Each condo corporation has a board of directors who are elected by the owners. Review the minutes of the board of director meetings over the past year or so to see if there have been any issues of contention or recurring problems that don’t seem to be corrected.
A well-managed condo corporation is vital in order to maintain an attractive property with good resale value. Before you consider condo ownership, weigh all the pros and cons. This lifestyle is not for everyone, but it seems to be winning over a growing legion of homeowners across the continent.