Protecting your home from forfeiture

Do you know that if you or someone in your house commits a criminal offence, you can lose your home? Whether it is your son growing 2 marihuana plants in his room, or your tenant is paying rent with money she earned selling stolen goods, both can result in you losing your house. It does not matter if there are criminal charges, it is up to you to show that you did everything you could to watch out for illegal activity in your home. Know what is happening in your home at all the time.

Please contact our office if you are dealing with a civil forfeiture claim by the government.

Costs for enforcing Condo Rules s 134 of the Condo Act

A recent case Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No 744 v. Bazilinsky (2012 ONSC 1187) (CanLIi) was a fight over the parrot of the unit holder Mr. Bazilinsky. The court did not focus on the safety of the unit holder but the corporation’s attempt to collect their reasonable costs for enforcing the Declaration and By-laws, pursuant to section 134(5) of the Condo Act.

In this case, the Condo Corp, charged Mr. Bazilinsky for the costs of enforcing their bylaws. When he refused to pay, a lien was placed on his unit and an entry made on the status certificate indicating what was owed. Although the court, ordered costs of $3000 to the corporation. The Corporation sought to add a further $17,000 to the common element costs of Mr. Bazilinsky as these costs were still outstanding for legal fees that were incurred for enforcing the condo rules.

The court found that legal costs would be recoverable if reasonable. The court reduced the Corporation’s bill of $41,599 to $6,500. The court also ordered costs against the corporation.

Why the Condominum Act needs some changes?

MPP, Rosario Marchese, of the Trinity Spadina riding, hopes that his attempt to pass a private member bill for the fourth time, is the charm.

He seeks to protect condo owners from developers that leave gaping holes in the city and empty pockets of those who left sizeable deposits.

He also plans to have more owner input in the day to day running of the condo. He also wants to see more qualified persons heading Tarion’s warranty issues

He also suggests a Condominium Review Board where owners/tenants can obtain faster relief than from the courts as well as a way of tracking unethical developers

Toronto has a lot of condos, a lot are in Mr. Marchese’s riding. It would be a good thing if condo owners have more protections under the Act.

The article is posted below.

Renovating your condo – what does your by-laws say?

Relying on the condo board not enforcing a by-law because they did not challenge another unit’s renovations is a risk that should not be taken by an owner.

In a recent case relating to a Toronto downtown live/work unit, the unit owner subdivided her unit without obtaining prior approval from the Board. When the condo board objected, she tried to get retroactive approval, which was denied. The board requested that the unit be restored to its original condition, which was to be done before the owner objected. She claimed that other owners, who had done similar work, were not sanctioned.

In deciding against the owner, the court stated “the board has a statutory duty to make sure that the provisions of its Declarations are adhered to.” (para 42) Unless the decision is unreasonable the court would not interfere with the board’s decision. The court ordered that the owner return her unit to the original condition/layout in the builder’s plans.

Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation NO. 1549 and Cathy Chan (2011) ONSC 5547

Specific Performance

This is a remedy that the purchaser of property can obtain, if the vendor does not the sell the property, as agreed to, or breaches a condition of the contract. The theory behind this law, is that each piece of land is unique.

In a recent case in Ontario, called Greenway Estate Homes Ltd v. McDonald, the purchaser sought this remedy plus an abatement of the purchase price. The purchaser claimed, the piece of land was less then the 26 acres listed in the agreement of purchase of sale. The court found that the purchaser was unable to purchase the property, as funding fell through, and had not raised the acreage issue until the day before closing. In this case, the purchaser was not given the remedies he sought. and forfeited his deposit