Hi,I must firstly inform you that I don't know how much I need to pay for an answer. Is this a voluntary figure? Pls let me know if otherwise. I need to know before hand how much I must pay while I already appreciate your service.OK, now my problem is: I own a condo downtown Toronto. We are a family of 4, total is 4 adults. The condo is 750. sq ft and has one bedroom, a den, two bathrooms, two parking places. The condo's Board of Directors has recently decided to limit the no. of FOB's, electronic access keys, given to each owner to the no. of bedrooms they have. As a result we get 3 FOB's which means one of us is practically deprived of freely accessing our home. Because we all work and study with different schedules, this limitation has created a real mess in our lives. I have officially reflected my problems to the board asking them for a fourth FOB but they rejected it. They reasoning is that they want to control the cost of utility, which is shared. I, however, believe there is no relationship unless this was mentioned in the purchasing agreements which it is not. I take this as depriving me from accessing my home and I take their answer as "humiliation" and that I must sell and get out.I wonder what the state law has to say about this. I strongly believe the Board of Director has no right to make and impose such a decision. Am I right?Thank you in advance,Best regards,Mansor.
Province/Territory relating to question: Ontario
I sent an email to the board of directors explained to them that because we are out of the building at different times, especially I myself that need to take the car out and in and that needs a FOB too and I travel a lot as well coordination with family members is at times extremely difficult and at the end of the day the question is why should I be deprived of my need for a forth FOB?
You decide if you pay anything.
Did the Board respond??
I must add that the response of the board has been verbal through the condo manager.
I appreciate if you could let me know when you'll be on-line again. I couldn't catch you this early in the morning.
A Strata is considered to be a democracy where the law hopes the community will manage there affairs in the best interests of all. So there is not much intervention by law.
Do the 4 adults share ownership?
Where they all present in the unit at the time of purchase?
Do your bylaws provide for a dispute resolution process?
Hi, I am the owner, father of the family. The rest are two daughters and my wife. They were all present at the time of purchase.
I agree this is a humiliation. I do not accept their answers about this any more than you do.
I dont think we have any bylaws for the no. of FOBs and if you mean something else by "Provide for a dispute resolution process", I don't know.
Ok, thanks but what are my options? How can I force them to give me the fourth FOB we badly need?
I doubt they have anything so specific as that about FOB. I was hoping you had a mediation clause. Have you talked directly to a Board member....the President??
We don't have access to the board. We have a lady who is kind of building manager and she takes our messages, transfers to the board and back.
You do not elect them at a meeting? They are not your neighbours?? I am chatting and doing some research.
yes, they are elected and neighbours but the manager has told me that this is the decision and that's it and they have also recently posted this at the reception and management office as the board's decision on the no. of FOB's. At the last General Meeting they also mentioned about this decision and that it is to reduce the cost of Utilities, however, I don't think it has any relationship.
There is nothing stopping you from banging on the door of the President and every other Board member. Raising it at the next meeting is also a possibility. They are there to serve the members and it is fundamental that all residents have access to where they live. Nothing could be more important and clear. Further, if they stated a 4th card would have some charge associated with it then make it reasonable but to deny is ridiculous and as I will soon advise....costly.
The cost of FOB is clear and fixed at 100. $ and that is not the issue. What I need is a strong reasoning that their decision is against the law and I can challenge it in a court of law. Can I do that if necessary?
That is my point. The Board should be alerted by you that the situation is not acceptable. The Board may not have considered your situation or be aware of it. If their focus is a random number of cards is assigned based upon bedrooms, are there any other members effected that you know of?? I am looking at your statute.
So, the first line of action in my opinion is to contact Board members directly and tell them this is not on. Forget my question about bylaws your statute requires two steps to resolve a dispute. The first is Mediation. The second is Arbitration and only then can you go to court.
I have explained in detail what my problem is and why I, we, need a fourth FOB in writing. Among the reasons are: I have bought a new home/office to use as my office, so I spend some nights away, I have to take the car, going back and forth needs the fob to get into the parking. I travel a lot and when I arrive before late afternoon I am practically stuck. We always have to keep on thinking who should be left without a FOB tomorrow!! In fact when they raised this issue an owner protested but unfortunately other neighbors started making kind of fun of him for questioning this regulation because there are a lot of bachelors, rich ones, in our building.
Ok, I got your point. For Mediation do I need a 3rd party's help or I should do it myself. My other question is what does Ontario's Condo laws have to say about this? Is there any limitation set forth by this law?
No need to hire anyone in my opinion for mediation. This is a discussion to come to some sort of remedy by agreement. You share the costs of the mediator. If nothing comes out of it, then you go to Arbitration where an order is made.
My read is that these steps must be followed. However, the Statute does allow for an action in Supreme Court for oppressive behavior by a Strata Corp. In my opinion, this ruling at least borders on this.
Ok, just let's assume that the mediation goes nowhere, what is it I need to do for Arbitration?
While we work through this, please understand that your problem is unique so the answer is also unique. The reason is, the concept of restricting the ability to enter a residence by a resident does not come up often because access is fundamental to the whole purchase agreement.
Generally we do not here recommend any for profit enterprise but this article is a reprint from a Lawyer's Journal that I am familiar with....
In fact I have raised this matter as well, with the board. That is there is nothing in purchase/sales contracts refering to this FOB limitation. When there is such a regulation it must be brought to the attention of buyer by the real estate buyer and not after purchase by the building management.
Ok, thanks for the link. Shall we make a conclusion and close this up?
That is true to an extent. The "democracy" can make poor decisions that effect owners. Again, the law hopes the democracy will sort things out so there are no condo police ready to rush in and solve a problem. Please let me make one final point......
Refusing entry to a property to a resident I think is very serious. Neither of us buy the excuse. It is so fundamental that I think it may be oppressive. Again, this situation is unique because most thinking people (the Board) would not reduce access to property by residents. On my read, if this is oppressive then you may be able to skip the process as described above. That means you need at least a phone consultation with an Ontario lawyer who has this as a specialty. Here is a link to the lawyer referral service. Contact them and ask for names of lawyers who do Condo Law for owners. They will provide a few names of lawyers who have agreed to consult initially at no cost to you.
I would not be surprised if any lawyer does not know the answer off the top. if you are lucky you may meet one that has had this problem but I am betting your facts are very rare.
Ok, thank you Tom. And it seems you are at the other end of Canada, have a good time. I shall Accept this and say good bye but just wait for you just in case you have any other points to mention.
I think I have done all I can. I hope I have assisted and I hope you do not give up on this important issue.
I shall not in no way. Thank you and bye.
Called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1991