The question is between the owner of the condo and the property manager. We own one unit at the condo. We have been working as the caretaker for the last 10 years at a building in Calgary. We love the building and people there. However, a new board recently took the power back from the old board after 2 month power fighting. As we have been working with the old board so we were treated unfairly and fired without reason by the property manager after new board secured the power. They do not want to pay our April, May and June salary (the power fighting period) until now. I want to mention that the property manager refuse to do any service call for that period other than helping the new board to fight for power. One case is that there is an owner witnessed reported fire sprinkler air leakage in the building. We reported to her by email and voice mail etc but she refuse to take any action. We have been working with 3 other property management company for the last 10 years and I am really feel this one is the worst one I have ever worked with. I knew she is pretty angry with us because I email to both board to push her to arrange for immediately repair work for the fire sprinkler system in regardless of who will having the power with considering the priority of the building safety.We decided to move out of the building by July 25. The property manager emailed us on Aug 1 saying that we illegally dumped garbage in front the garbage room when we were moving out and ask us to come back to clean the garbage otherwise they will fine us. We came back to the condo Aug 6 from vacation and find out there is a dishwasher, a BBQ and a steel table sitting there and none of these items is ours. There has been a big pile of garbage sitting there for weeks before us moving out. A witness told me these three items has been there long ago as part of the pile. We try to explain to the property manger by email and text message. They just simply told me to shut up and clean it up no matter what. They said we break the Condo by law by leaving garbage in front of garbage room. The fact is we have allowed people to leave larger items in the same place and we will move them into the bin for the last 10 years. All of our items are in the Bin and none of the remaining belongs to us.They are very rude and told me I will be charge with fines and with extra handling management fee because I did not shut up when she told me to shut up when we explaining to her using texting each other (I just did two more very short messages asking for proof when she told me end of discussion).Now I am waiting for the fines coming. I still could not get our salary. What can I do in our case? Paying the fines for condo removing the three items that are not belonging to us and begging them to pay our salary everyday? I do not expect the new condo board will help us as the property manager helps them get the power. We feel being bullied by the property manager and do not know what we are going to do. Please kindly provide your guidance.
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Hello,My apologies that no one has yet responded to your inquiry. Unfortunately as the Experts on JA are mostly practicing lawyers we're only able to contribute to JA when our pracitces permit.With that said, however, you have a very interested situation and I'm sorry to see you stuck in it. If I understand you correctly, you lived in one building but were also hired to provide maintenance work for that building. Did you have a written contract for the work you were performing or were you a direct employee of the Board? In essence, what I'm getting at is, were you hired as a contractor or as an employee and is there any sort of written agreement?If there is an agreement, how long does it last and when can the board terminate it? Explain the arrangement to me please so I can get a sense of what rights you may have here to claim your outstanding payments.Regards XXXXX XXXXX wishes.
Thanks for your kindly respose on my question. We were working as an contractor not an employee. The contract is signed long ago (9 years) between my personal company and the property manager hired by the condo board at that time. The property manager has been changed few times by the old condo board but we just simply submit the invoice to whoever is the new property manager to get the payment from the old board. This is also including the current property manager. We have been able to get payment from the current property manager without problem prior to the new board step in. The contract says that one month notice needed from each other. As a caretaker, we have been working closely to the condo board and property manager including a lot communication.
Please also kindly address the other question related the fines for garbage that are not belonged to us. I know the property manager will add additionl 100$ each month on the bill they have not received. How should i fight for my justice and protect myself? Thanks!
Hello,Thank-you for the reply. I'm only around for a breif moment this evening. I'll consider your reply and provide you an answer to your follow-up Monday so we can hash this out more.With respect to the garbage, what I'm unclear on is how are you responsible for where the garbage is placed in the first place? Or was it part of your function to remove garbage and ensure it is deposited correctly? I guess I don't see the link between you as a maintenance company and where unit owners are placing their trash.
Dear Lawer, that you for your response. When we start to work for the building, the rule set by the first property manager is to leave bigger item at front of the garbage room and we will clean them up daily. Since we were fired, the building shape is getting worse. No one come and clean the building and garbage for a month. The property manager then changed rule asking all resident to leave garbage into the bin themself. However, the situation never changed any better. Some resident start to complaint about this. The property manager seems getting mad on this. They knew we were moving out and they are trying to find a guy to proof this is not their fault.. They knew the garbage are not belong to us. They do not have any evidence to prove the garbage belong to us and they do not feel they need to proof that. They knew I have witness. They also knew they can treat us unfair and will not get any trouble from the new board as we are not on their side.
Hello,I understand your frutration. The one-month notice requrement would mean that they would have to have provided that notice - it sounds like from the date they fired you plus one month would be the period they need to pay.With respect to the garbage issue, frankly, its the management's problem not yours. They would need to prove that it was your garbage and it doesn't sound like they can do that so any attempt to fine you for that would be wrongful.From what you've indicated it sounds like you're dealing with some fairly difficult personalities on this Board and, to protect yourselves -- not to mention to collect the past-due payments that are due to you -- I recommend you retain a local Property / Strata Lawyer to represent you. The lawyer can issue a demand letter for the past-due payments and a cease & desist letter with respect to the threatened fines. If they do not relent the lawyer can then help you file a court claim for the funds and seeking an injunction to prevent their attempts to fine or harass you.In Alberta, the best way to get in touch with a local lawyer is through the Law Society's Referral Service which can be found here: LINK. You might also want to try JusticeNet (LINK) - if you qualify financially, they offer referral to lawyers who have agreed to accept reduced rates (usually about 1/3 normal billable rates -- lower in the cities due to the higher-base rates there).Regards XXXXX XXXXX wishes.