Reminder: Kingston Condo Law Primer – 2016

The deadline to register for the Kingston Primer is fast approaching and space is limited. Register now to avoid disappointment!

Hosted by Nelligan O’Brien Payne’s Condominium Law group, this not-to-be-missed event will address issues of interest to the condominium community.

Some of the topics of discussion at this seminar will include:

Here are the event details:

  • Date: April 9, 2016
  • Location: Residence Inn Marriott, 7 Earl St, Kingston (Click here for a map)
  • Time: 9:00 am – 12 pm
  • Cost: $40 (Includes HST)

To register, please click here to fill out the form and email to wanda.blakney@nelligan.ca or send by fax to 613-531-0857. If you have any questions, Wanda can be reached at 613-531-7905.

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Collecting Costs from Owners

When an owner (or the owner’s tenant) causes the condominium corporation to incur costs, two questions arise:

  1. Does the condominium corporation have the right to collect those costs from the owner?
  2. Can the costs be added to the owner’s common expenses?

The Condominium Act contains some specific provisions about recovery of costs from owners. For instance:

  • If a condominium corporation is required to take enforcement proceedings against an owner and/or the owner’s tenant, the condominium corporation may be entitled to recover all reasonable costs incurred by the condominium corporation in the Court process. And the corporation will normally have the right to add those costs to the owner’s common expenses. [See Section 134 (5) of the Condominium Act.]
  • Under Section 92 of the Act, if a condominium corporation carries out maintenance or repairs on behalf of an owner, the related costs can be added to the owner’s common expenses.
  • Under Section 105 of the Act, owners may be responsible for the corporation’s insurance deductible in certain circumstances. If so, the amount is added to the owner’s common expenses.

But what about other costs caused by an owner or the owner’s tenant that are not related to a court process? This could include legal costs (for warning or demand letters), extra management costs (for special enforcement efforts), engineering costs (for special investigations) or any other costs incurred by a corporation as a result of an act or omission of an owner or the owner’s tenant.

The corporation’s right to recover those types of costs – and to add those costs to the owner’s common expenses – can often depend upon an “indemnification” provision in the corporation’s declaration, by-laws or rules.

Note as well that, in order to add such costs to an owner’s common expenses, the amendments to the Condominium Act require that the indemnification provision (specifically stating that such costs are added to the owner’s common expenses) be in the declaration.

So, all of this leads to the following questions:

a)      Does your declaration contain an indemnification provision?

b)      Is that indemnification provision well-worded?

c)      If the answer to (a) or (b) is “no”, should you perhaps be considering an amendment to your declaration (with consents from owners of 80% of the units) to add an indemnification provision to your declaration? Or maybe improve the wording of a current provision?

NOTE: Without such a provision in your declaration, when the amendments to the Condominium Act come into force, you may have to look for other ways to collect amounts owed by owners…such as a claim against the owner and/or tenant in Small Claims Court. Depending upon the specific facts, this may be a far less efficient alternative.

To read more on condominium arrears, take a look at our previous blog post.

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Change is in the Air Contest – 2016 Edition – We Have a Winner!

The Condo Law News: Change is in the Air Contest – 2016 Edition is over, and we are excited to announce our winner!

Congratulations! The winner of the draw is Adrienne Leach!

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Quiz. Come back to visit our blog often for updates and news on all areas of Condominium Law, and stay tuned for our next contest!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Open only to legal residents of Ontario who are of legal age of majority and at least nineteen (19) years of age at the time of entry. Not open to employees or immediate family members of employees of Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP or its affiliated entities. Contest closes at 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 20th. One (1) prize available to be won consisting of waived registration fees for up to five (5) individuals to attend the upcoming 2016 New Act primer event hosted by Nelligan O’Brien Payne, and a firm merchandise prize package. Prize is valued at $250.00 CAD. Draw will be conducted on or about March 20, 2016, and winner will be announced on March 21, 2016. Odds of winning depend on the total number of eligible entries received for the drawing at issue. Mathematical skill testing question must be answered correctly to win. For full rules, please click here.

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Week Four, FINAL Question: The Condo Law News: Change is in the Air Contest – 2016 Edition

Take part in the Condo Law News: Change is in the Air Contest – 2016 Edition! Enter to win five (5) tickets to our upcoming 2016 New Act Primer event, hosted by Nelligan O'Brien Payne’s Condo lawyers!*

*For full contest rules, including a description of the prize, please click here.

There will be four blog posts containing quiz questions in February/March. You will receive a ballot each time you answer a question correctly and then submit an eligible entry during the weekly contest period. For example, if you answer four questions correctly and submit eligible entries for each, you will receive four ballots. The winner will be drawn randomly and announced in a blog post on March 21, 2016. For more details on the contest, including how to enter, please click here.

The Official Week Four (and final) Question is:

One of the conditions in Section 98 of the Condominium Act requires that when an owner makes an addition, alteration or improvement to the common elements, that they enter into an agreement with the corporation, registered on title to the owner’s unit.

Bill 106 removes the requirement for Section 98 agreements. True or False?

The question period is now over, thanks for playing!

Want an extra entry into the contest? Use the hashtag!

Simply tweet or post on Facebook about the contest using the hashtag #condolawnewscontest2016 and each user will gain one extra entry into the contest.

(If your Twitter username or Facebook name does not reflect the email address you are entering the contest with, please email us at nelligannews@nelligan.ca to ensure we award you the extra entry.)

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Insurance Claims – Watch out for the Limitation Period!

Our readers may know that the limitation period for most types of claims in Ontario is two years. This means that the claim must be started (by court process) within two years from when the claimant discovers or ought to have discovered the basis for the claim. Otherwise, the right to assert the claim is likely lost.

However, for many insurance claims, the limitation period maybe shorter.

Condominium corporations are sometimes required to consider claims against their insurers. For instance:

(a)    When damage is caused to the common elements or standard units, repairs may be covered by the corporation’s property insurance.

(b)   When a claim is made against the condominium corporation and/or directors, the condominium’s insurer may have a duty to defend the claim (and may have a duty to pay any judgment).

In such cases, condominium corporations must be careful to preserve their claims. In particular:

  1. As a first step, the insurer must be given prompt notice of any such claim or potential claim against the insurer.
  2. In addition, if there is any doubt or possible doubt about the insurer’s acceptance of the claim, the condominium corporation must start the claim against the insurer (by court process) within the applicable limitation period. And, for purposes of this second step, here’s the key point: The limitation period for such insurance claims may be shorter than the typical two-year limitation period.

The Courts have said that the limitation period for insurance claims can be determined in the insurance contract/policy. For example, many insurance policies contain one-year limitation periods (from the date of a loss) for claims against the insurer. Some policies contain one-year limitation periods under both the property insurance coverage and the liability insurance coverage.

The bottom line is as follows: Whenever you are confronted with a claim or potential claim against your insurer, be sure to consider the two steps noted above, and also be sure to check the limitation period in the policy. Again, if a claim against the insurer is necessary, it must be started by court process within the limitation period noted in the policy.

To read more about condominium insurance, check out our previous blog post.

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