Upcoming Condominium Events

Fall is a busy season for our firm’s Condo Law Group and for the Ottawa Chapter of the Canadian Condominium Institute (CCI).This is a listing of some upcoming events in the Ottawa area.

CCI Ottawa Chapter Annual General Meeting
October 19th
9 AM
Nepean Sportsplex (1701 Woodroffe Avenue)

Fall 2013 CCI Condominium Directors’ Course
November 9th and 10th
9 AM – 4 PM
Capone’s Ballroom – Nepean Sportsplex (1701 Woodroffe Avenue)

To register visit: http://www.cci.ca/ottawa/NEWS-EVENTS/events.asp

ACMO/CCI Condo Conference 2013
November 15th and 16th
7:30 AM – 10 PM
Toronto Congress Centre (650 Dixon Road – Toronto)

To register visit: http://www.condoconference.ca/REGISTER/index.php

Condo Conundrums Session 2013
November 28th
1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
The Hellenic Community of Ottawa (1315 Prince of Wales Drive)

Join eight of our condo law experts for an entertaining and informative afternoon. Mingle from table to table, each hosted by one of our condo law lawyers, for a lively discussion of current issues of interest in the condominium community, and find the answers to your questions!

To register: please contact Kristen Cinnamon by email or at 613-231-8271.

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Assessment of Legal Fees for Lien

We recently responded to an owner’s assessment of our legal bill in relation to a lien.

We had registered a notice of lien against the owner’s unit, on behalf of a co-tenacy association. The owner then sought to assess the legal bill (which had been included as part of the lien amount) before an assessment officer/assessor.

A lawyer’s client (in this case, the condominium corporation) has the right to arrange for assessment of the lawyer’s bill under Ontario’s Solicitors Act. The Solicitors Act also says that any party who is liable to pay a legal bill (in this case, the owner) can also arrange to have the bill assessed by an assessor.

In our case, the assessor confirmed that our legal bill was reasonable. But the assessor went on to say that the owner was not liable to pay the legal costs, and therefore assessed the legal bill at $nil.

We appealed the assessor’s decision to a judge, and the judge overturned the decision. The judge said:

  • The assessor had no authority to determine whether or not the owner was obligated to pay the legal costs. The assessor could only assess the legal bill. In other words, the assessor could only determine the reasonableness of the legal bill.
  • The assessor’s finding that the legal bill was reasonable was accepted and the bill was accordingly assessed in its full amount.

The decision in Aiello v. Nelligan O’Brien Payne can be found in Superior Court File No. 13-57411.

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Week Two Condo Quiz Question

Enter to Win $500 in Legal Services from Nelligan O'Brien Payne’s Condo Group!*

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

Take part in The Great Eastern Ontario Condo Quiz! The winner will be drawn randomly on November 1, 2013, and will be announced in our November 5, 2013 blog post. For more details on the contest, including how to enter, please click here.

The Official Week Two Question is:

The stage-two review of the Condominium Act is now complete. A key recommendation from this review is that a “Condo Office” be established. The purpose of this office is:

  1. To promote education and awareness;
  2. Dispute settlement;
  3. Licensing of condominium managers;
  4. All of the above.

THE WEEK TWO QUESTION SUBMISSION PERIOD IS NOW CLOSED. THANKS FOR ENTERING!


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 October 31st. One (1) prize available to be won consisting of $500.00 CAD in legal services from the Condominium Law Group at Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP, and a Nelligan O’Brien Payne merchandise prize package. Draw will be conducted on or about November 1, 2013, and winner will be announced on November 7, 2013. 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 One Condo Quiz Question

Take part in The Great Eastern Ontario Condo Quiz! There will be a question at the end of each of our four blog posts in October. You will receive a ballot for each question that you answer correctly and submit an eligible entry for within each 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 on November 1, 2013, and will be announced in our November 5, 2013 blog post. For more details on the contest, please click here.

The Official Week One Question is:

You are on the Board of Directors for your condominium corporation, and you receive a written request from an owner for certain records of the Corporation. The owner is requesting copies of all documents in the file maintained by the Corporation for the unit owned by his/her neighbour. Is the Corporation able to provide the requested documents to the owner?

THE WEEK ONE QUESTION SUBMISSION PERIOD IS NOW CLOSED. THANKS FOR ENTERING!

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 October 31st. One (1) prize available to be won consisting of $500.00 CAD in legal services from the Condominium Law Group at Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP, and a Nelligan O’Brien Payne merchandise prize package. Draw will be conducted on or about November 1, 2013, and winner will be announced on November 7, 2013. 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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Condo Act Reform Reaches Stage Two

As most of our readers will know, the province is in the midst of an extensive review of Ontario’s Condominium Act. The current Condominium Act, 1998 came into force in 2001. According to the stage two report (released on September 24, 2013) the province feels that there is “pressing need to overhaul the rules governing condo communities, provide better information to owners, and devise new tools for resolving disputes”.

The province has hatched a three-stage process for review of the Condominium Act:

  1. Under the first stage, which was completed in early 2013, various participants from Ontario’s condominium sector offered their comments and suggestions for reform of the Act.
  2. In stage two, the province set up five working groups and a twelve-member expert panel to review and consider the various comments received in stage one, all with a view to developing recommendations for reform and offering ideas for further consideration. The resulting “Stage Two Solutions Report” contains numerous suggestions and comments about Condominium Act reform, including 112 recommendations in the following categories:
    1. Condo Office
    2. Consumer Protection
    3. Financial Management
    4. Dispute Resolution
    5. Governance
    6. Condo Management

For more detail about the recommendations in the Stage Two Solutions Report, click here to see my full article.

  1. As far as concerns the “next steps”, the stage-two report states as follows:

We plan to launch the third and final stage of the review process in the fall of 2013:

  • A residents’ panel will review the stage-two recommendations.
  • Government officials will draft an action plan for implementing the recommendations.
  • Condo residents and other stakeholders will have an opportunity to review the action plan.”

Click here to review the complete Stage Two Report on the Ministry of Consumer Services website. If you would like to provide feedback to the province, the Ministry’s website tells you how you can do that. NOTE: The Ministry’s website also says: “You can comment on the Stage Two Solutions Report until November 8, 2013.”  So, if you would like to comment, don’t delay.

We’re still a long way from the finished product (the actual amendments to the Condominium Act). But it certainly appears that amendments are coming within the next few years.

To enter this week’s Great Eastern Ontario Condo Quiz, please click here!

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