Updated: January 15, 2020

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

The ultimate guide to condominium culture in Ontario. Why a purchased communal apartment or townhouse is a commitment for better or worse.

In the beginning was The Condominium Act, 1998. A social contract arrangement between politicians and real estate developers to let people buy into housing with amenities and carefree living. Pay your money and someone else will do all the work is one way to daydream about it.

But wait a minute.

Secondly came The Declaration made by the developer describing usage of the building and land. Over time, may need to be changed. For example: electric vehicle charging stations.

Third came The Bylaws and The Rules made up with the skill of volunteer owners labelled Directors telling owners how they are to act in, on and around the building and land. A task mightier than building championship teams of MLB Toronto Blue Jays, NHL Toronto Maple Leafs and NBA Toronto Raptors all in one year. Are their initial thoughts set in stone? Probably not after a generation or two of change in owner economics, ethnic majority or religious belief in the building.

Another level of governance linked into the chain of Federal, Provincial and Municipal command now paid for by the owners . Volunteers require direction? By whom?

Fourth came The Owners who may or may not have, on their own recognizance or on the advice of their real estate agent and/or lawyer, read over the documentation of the Declaration, the Bylaws, the owner agreed yesteryear Rules and the corporation Status Certificate before buying a property which may not be suited to their expected lifestyle or rental investment goals and forgot it all in 48 hours or less. Complicated stuff … just buy the unit first to live in or rent and cope with the rest later (no problem, eh?).

A few are pointedly shocked or outraged just a few days prior to closing a deal that they cannot do or have what they want. Bad news for sellers and real estate agents with inaccurate listings.

Can you imagine the differing attitudes and behaviour of owners because they are the boss, right? “I own this place!”. “Possession is 9 tenths of the law!”. “I have my rights!”. Seems the emotion of buying and owning a piece of residential hi-rise / low-rise apartment housing or a townhouse complex is like the excitement of winning the multi-million dollar 649 Lottery grand prize. Until the reality of their actions and situation comes for a visit, an owner may think about becoming a volunteer Director on the corporation Board but usually not. Both owners and buyers of old and new projects require advice? By whom?

Finally comes The Property Management Company to look after the workings of the physical building, land and legislated paperwork; enforce all the federal, provincial and municipal laws, condominium regulations and owner made rules with both owners and tenants. The condo cop?
Picture yourself as a property manager with 50 or more owner bosses telling you enthusiastically; with certainty, how to run the corporation better to suit themselves and others yet can’t agree civilly with their next door neighbour on whether or not to wear a mask in the current pandemic.

Of course, they all adamantly have their rights even when they are confused about what their human rights vs legal rights really are. No matter, there is a feeling that something is not right.

How about the absentee owner landlord who neglects to mention or enforce the corporation regulations and rules to follow with the renter whom he/she is responsible for financially at a minimum. Then complains about increased maintenance fees or liens against the property caused by tenant negligence.

What about dealing with seat warming, jaw jaw board members who have opinions about anything and everything yet do not do lift a finger to solve a problem or improve the quality of life in the community. Especially those who live outside the immediate community. In fairy tale fashion, these members may be elected or appointed forever and ever when owners are indifferent. To the benefit of whom?

With your response ability what would you do? Laugh, cry or — ?
Some residents try to understand and respect what their unique condominium culture is while others do not or will not. Lest we forget, some can not because of mental disease. Property managers require guidance? By whom?

What kind of social contract is this? Is the legal profession a good career choice? If the ancient Gods are not laughing yet, they have no sense of humour. People are not stupid.

Over thousands of years of civilization it is self-evident that all human experience takes place inside the body not outside the body of a person. Brought to you by the 5 physical senses of your body plus the pineal gland (considered the seat of consciousness or the 3rd eye).

People only act for self-serving reasons, no matter what they say or you think.

The subconscious message here is that we need to look to others to make decisions for us, that we are not capable. But that is not true, we are capable of getting along and / or surviving no matter what the external circumstances.

Is this another endless soap opera created by come and go politicians and the few citizens whose emotions overrule their intellect for owners to pay for?

While appearing to be an ostrich with it’s head buried in the sand, have our owner pants been pulled down for deeper penetration later? Heads up!

Auditor General of Ontario
12/07/2020 – Value-for-Money Audit – Condominium Oversight in Ontario
Value for money? Ontario Auditor General slides down the rabbit hole into Condoland. Don’t read this excellent industry report if you are too busy with other things to take the time. Remaining clueless about how government agencies fulfill their legislated mandate for protecting condominium owners is simply a personal choice. Is it your best choice?

Dare to go on a journey through the wealth of thought which creates emotion attempting to fashion the groupthink development of our intelligence and perception as the condominium game plays on.

How to Use the Ontario Condominium Culture Site

Welcome to my condo home library, the Condorary.
All posts documenting Ontario condominium culture are placed in one of four clickable categories:
1) Ontario Condominium Real Estate Governance – where questions about provincial government oversight … who, how, what and when are looked at. The why and outcome is what you can easily answer for yourself. Updated: January 07, 2021
2) Ontario Condominium Real Estate Law Practices – a roundtable buffet of information from real estate lawyers experience with current issues various high-rise / low-rise or townhouse communities are facing as they may see it generally or in their areas of the province. Updated: January 15, 2021
3) Ontario Condominium Real Estate Life – focusing on the art and science of property management and additional owner or tenant information. Updated: January 14, 2021
4) Ontario Condominium Real Estate Data – the science of statistics and analysis of your property’s financial health. Maybe a forecast too. Essential consideration if you want to list your condo for sale or for rent. Updated: January 12, 2021

Can’t decide which link above to click on first? Gamble. Click on the Blog link at the top of the page and let’s see which one of the four categories above pops up.

With Sing Along Lyrics. What’s in the news are problems other people have decided you should know about. What’s in the news is not an accurate depiction of life.