In this article, we discuss how to cost-effectively create and upgrade condominiums that can be lived in, worked in, and enjoyed over the long term, even if the owner develops a disability with age. It is important to understand where the deficits are in and around the building, where accessible elements are in place, and meet Building Code and Human Rights requirements.
On December 7, 2020, the Auditor General of Ontario (the “AUDG”) released her 2020 Annual Report comprised of value-for-money audits of the provinces programs and services, one of which focused on “Condominium Oversight in Ontario.” Although the audit report included some accurate observations about the condominium industry, there were some criticisms and recommendations that may be misguided due to feedback received from a small vocal minority of dissatisfied unit owners.
It may be hard to remember, but not that long ago, people used to dream about the opportunity to work from home. The idea of sleeping in, wearing pyjama pants all day and leaving the car in the driveway seemed like the ideal scenario! Hindsight is always 20/20, but it is hard to see how we could have been so wrong.
In 2020 our society and industry faced unprecedented events in our lifetime. The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to quickly pivot and adapt to keep our clients, staff, and families safe.
As property managers in these strange times, we have all had to learn patience with our clients, our residents, contractors, our families, and each other. Our patience has been tested in all of us this year. How can residents learn to manage their expectations for 'quiet enjoyment' of their unit when EVERYONE is home and making noise?
The shift in the retail landscape from bricks and mortar to online shopping and resulting increase in parcel deliveries mean smart parcel lockers are fast becoming a must-have amenity in condos of all sizes – not only because they provide a short-term solution, but because of their adaptability to meet future needs.
Condo management providers have had to be creative to continue providing essential services in response to a pandemic. In many cases, the condo board and management company have found they are able to utilize more of the condo manager’s value. Many plan to continue with these creative solutions post-pandemic.
The on-set of the global COVID-19 pandemic struck the world like a bad dream at the beginning of 2020. As news and the virus spread worldwide, our communities started to shut down like a light switching off. Without any time to prepare or plan, services were ordered to shut down, businesses to close, and it seemed as though the world was placed on hold for most. This was not the case in the condominium industry.
Relationships are complicated. There are quite a few “ingredients” required for a relationship to be healthy and successful: respect, trust, honesty, compromise, communication and the list goes on. Relationships are dynamic and never stop evolving, and given they have so many “moving parts,” it is easy to understand how they need constant nurturing.
Condominiums fall into a few broad categories. The Condominium Act, 1998 (the “Act”) recognizes leasehold and freehold, standard, vacant land, common elements, and phased, and there are other categories based on intended uses (e.g., commercial vs. residential) or design. Amongst residential condominiums, they can be broadly categorized as vertical (e.g., highrises) and horizontal (e.g., townhouses).
My favourite catchphrases include: “We work where you live,” “competing priorities,” and “difficult conversations with passionately angry people.” All excellent ways to paraphrase the everyday challenges of condo management! The work of property management, specifically residential condominium management, can be challenging, especially during an anxiety-ridden worldwide pandemic.
Before one can discuss how to build trust with condo owners, trust must first be established amongst the individual board members and then between the board and the property management company.
The condo corporation’s governing documents (the Declaration, By-laws and Rules) each serve a unique purpose. When operating well, these documents set the stage to allow the condo corporation to grow and adapt to any necessary changes. As an owner, understanding these documents will help you know how your condo corporation operates and what your role and responsibilities are within the condo corporation and the community.
Condo communities are often at the mercy of the board, which governs regulations and policies, and the property management companies who carry out the orders of the day. Collectively their job is to ensure the owners’ right to quiet enjoyment while also considering the type of lifestyle the condo community provides. When the two parties fail to manage the property effectively, its value, amenities, social aspects, and the residents’ lifestyle is negatively impacted.
People suffering from mental illness in a condominium setting, as in any community, represent a diverse group. They are persons experiencing many different types of health conditions, including anxiety, depression, phobias, hoarding, paranoia, schizophrenia, and dementia – and the list goes on. Each disability condition can range from mild to severe. Some people with mental illness require accommodation within the condominium setting – many others do not.