Building Code Violations

October 2016

Building code violations exist when part of a building does not comply with local standards or regulations.

During inspections of smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, elevators and other building systems it is inevitable that some building code violations exist. Equipment may have failed or building code standards may have changed. Recent repairs or renovations may have complied with older standards rather than the required compliance with newer standards.

When compliance standards change, existing structures may have been subject to a grandfathering clause meaning that current construction did not have to comply with newer standards. Repairs or renovations may then require compliance with newer standards.

Building code violations may be noted during a periodic inspection or the result of a complaint.

Building code violations happen.

While all condo buildings attempt to remain in compliance, the reality is that code violations can occur during the normal course of building maintenance.

Building codes change on a regular basis. It is not practical for existing buildings to remain in compliance with all building codes.

Not all building codes relate to building safety. Building codes may relate to natural resources or environmental protection and may not have existed at the time a building was constructed.

Condo residents and owners are responsible for ensuring their suite is compliant with building codes. Damaged sprinkler systems, broken smoke detectors, disabled building intercom systems and substandard wiring are areas where the condo resident or owner may have responsibility.

While it may not be possible to avoid periodic building compliance issues, problems tend to arise when a compliance violation is reported and not addressed in a timely manner. This can result in substantial fines and increased scrutiny.

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