Condo Owner MUST Maintain their Suite or SELL

November 2016

Condo living requires acceptance of restrictions on lifestyle which may have a negative impact on neighbours.

A condo owner is not allowed to neglect proper maintenance when it impacts on the safety, security and well-being of neighbours.

An Ottawa condo owner’s suite became infested with bed bugs and determined to be a health hazard. Furthermore, the suite was so cluttered that fire inspections were not possible. This problem continued for two years at which time the condo board required that the owner address these problems. Eventually an Ontario Superior Court judge forced the individual to comply.

The court ordered the condo owner to have the bed bugs exterminated and the suite cleaned up. The condo board was granted authority to undertake this work if necessary. If the condo owner chooses not to comply with the orders he could be forced to sell his condo. The condo owner was required to pay more than $10,000 in legal costs plus bed bug treatments
and necessary repairs to the suite. Had he complied when requested to do so, bed bug treatments would have likely cost a few hundred dollars.

A Toronto condo suite had bad odours coming from inside and a cockroach infestation problem. In February 2015, owners were given a final opportunity to work with the condo corporation to address the problem. Owners were required to allow cleaning and de-infestation of their suite. In June 2015 the owners had not yet allowed the corporation to enter the suite. The owner was found to be in breach of the court order and conditions were deemed to pose health risks to other residents. The condo owner was required to pay the corporation’s legal, cleaning and de-infestation costs.

Condo corporations have an obligation to ensure that residents comply with the Condo Act and condo corporation documents. When residents or owners fail to comply, courts can require compliance. They can also require condo owners to pay legal costs that become necessary to ensure compliance.