Entering a Suite for Enforcement

December 2020

Once rules have been enacted, condo corporations have an obligation to take reasonable steps to enforce compliance.  Failure to do so can expose the corporation to liability.

Smoking of tobacco or marijuana, or cultivating cannabis, creates a unique situation in that it can be difficult to prevent smoke or odour from migrating from a suite.  Typically it is up to a resident to ensure their actions don’t affect other suites or common areas.  When they fail to do so it can become an obligation of the corporation to enforce rules.

The condominium corporation does have the right to enter a suite – Section 19 of the Condo Act.  It does not have the right to enter a suite to ensure rules are followed.  When a suite is suspected of being the source of tobacco or marijuana smoke,  odour or cultivation of marijuana, the corporation has a few options:

  • Document complaints in writing and incident reports from building employees to aid in identifying the source of the problem
  • Engage the services of a smoke migration engineer to locate the source of smoke or odour
  • Inform the resident, in writing, of the problem and evidence

Should the problem persist and the owner denies access to the suite, evidence can be used to seek legal authorization to enter and inspect the suite.

It may be possible to amend general operating by-laws to allow the corporation entry to a suite, with or without notice, for the purpose of rectifying breaches of the condo corporation’s governing documents.