Getting Action on your Complaint

September 2014

You have a problem with your neighbour. Perhaps you hear noises or banging through the ceiling or walls. You complain to the Management Office but nobody seems to care. Worse yet, they don’t believe you!

Frequently the issue may not be belief but documentation. Management requires documentation in order to act decisively. Without this documentation, management could lack credibility in presenting your situation to other residents or, if it goes that far, a judge in court.

It is common for management to require that problems be documented in writing – letter or e-mail – and supported by pictures if possible. It is best if management is able to see or hear the problem. This protects condo residents and the corporation.

Verbal conversations are not as helpful.

Recollections and perceptions of events can change over time or be interpreted in different ways. Consequently, management may not feel that verbal communications provide the documentation necessary for them to enforce condominium rules.

Your condo building may have a policy of attempting to validate complaints before action is taken. This is a sensible practice that helps maintain harmony and good relationships within the building.

The best way to obtain action regarding a problem is to provide your Management Office with actionable documentation.

1. Call the concierge or security desk when the problem occurs. Even if a noise or banging stops by the time they arrive, there is documentation of the complaint.

2. Follow up your call with an e-mail to the Management Office that includes the date and time you had the problem. Include pictures if appropriate and available. This will be helpful if the Management Office initiates enforcement measures resulting from your complaint.

Most problems can be resolved by management having a conversation with the owner or resident/tenant who is the source of a problem. When this is unsuccessful, your written documentation may allow management to take formal action against an owner or resident/tenant to enforce the rules or bylaws of the building.