How is this Allowed

May 2020

Some condo boards have overstepped their legal authority during the coronavirus pandemic.

One way in which they have done so is to restrict who may and may not access a building.  While some may feel this is reasonable to protect residents there are dangers to this approach.

Condo boards have been granted their authority through the Condo Act.  There is no authority granted to restrict building access because of virus.  Some feel the coronavirus pandemic justifies such action in contravention of legal authority.

History has shown us the folly of granting this authority.

The accompanying notices, promoting the current policy in one community, prohibits health care and home care workers from the building.  Family members are not allowed even if elderly family is dependent on their care.

Once a condo board takes on this authority, there are more restrictive approaches some may feel are warranted.  Children or elderly may be prohibited from the building since they are more likely to contract the virus.  Since coronavirus started in China, they may prohibit Asians from the building.  Since the flu occurs each year, perhaps restrictions should be imposed four months each year.  Of course, none of this is or should be acceptable.  Yet some condo boards may feel otherwise and impose such restrictions.

Once a condo board imposes building restrictions due to virus they act as a health authority.  They may inadvertently become responsible for the effectiveness of such restrictions.  Should residents complying with building rules become infected, does the board become liable for their failure in taking sufficient precaution?  Can directors and managers be held personally liable for this failure?

The Condo Act rightfully restricts the authority of condo boards when it comes to prohibiting building access.