Inaction is not an Option

June 2016

The rights of the community need to be considered

Condo owners have a right to their privacy and personal enjoyment. Neighbours have an equal right not to be adversely affected by the actions of a single condo owner.

These rights can conflict. Each owner controls the interior of their suite. They also have a responsibility to ensure their actions do not negatively impact on other condo residents.

There are times when a resident’s behaviour is inappropriate in a condo community. A hoarder may create unsafe or unsanitary conditions. A badly cluttered suite may be creating a mould problem that can migrate to other suites. Collecting discarded furniture may result in bedbug or other insect infestations. A foul odour emanating from a condo suite may linger in common areas or migrate to other suites in the building. Individuals with medical problems may require a level of care not available in a condo community or be unable to care for themselves.

“I never worry about action, but only about inaction”
Winston Churchill

It may be necessary to employ outside expertise to clean up a condo suite of garbage, food, human waste or hazardous material. Some individuals may require medical care.

When such situations arise it is the responsibility of the condo board and management to act. Doing otherwise is a neglect of their duty to manage the property.

Inaction is not an option.

Failing to act could make matters worse. It could result in bedbugs or other insect infestations reaching other condo suites. A condo corporation could become liable for losses incurred by condo owners due to a failure to act. Condo directors could be in breach of their responsibilities.

The rights of the community need to be considered when addressing such situations.

After management has verified a problem exists, then documented and set out to provide resolution, legal assistance can be required if the problem remains unresolved. A lawyer can help to ensure the rights of residents are respected. They can advise on how to provide proper legal notice so that the condo corporation can move forward on rectifying the problem without infringing on personal rights.