Limits of Condo Board Authority

December 2019

One of the advantages of condo living is that someone else is responsible for much of the maintenance and most of the bills.

This flexibility comes with a) a monthly condo fee, and b) acceptance of condo board authority to make decisions while imposing rules, regulations and requirements.  It is this acceptance that allows for condo living as we know it.  Without the money to pay for expenses and authority to make decisions, and the right to regulate certain resident behaviours and actions, condo living would be unmanageable.

Resident and Board Limits

The freedom of condo living is not unlimited.  Actions and activities that negatively impact other building residents can be restricted.  This may include making noise, smoking, having parties and short-term rentals.

Condo boards are restrained in their actions by the Condo Act; and the building’s declaration, by-laws and rules.  When board members are familiar with and adhere to these documents there is less likelihood they will overstep their authority and create conflict.  A condo board that oversteps their authority because of ignorance, arrogance or self-interest can be restrained by owners in accordance with these same documents.

Condo residents have control over what they do in their home.  Restrictions can exist when these actions affect other homes or residents in the building.  Some of the more common conflicts in condo living, and their resolution, can depend on the corporation’s governing documents:

  • Short-term rentals and Airbnb – Restrictions on short-term rentals in rules may be in contravention of a declaration.
  • Pets – Prohibiting pets through a rule can be in contravention of Ontario laws.
  • Smoking – Tobacco, marijuana and vaping restrictions in condo rules may conflict with the declaration or by-laws of the corporation.
  • Renovations and number of individuals residing in a unit – Some choose to create an additional bedroom by renovating. This does not necessarily allow more people to reside in a unit than stated in governing documents.