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Condominium issues

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Has anyone got experience of dealing with pigeons perching above balconies? We have been told that the only fairly effective control methods are poison and spikes. We are not allowed to use poison in this area due to hawks (we actually and one eating a pigeon on our roof recently) and because we wash windows with a bosun's chair and ropes run over the roof edge we have been told we cannot put 'pigeon spikes' along the roof edge. One basic question is: "is a Corporation responsible for wildlife outside the building - as long as they are not in/on the building due to poor maintenance or loose food or ???"
 

Ex-Montreal Girl

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Ah yes. The feral urban rock dove or whatever they are properly called among the PC and vegans.

We don't have this problem, probably because we overlook the valley and can see hawks riding the wind near us all the time. They regularly bring squirrels up to our upper floor balconies for very distressing (to us) lunches. In fact, they have been observed nesting on our roof which is fine with us until the babies start learning to fly and then they swoop around all day long, screeching "Look Ma! No feet!"

As for pigeons, we don't see them much. Once, I was amazed to find a pair attempting to move into a very large clay urn that had been emptied out for the winter and pushed under a patio chair. The dog barked them off and I turned the urn upside down.

Unfortunately, I don't think you have many options, unless you want to install netting (hideous) or glass enclosures (expensive.) Maybe you might hire a pair of hawks and offer free room and board. (Kidding, not kidding.) Peregrine falcons work too.
 

PinkLucy

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Our super uses pine-sol diluted with a bit of water to spray down the area; the pigeons don't seem to like it
 

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SunriseChampion

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Has anyone got experience of dealing with pigeons perching above balconies? We have been told that the only fairly effective control methods are poison and spikes. We are not allowed to use poison in this area due to hawks (we actually and one eating a pigeon on our roof recently) and because we wash windows with a bosun's chair and ropes run over the roof edge we have been told we cannot put 'pigeon spikes' along the roof edge. One basic question is: "is a Corporation responsible for wildlife outside the building - as long as they are not in/on the building due to poor maintenance or loose food or ???"
Do I ever!

Rat trap.

I put one under my Muskoka chair where the bastards like to try and nest. Within a week of them tripping the trap and being scared off by the thing snapping at them they were gone for good. Haven't had one since....almost a year now.

Everybody, relax. No pigeons were killed during the making of this permanent solution. Though they are basically rats with wings so I don't see the issue.

This has worked to scare off the entire neighbourhood flock! Three pairs were tripping it off and since the dirty things are very social it helped prevent others from making the same mistake. In any case, the trap is still there in case any didn't get the memo.
 

Filip

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Do I ever!

Rat trap.

I put one under my Muskoka chair where the bastards like to try and nest. Within a week of them tripping the trap and being scared off by the thing snapping at them they were gone for good. Haven't had one since....almost a year now.

Everybody, relax. No pigeons were killed during the making of this permanent solution. Though they are basically rats with wings so I don't see the issue.

This has worked to scare off the entire neighbourhood flock! Three pairs were tripping it off and since the dirty things are very social it helped prevent others from making the same mistake. In any case, the trap is still there in case any didn't get the memo.
Your building has balconies that are taped off. Is this because of pigeons? (two taped balconies on the Superior side).
 

SunriseChampion

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Your building has balconies that are taped off. Is this because of pigeons? (two taped balconies on the Superior side).
yuuuuuuup. There's also a unit on the Lakeshore side that got netting put up. Waste of time and money.....rat trap, trust me.
The Superior side seems to have it worse because most of the balconies are small and closed in, I'm guessing. A bunch of them have all sorts of things up to try and prevent pigeons from roosting. Hasn't really worked. Rat traps work. So does netting but my rat trap cost me 4 dollars and doesn't make me feel like I'm being hunted by a giant.
 

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Davidackerman

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More issue covered here- I like this one- Vexatious litigation (asshole)


In a recent case, Carleton Condominium Corporation 116 v. Sennek, the Court of Appeal for Ontario agreed with a lower court’s decision that declared a condo unit owner to be a vexatious litigant.

The lower court had concluded that the owner had six of the seven characteristics of a vexatious litigant:

  • bringing one or more actions to determine an issue that has already been determined by a court of law;
  • bringing an action that could not possibly succeed or would lead to no possible good;
  • bringing an action for an improper purpose, including harassment and oppression of other parties, rather than for the purpose of an assertion of legitimate rights;
  • rolling forward grounds and issues into subsequent actions, and often suing lawyers who acted for or against the litigant in previous actions;
  • looking at the whole history of the matter and not just the original cause of action, the proceedings are vexatious;
  • persistently pursuing unsuccessful appeals;
  • failing to pay the costs of unsuccessful proceedings.
The court ordered that the owner was prohibited from initiating or continuing any action, application, motion or proceeding against the corporation, its employees, board members, property manager and solicitors without obtaining leave from a judge.

The dispute between the owner and the corporation started in Small Claims Court over three relatively minor issues: the pruning or non-pruning of a tree whose branches hung over the owner’s unit; the size of the owner’s parking space; and a flowerbox installed by the owner that was removed by the corporation as it did not comply with the corporation’s rules, which ultimately led to the corporation registering a lien in the amount of $763 against the owner’s unit to recover the costs of removing the flowerbox.

As stated by the lower court, “the Litigation spun wildly out of control almost from the outset”. Ultimately the corporation expended in excess of $100,000 in legal fees and disbursements to deal with the litigation involving the owner.

The Courts have held that the power to declare someone a vexatious litigant must be “exercised sparingly and with the greatest care.” Seeking such an order is usually a last resort for a condominium corporation after other efforts to curtail the ongoing litigation have failed. When a condo corporation finds itself dealing with a difficult owner that persists in engaging in numerous unmeritorious and repetitive legal proceedings, not only is this very costly from a financial perspective, but these actions are extremely time-consuming for both the board of directors and the property manager who could make better use of their time and energy attending to the corporation’s business.

In this case the owner was ordered to pay the corporation costs in the amount of $109,925, of which $85,016 was to be added to the owner’s common expenses and recoverable under the lien against her unit. The owner was also required to pay an additional $2000 in costs for the unsuccessful appeal. By requiring the unit owner to pay costs to the condominium corporation this provides protection to the other unit owners in the condominium from “the financial burden they would otherwise shoulder when a condominium corporation takes steps to enforce compliance” with the condominium documents.

from
Denise Lash

The founder of Lash Condo Law, Denise has over 25 years experience as a condominium lawyer representing condominium clients in all aspects of condominium law. Denise is known for her effective dispute resolution methods in dealing with issues between condominium corporations and developers as well as resolving complicated issues faced by her condominium clients.
 

Davidackerman

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Condo developer looses to buyer in court- Here's another legal update on Condo issues. It's from Lawyer Denise Lash


After a developer attempted to unilaterally terminate a pre-construction agreement of purchase and sale because of delays in approvals and construction, the purchasers of a unit were successful in obtaining a court order for specific performance, which compelled the developer to close the transaction. (Jones v. 2341464 Ontario Inc.)

The agreement dated May 5, 2013 specified that the proposed occupancy date was to be on or before September 1, 2014. The confirmed occupancy date was to be selected by the developer in its sole and unfettered discretion. Section 14(c) of the agreement provided that the developer could unilaterally extend or accelerate the proposed occupancy date by providing written notice to the purchasers. Under section 14(d) of the agreement, If the developer could not meet the confirmed occupancy date, then the developer had the right to extend the confirmed occupancy date or alternatively had the sole option to declare the agreement null and void, in which case the purchasers’ deposit plus interest would be paid to the purchasers.

On May 24, 2013, the parties entered into an addendum to the agreement which:

  • specifically deleted paragraphs 14(c) and (d);
  • extended the proposed occupancy date to no later than February 1, 2015;
  • provided that if occupancy did not occur by February 1, 2015, then the purchasers could withdraw from the transaction without any penalties and would be entitled to the return of the deposit;
  • specified that the unit transfer date was to be within six months of the occupancy date; and
  • provided that in the event of any discrepancy between the agreement and the addendum, the provisions contained in the addendum would prevail.
The developer incurred delays in obtaining various permits and as a result construction of the project did not start until May, 2016.

In February of 2017 the developer advised the purchasers that there would be changes to the layout of the unit and that there would not be any balconies as shown in the original plans. The purchasers indicated that notwithstanding these changes, they wanted to proceed with the purchase of the unit.

On February 26, 2017 the developer’s representative sent an e-mail to the purchasers purporting to terminate the agreement on the basis of sections 14(c) and (d) of the agreement. Due to the delays in obtaining permits, the developer had incurred significant costs and offered the purchasers the first right of refusal to purchase the unit at an increased price of $875,000. (The purchase price set out in the original agreement was $649,000.)

The purchasers then commenced a court action for specific performance, claiming that the agreement, as amended by the addendum, was still valid and enforceable. The purchasers took the position that with the deletion of sections 14(c) and (d), the developer did not have any right to unilaterally terminate the agreement.

In response, the developer argued that the agreement was no longer valid as it was frustrated due to delays beyond its control and because of the changes in the floor plan. The court rejected this argument as the developer’s ability to perform the contract had not been frustrated – by the time that the developer purported to terminate the agreement, the condominium was almost completed and ready for occupancy. The fact that the developer offered to sell the same unit at a higher price indicated that the developer was able to complete the transaction.

“It is evident that the respondent [i.e. the developer] is attempting to avoid its obligations to complete the sale for the purpose of benefiting from an increase in the value of real estate since the agreement was made.”

The court declared that the agreement was valid and in force and that the purchasers were entitled to an order for specific performance. The purchasers established that the unit, which occupied a full floor in the building was unique, and that as the original agreement had been entered into over four years earlier, they would not be able to obtain a unit with similar features at the same price.

In this case the purchasers were fortunate that the addendum had deleted the developer’s right to unilaterally terminate the agreement and that they were ultimately able to purchase the unit at the price they had originally negotiated.

Other purchasers of pre-construction condos have not been as fortunate. There have been a number of reports in the media recently about developers cancelling condominium projects and terminating all the agreements of purchase and sale. Recently, a developer terminated all of its pre-construction purchase agreements for a project, relying on wording in the agreements that allowed it to cancel “due to an inability to secure satisfactory construction financing.” Although the purchasers will receive a refund of the deposits paid, many are not pleased with the termination. They are concerned that with escalating real estate prices during the approximate two-year period since they signed their agreements, they will now not be able to afford to buy a comparable unit in a comparable project at a comparable price.
 

Jonny5

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neuhaus

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Floor area includes the entire exterior wall and walls sharing common elements like the hallway, fire stairwells and elevator shafts. Demising walls (walls between units) the floor area is measured to the midpoint of the wall. While corner units typically offers more light and views, the additional exterior walls will reduce on the useable floor area.
This could make a big difference in high rises where units on the lower floors often have much thicker structural walls and columns than in units closer to the top of the building. For example at 1 Bloor, I've seen 3+ foot round columns in the middle of the living room and very thick structural walls which part of it is included in the floor area. Elevator shaft walls are also structural and counted as floor area for the adjacent unit and some of these walls could be very thick. The One (1BW), also has the very thick hash-tag structure that runs up the entire building that eats up valuable floor area.
Also the exterior design could have some influence on the actual useable floor area. For example The Kingly has an articulated brick façade with lots of protrusions, piers, fins, etc. This thickens up the exterior wall substantially, as much as 15 times more than a typical window wall, and this is considered as floor area and some units there have a usual floor area that has been diminished as much as 10%.

Another item I am often frustrated with is the designation of a bedroom. I've seen in both pre-construction and resale condos bedrooms that are not legal bedrooms being designated as such. There are minimum sizes for bedrooms (in both area and dimensions), and interior bedrooms must orient toward a source of daylight with a door (clear or translucent) or opening facing it with the door/opening must be of a minimum ratio to the size of the bedroom. A closet is not mandatory for a bedroom, but for bedrooms without a closet they must meet a larger minimum standard for area and size to accommodate dressers, armoires, and cabinets.
I've seen too many bachelor/studio units listed as a 1-bedroom unit on MLS, and builders often get away by labelling these rooms "sleep" instead of "bedroom" on the floor plans. Likewise I have also seen many dens erroneously labelled as a bedroom in resales.
While most reputable builders follow what is a legal bedroom according to building codes, I think the entire real estate industry should follow the building codes in determining what is a legal bedroom.
 
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