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Condos, and private Facebook groups

Joined
May 26, 2013
Messages
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#1
Hello All

I wanted to get the thinking and experience of those who live in a condo and either have a private facebook group, or administer a private facebook group on behalf of the residents. By private, I mean not sanctioned by or operated on behalf of the condo corporation by the PM.

We've had one at my building since the building was built. I started the group, and am the admin. We have about 75% of the owners/tenants as members.

In our group we talk about neighbourhood events, restaurants, building policies, we help each other if someone needs to borrow a screwdriver, needs help in operating their microwave, or needs help lifting something out of their car. We try to keep the garbage room issues solved by educating those “less inclined” to be sensitive to the needs of others. If there is noise, a stray cigarette butt, we let the others know so that perhaps they can see if one of their occupants (a son or daughter on a Saturday night) are the source of the problem. We talk about policy ideas for the building, and suggestions to improve things. We pass on interesting articles on condo life. We give recommendations of cleaners, plumbers, electricians etc. It’s a great group.

At times we do get critical of the Board’s decisions and management, but I don’t let people slander others, and I try to make sure there is balance. Occasionally I have to remove a post, and I warn the people. I am clear on the Facebook group that it is NOT an official way to communicate with the Board or management. In other words, the Facebook group is NOT anti-management. It’s a tool to enhance our living experience and form a sense of community in this small, boutique building.

I’ve never asked the Board or property manager to endorse or support the Facebook group, as that’s not their job. The group is not an official vehicle of the Board or management. Yet, I think it serves all our purposes if new people who move in get the chance to join. The Board and PM have cautiously decided we can post a flyer by the mail room letting people know that we exist, and how to join the group. We have a disclaimer on the flyer that it is not sanctioned by the Board or PM or Corporation.

The Board refuses to allow us to slip them under the doors for new occupants, or to include them as part of a new resident's package. I can understand the Board not wanting to include it, as they don't want to attract any liability for slander etc. So we are stuck with watching when new people move in, and slipping the single page flyer under the door.

However, the PM says that putting anything under the doors is against the Rules. I've read the Rules and Declaration. The quiet enjoyment clause in the Corporation's Rules provides guidance on avoiding causing a “nuisance”, but that nuisance must have the characteristics that it would disturb the comfort of occupants. Surely the Condominium Authority Tribunal would not consider the one-time dropping of a flyer under the door to have that potential. I see it as no more intrusive than having an owner contact other owners for the purpose of calling a members’ meeting, a meeting to dispute a recently passed rule etc., or for that matter handing out a flyer to a newcomer in the elevator. On balance, the benefit to the owner far outweighs any potential to cause a nuisance. If I was to take the risk and distribute the flyer, the existing group members has volunteers from each floor who have agreed to provide them without need of visiting floors other than their own, keeping wandering between floors to a minimum.

So first, thanks for reading, I know this was long. What do you think? Have you heard of similar situations or are you aware of any Court decisions? I couldn't find any. What do you think is fair?
 

DSC

Senior Member
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Jan 13, 2008
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St Lawrence Market Area
#2
I am on Board in my building and though we do not have a Facebook group in our building (we are a small building and have a website and monthly e-newsletter) I doubt our Board would object to one (and really could not forbid or control it anyway). In our building we have a couple of 'public' notice boards where any resident can post info of interest to others. These may not be commercial things but tend to be ads for furniture for sale, ideas about a group going to do x etc etc. We actually have a Rule about it: "No one shall use the Corporation’s bulletin boards except for the posting of information concerning Resident activities or other Resident information." I would say that a Facebook Group that was to do with the building would be allowed under this. I am not sure we would allow things to be pushed under Unit doors (or more likely left on floor outside a Unit) but making the info available seems reasonable. (Owners may not want to have flyers sent to their Units and leaving them outside a Unit is unsightly and could show a Unit was empty.) You seem to be making useful info available that here would be distributed by the Board but I can see that if they allow you to do this within the building what happens if another group appears who want to be less constructive?
 
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Joined
May 15, 2012
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Location
Toronto, ON
#3
Flyers would be out in our building, although our hard copy newsletter is delivered door-to-door.

We have three bulletin boards for the use of owners.

Personally, as president, i would have no problem including the page in our Welcome Package, with a disclaimer stating that it is not administered or curated by the corporation, that it is not the voice of the corporation, and that the corporation takes no responsibility for it. In return, I would ask you harry_fine to put that disclaimer on the FB page... and I would expect you to maintain decorum because, you betcha, the instant anything remotely libelous of anybody in the condo gets posted, both you and the originating poster will get a notice of libel.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
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#4
I've experienced it in one of the property/condo that I bought. Other than the homeowners facebook page or group, there is this one that is from the homeowners organization or association. I think some other property or development have such because of the fact that people believe that their opinions counted and it needed to be in a group. Just like local community, that kind of setup is really nice. But sometimes, it isnt for some members. In the end, being in a facebook group could be a good thing to have a healthy discussion for the long run.
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