At Signature Electric, we act as general electricians, but also specialize in areas like condo electricity. If you’re a regular reader of The Electric Blog, you’ll know that we often post about news we think that our condo clients would be interested in.
We pay special attention to articles about legal issues, knowing that some of our clients are new condo owners and haven’t come across all of the laws in place for living in a condo.
The Toronto Star’s Bob Aaron recently reported about a Hamilton condo building where conflict between its board and owners lead to court and then to a $36,300 bill for the board members to pay.
The story began when the building needed repairs and the board proposed borrowing a large sum of money, which the owners were unhappy with. The owners requested a members’ meeting to replace the board of directors, but the board prevented the meeting through an application for an injunction.
Because the injunction was specifically to prevent the members’ right to elect a new board, they were in the wrong and were ordered to pay court costs totalling $7,260 per board member.
Learning from cases like this is important for people living in condos because the issues that come up in these living situations are different than if you live in a house or in an apartment. Bob Aaron’s article analyzes the case and give us a few lessons to take away:
- “Condominium board members are elected representatives of the unit owners. They carry out the wishes of the owners, and not their own agendas.
- Unit owners have a legal right to depose an autocratic board.
- Condominium litigation among neighbours is ugly and expensive. It should be avoided if at all possible.
- Condominium boards should operate in an open and transparent fashion. Secrecy is only appropriate in very limited circumstances.
- Hanging on to elected office when it’s clear that a majority of unit owners are opposed to the existing board is a waste of time and money.”1
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