Gerry Hyman, a lawyer and expert in condominium law, regularly lends his expertise to the readers of The Toronto Star and having read this week’s column, we knew that we had to share it with our clients and friends.
Anyone can submit a question for Hyman to answer, giving people like condo managers the benefit of a condo lawyer’s knowledge of exact rules and regulations relating to living in a condo or managing a condo. Topics like annual meetings, status certificates, and which board determined policies are reasonable all came up in this round.
Condos have all kinds of distinct laws and residents should make sure that they are familiar with them. Here is one of the questions along with Hyman’s response,
“Q: Prior to our recent purchase of a condominium unit we received a status certificate stating that the common expenses were $156.42. I have now been informed that we are in default because the correct amount was $300, which the board increased to $350 starting this month. We probably wouldn’t have purchased the unit if we had been advised of the higher amounts. Must we pay?
A: The corporation, pursuant to the Condominium Act, is bound by the $158.42 set out in its status certificate. The act also provides that a status certificate must state whether the board is aware of circumstances that will necessitate an increase in the common expenses.
If minutes of board meetings indicate that the board prior to issuing the status certificate was aware of the subsequent $50 increase you cannot be charged that increase unless it was revealed in the status certificate.
Should the board maintain its position and threaten to register a lien against your unit, you should consider paying the additional amount under protest to prevent the escalation of costs. You should also seek legal advice.”
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