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Balconies 2007/06/21 23:10  
Can anyone answer this question? I own a condo unit (Ontario) in a building where 8 units have balconies and the others do not. On hearing by chance from the Condo Board President that they were going to replace all the balconies and charge all unit owners, I consulted a lawyer as to whether or not those unit owners without balconies were obliged to contribute to the cost. The lawyer, a specialist in condo law, reviewed the condo declaration and provided her written opinion that only those unit owners with balancies had to pay as they were responsible for repair and maintenance of these exclusive use elements. The Board will not accept this legal opinion - what should I now do?
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Yvon ()
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Re:Balconies 2007/06/25 19:06  
Hello Dilys,

Clearly, you have the opinion of a "condominium" lawyer. The Board has been presented with a written opinion and yet refuses to accept same. Does the Board have a legal opinion to the contrary? Although I am not a lawyer, I would NOT pay the special assessment and I would stand on the written legal opinion of my lawyer. Let the Board take me to mediation or arbitration over the issue. As well, the costs to other unit Owners for the balcony repairs should be sufficient to discourage them from supporting the added costs of mediation, arbitration or litigation. In such a small Corporation, those costs could be prohibitive. Of course, any such costs are bourne by all unit Owners in the form of common expense contributions. The Board could also attempt to amend the Declaration but such an amendment would require the written consent of the Owners owning a minimum of 80% or 90% of the units depending on the change.

As you may well be aware, I do not advocate the use of arbitration and litigation within the condominium community as the only winners are often the parties' lawyers. Perhaps the Board would be willing to accept your lawyers' professional opinion and simply get on with the business of governance.

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