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Roland ()
Can boards impose fines on owners? 2007/06/17 06:59  
The Condo Act and case law is clear that fines imposed cannot be collected by a lien therefore collection would be a small claims action. Lawyers try to threaten and bluff their way through while intimidating the owner but bottom line is that it is unreasonable to fine an owner and then try collect through a lien. Some unethical lawyers are trying this but it won’t be long before condominiums refuse to retain them, leaving the lawyer no choice but to use their intimidation tactics in the streets where the lawyer belongs.

The only way to deal with Declaration, By-laws and Rule breaches is to follow a process... which includes informing the owner, several times, mediation, arbitration, court application. BUT should not escalate past informing or mediation step otherwise something is very wrong to begin with and furthermore, will be very costly for all parties and only proves to divide the community.
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Yvon ()
Re:Can boards impose fines on owners? 2007/06/17 15:43  
I agree with Roland. The Condominium Act, 1998 is clear with respect to the route a Board must take to resolve disputes arising from the Declaration, By-laws and/or Rules. For the benefit, ease of reference and obvious lack of knowledge in "compliance with the law" of the "Anonymous" Director or Officer who posed the initial question, it is found in section 132.

The very nature of the original question posted on another forum leads me to a possible and very interesting question whithin the question. For example, let us assume for a moment that every single Director and Officer of a Corporation (and some of their relatives) has made and completed very significant changes and external improvements to their units in the form of new rooflines, additions, decks & permanent gazebos and now want to introduce a "Rule" which will require every other unit Owner to obtain this very Board's approval prior to doing the same.
The question of enforcement of "Rules & Regulations" (as the initial question was posed) could now become a question of how to prevent a unit Owner from doing the same to his/her unit as those Directors and Officers have already done to theirs without approval. If the Board refuses to grant approval, can they somehow use the "Rules and Regulations"(as they have worded it) and the "law" to prevent a unit Owner from voting for "non-payment of fines and to oppress any unit Owner or even take his/her unit as a result?

Of course, we all know at least one "condo lawyer" (so called) who would be willing to help such a Board to this end.
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Roland ()
Re:Can boards impose fines on owners? 2007/06/18 13:47  
Good point... If a penalty were levied and before an owner could argue they would have a pre-lien ($100-$300), a registered lien ($800-$1100) and voting-rights taken away.

Makes for an interesting AGM when those candidates wanting to be elected get a surprise penalty just before an AGM... and especially if the by-laws state, “an owner involved in litigation with the corporation CANNOT be a Director.”

I know of one condominium board that has already pulled this tactic just before their AGM, most likely with the full blessing of the corporation’s solicitor... Shame. Does not make for a tranquil condominium community.

A condominium corporation board must keep in mind that when passing by-laws and rules, for thought must be given to the possibility of abuse leading to oppressive behavior against owners.
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Sharon ()
Re:Can boards impose fines on owners? 2007/06/20 10:46  
Only courts can impose "fines". Condominiums can impose cleaning charges or charge-backs for damage to common elements if they can prove who is responsible and have these in their Declarations, By-Laws or Rules.

I see nothing in the Condo Act that states that an owner involved in litigation with the corporation cannot stand for election as a director. The Act overrules Declarations except in the case where a condominium has passed a By-Law adding additional conditions for directors to those in the Act. It would be insane for any Board to propose such a By-Law without competent, honest legal advice.
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