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Your condo board can go ahead and ban smoking by passing a rule

By Gerry Hyman - A Toronto Star - Condo Q&A -

A notice has been placed in our building stating: “No smoking of any kind.” This is, apparently, the result of marijuana smoke from units entering the common element hallways. Our building has never been a non-smoking building. Can the property manager, on behalf of the board, enforce this without getting approval of a bylaw?

The board may ban smoking by passing a rule to that effect — without passing a bylaw. The rule must be reasonable.

An attempt to challenge a rule banning all smoking might be made on the basis that it is an unreasonable attempt to deal with complaints relating only to marijuana smoke.

One of our board members insists an external auditor be appointed. The other directors are not in favour of such an appointment. Does the corporation have a legal obligation to have an external audit?

Section 60 of the Condominium Act requires the unit owners at their first meeting to appoint one or more person to be auditor(s) until the next annual general meeting. Thereafter, the auditor(s) will be appointed by the owners at each annual meeting to hold office until the next annual meeting.

Regarding the auditor’s qualifications, the act states that the following persons will not be appointed: A director, officer or employee of the corporation; a condominium manager providing management services under a contract with the corporation; a person having an interest in a contract to which the corporation is a party; a partner, employer or employee of a director, officer or employee of the corporation; or a partner, employer or employee of the property manager for the corporation.

The unit owners are required to appoint an auditor who is independent as described in these categories. Once the owners have appointed such an auditor there is no requirement for or right of the corporation to appoint another person as independent auditor.

We have a deaf owner and occupier of a unit who is asking the board to install a visual fire alarm in her unit. Is the unit owner or the corporation responsible for installing the alarm in her unit?

The addition of an alarm would appear to be the responsibility of the unit owner, and not of the corporation. But, under the Human Rights Code, the condominium corporation is responsible for accommodating the deafness disability of the unit owner regarding common elements of the building. Ultimately, it appears that such accommodation may be made by the corporation, agreeing to consent in accordance with section 98 of the Condominium Act, to whatever common-element alterations are required for the installation by the unit owner of the alarm. But the corporation would not be responsible for the alarm installation inside the unit.


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