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Supporting condo owners and communities during COVID-19

Supporting condo owners and communities during COVID-19

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Supporting condo owners and communities during COVID-19

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For the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO), which recently embarked on its third full year of operations, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is as unique a challenge as we have faced in our journey together with Ontario’s condominium communities thus far.

Yet, as chair of the CAO’s Board of Directors, I am proud of the steps our organization is taking in light of the current situation, and I remain optimistic about what lies ahead. Our vision has always been to promote harmonious condo communities across the province and to be of value to condo owners. By empowering the growing number of Ontarian’s who take part in this unique form of homeownership, we remain committed to achieving these goals.

We operate under the Condominium Act, 1998 (the Act), and we have a mandate to support consumer protection by providing services and resources for condo owners, buyers and directors across Ontario. This mandate remains our priority, even as we proceed through the uncertainty created by the current situation, which has had a significant impact on our province.

Suite of resources

I take great pride in announcing that we continue to deliver our full suite of resources and services throughout the pandemic to the more than 1.6 million condo residents in the 11,000-plus condo communities across Ontario. Ever since we were identified as an essential service by the provincial government in March, our dedicated team has not missed a beat, transitioning to a work-from-home business continuity plan, and maintaining the service standards that owners, directors and all our users have come to appreciate.

Our website is updated regularly and is where users can continue to access all our digital resources. Our information services team remains available by email or phone to help users and answer questions and concerns directly. The Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT), Canada’s first fully online tribunal, has also stayed active throughout the pandemic, accepting cases and resolving disputes.

What’s more, we recognize the unprecedented challenges that the COVID-19 situation poses for condo communities, and have responded accordingly with new measures to provide additional support during this difficult time.

In addition to the 25-per-cent assessment fee reduction already implemented for the year, all late fees were suspended until June 30, 2020. We have also been ramping up our efforts to help condo directors meet the six-month deadline to complete director training. We want to keep directors active on their boards, so that they can continue to operate on behalf of owners and provide their corporation with governance and guidance, which are especially needed in this uncertain period.

Unique pressures

Condo owners in particular face a unique set of financial pressures, which may prevent them from making their common expense payments. With this in mind, our staff developed resources to help corporations consider various factors when trying to strike a balance between the collective owners’ interests and an individual unit owner’s circumstance.

Our team is also hard at work developing new resources to help owners navigate the constantly evolving ways that business must be conducted now and in the future. One example is in-person owners’ meetings, which are now a health and safety concern. To lessen the need for face-to-face contact, we created a guide to help condo corporations establish a bylaw for holding owners’ meetings and/or voting by telephonic or electronic means. We also provided an overview of the subsequent temporary changes to the Act, introduced through the Government of Ontario’s Emergency Order, to provide temporary relief for how and when owners’ meetings can be held.

With social distancing becoming our new collective reality, the place that we each call home has never been more important. For us at the CAO, this means doing everything in our power to ensure that Ontario’s condo communities can continue in a manner that respects their collective responsibility for addressing the current situation, while still striving towards harmonious condo living for each and every member.

In our efforts to connect with owners across the province, we encourage you to subscribe to subscriptions@condoauthorityontario.ca for further updates from the CAO, and to share this article with other owners and members of your own condo community.

Heather Zordel is Chair, Board of Directors, of the Condominium Authority of Ontario, Toronto.


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Del Condominium Rentals’ paralegal services make landlords’ life a lot easier

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Del Condominium Rentals’ paralegal services make landlords’ life a lot easier

If being a landlord was easy, everyone would do it. From finding and screening tenants to managing your property to settling disputes… hey, sometimes things just happen.

That’s why it’s so valuable to be connected with a property management company that can help with the unexpected challenges of owning and renting out an investment condo – including one that has an in-house legal department to help settle minor landlord-tenant disputes. That’s worth the price of admission right there!

Indeed, Del Condominium Rentals adds value to your property management by keeping all services in-house, so there are no concerns about delays, miscommunications or confidentiality. The company’s legal department comprises paralegals who are proficient in landlord-tenant and condominium law. And for you, the condo owner-landlord with ready access to such expertise, that’s priceless peace of mind.

What is a paralegal?

In Ontario, paralegals are legal professionals licensed and regulated by the Law Society of Ontario – just like lawyers. They have the required education and experience to represent clients and provide legal services in specific areas of law, such as small claims court, traffic court, tribunal work, and minor criminal matters.

In the context of real estate, for landlords, this is an incredibly valuable asset to have access to when working with a property management company. Because, as we said, sometimes things just happen, and disputes can arise between tenants and landlords.

Reliable legal services, with professionals who know the law and are adept at navigating these often-delicate situations, can help diffuse potential problems and ensure the terms of your lease are being enforced to protect both parties.

Benefits of using a paralegal

Paralegals are just as competent, educated and knowledgeable as any other legal service provider, as they have specific legal training for the areas of law in which they represent their clients. Paralegal education programs are specifically developed to provide both practical and theoretical training to students. These programs are constantly updated and improved to ensure that the curriculum keeps up with industry standards.

Importantly, paralegals are a key access point to the justice system, as they are a relatively more affordable alternative to traditional lawyer representation. Property management companies such as Del Condominium Rentals use paralegals for day-to-day legal services in specific areas, due to their specialized skills and affordability, and as an ultimate benefit to their clientele.

Quicker, more economical yet just as knowledgeable about essential areas of landlord-tenant laws. How’s that for affordable peace of mind?

Paralegal services

The paralegal team at Del Condominium Rentals aims to ensure that the company, its unit owners and tenants all comply with their respective rights and obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (the RTA), the Condominium Act, 1998, as well as the respective condominium corporation’s declaration, by-laws and rules.

Keeping track of all of these regulations and how they interact with each other is complicated, if you’re not well-versed in legalese and the justice system as a whole.

Day-to-day paralegal tasks include:

  • Liaising with condominium management teams regarding tenant complaints
  • Sending compliance letters to tenants
  • Rent collections
  • Drafting and sending various legal notices under the RTA
  • Preparing for and attending Landlord and Tenant Board hearings
  • Judgment enforcement
  • Accompanying unit inspections
  • Processing and attending evictions
  • Providing inter-department training regarding landlord-tenant and condominium law

Clients of Del Condominium Rentals’ property management services can also benefit from seminars on landlord-tenant rights and obligations, equipping with the basics of the law governing these relationships.

Are you a condo owner looking to hire a property management company to manage your unit? Contact Del Condominium Rentals at 647.952.3644 or sales@delrentals.com

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Building or renting out a condo? Call Del Condominium Rentals

In Conversation With… Shanker Narayanan, General Manager, Del Condominium Rentals

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