Oliver Baumeister von Bretten, Broker | Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Brokerage

How Common Are Toronto Condo Lawsuits?

Lawyer working on a laptop.

Unlike popular belief, condominium lawsuits are not rare. Of course, nobody likes to land in a lawsuit but there are times when the buyers and the sellers find themselves on either side of a lawsuit. That being said, there is more to understand more about condo lawsuits. The reasons could be any problem related to condos – from parking spaces to oppressive by-laws, condo lawsuits have been quite vividly approached.


Lawyer working on a laptop.


Here are some of the top Condo law cases:

Cheung vs York Region CC759

Inadequate parking spaces for residents and guests is a reality of Toronto condominium living. This particular case revolves around dispute over common element parking spaces in a commercial condominium complex. The appellant, Ms. Cheung, leased her property to a popular restaurant. During the busy hours, the shared parking spaces quickly became monopolized by the restaurant employees and diners. This resulted in conflicts between diners, customers, and unit owners. In order to resolve the issue, the Board passed a by-law. However, the by-law terminated 4 common element spots per owner to balance the parking space. The by-law was confronted by Ms. Cheung. According to her, the by-law was illicit and despotic. However, the court denied the claims and validated the by-law. Furthermore, the court found the Cheung’s demands of taking over most of the parking space to be dictatorial.

M.S vs Carlton CC 116

The owner of a condo wanted the removal of a condo lien that secured a repair chargeback costing $800. However, the condo corporation rather accepted the condo operation’s request of the owner requiring a mental health examination. It’s one of the rare cases where the mental condition of a party was put in question. The owner had a bizarre request. In addition to that, he also had peculiar content filed in court. Consequently, there was an overall concern regarding his understanding of the litigation, the information related to it as well as the ramifications taken thereafter. The owner later applied for an application to reconsider the examination order. However, the court denied to accept the request. Eventually, the owner tried to sue the lawyers of the condo corporation but the court dismissed this being an abuse of the court’s proceedings.

Wexler vs Carlton CC 28

A unit owner of a condo filed against the condo corporation for three issues. First, a chargeback of $255 for cleaning pigeon droppings on her balcony. Second, $270 for the amount she spent on legal advice. Third, a sum of $2000 for the harassment (allegedly) by the condo board. However, the court dismissed all of the three requests. On the other hand, the court gave a reward of $20,000 in legal costs to the condo corporation (out of $35K the corporation apparently spent to defend the case). Furthermore, the justice invoked the assurance clause as mentioned in the condo declaration.

Kamal vs Peel CC51

The condo corporation held a meeting on the occasion of a Muslim holiday, Eid-ul-Azha,. The objective was to pass a by-law meant for funding major condo repairs. However, it displeased owners who observed the holiday. They filed a human rights case against the condo corporation for holding a meeting on the particular holiday. Moreover, the allegedly claimed it to be a violation and discrimination against them on the basis of creed. However, the Human Rights Tribunal dismissed it on multiple basis. Additionally, they added that the owners could vote in the meeting using a proxy. The judgement in no way means that condo corporations should hold meetings on holidays. But, the availability of proxy nullified the claims of the owners.


The Importance of A Status Certificate

Lawsuits can affect both the buyers and the sellers. So, how can you keep away from facing litigations? The answer is the Status Certificate.

Here are top things you should note about the status certificate to avoid lawsuits:

Always pre-order the status. Print a copy of it, especially the important parts of the certificate. For example, money saved in the reserve fund, the stats of the fee, and the availability of special assessments.

Read through it to ensure that insurance has you covered for small claims.


How Can a Condo Facing Lawsuit Make a Great Investment?

While the mention of lawsuits itself can get you stressed, here is a bright side to it that you might not have seen before. In most cases, after the condo wins, the rate goes way up. For example, the Abbey Lofts condo saw an uproar of price once it won the case against the developers. The condo saw an overall 25% hike in a year. Today, Abbey Lofts stands at a value 52% more than what they started with when they fought the lawsuit. Thus, do not dismiss the opportunity of buying a condo when it’s facing a lawsuit. After all, risks come with rewards.


To get the latest news, condo investment buying tips and much more, check out our full blog.

Compare listings