Be Careful who you get advice from….
Last night I received a link to a news item about a condominium entitled “Residents Fighting back after condo board proposes pet ban”. Let me clearly state that I know nothing about this property other than what appeared in the news story – and I love dogs.
The link I was sent was from the citynews.ca website. The reason that is important is the comments that followed the story had me confused and concerned about the public perception of this Board and the rights of the owners.
Here is the link – http://www.citynews.ca/2016/08/23/residents-fighting-back-after-condo-board-proposes-pet-ban/
First let me take issue with the news claim that this is a Board trying to ban pets. Reading the story more closely shows that the Board has proposed new rules for pet owners. I do not know what the rules are but I read from the resident’s letter that she feels they are so drastic they will effectively be a ban on pet ownership.
The contents of the news story are not the reason for this blog today. The real interesting part of this comes when you scroll down to read the comments posted by interested readers.
Comment 1: “I’m pretty sure that no matter what “rules” the board wishes to implement, they cannot supersede Ontario law. As far as I am aware, they can say “no pets” all they want, but there is nothing they can do to enforce it.”
Actually condos can ban pets; they can ban just dogs; they can place a limit on the number of pets…the powers given to condominiums by the Condominium Act allow them to set the conditions under which owners will co-own the condominium property. This ban cannot be done by passing rules, it requires a by-law which the majority of owners must vote to pass.
Comment 2: “In my experience with condos it does require a 90% vote by owners to put this rule into force. The board acting on it’s own to enforce the rule without the winning vote could face legal action and they would lose.
It is also known that condos that have a no dog rule can effect the resale of a condo unit.”
This claim is closer to being correct as the BY-LAW requires a vote of the majority of owners – not 90% though. 50% plus 1 is enough to implement a pet restriction.
**Reminder – that is not what the Board did in this case – they merely proposed new rules around pet ownership and stewardship.
Comment 3: “@*********: You may find yourself very alone. Condos have specific rules about dog behavior and only one dog is allowed. Keep studying.”
This is a prime example of the restrictions at one building being quoted as if from the Condominium Act. Many buildings do not allow pets; many others have no restrictions. The restriction to one pet that is referred to in this post is something that is condominium-specific. There is no one rule or restriction for all condos.
Comment 4: “@******: Yeah they can. Condo law supersedes city bylaw and is below Fire code law.”
Condominium laws do not supersede any municipal by-laws. Condos are governed by a provincial statute – the Condominium Act – that allows condos to set certain rules and by-laws for their own property.
Let me say in closing that news stories about condos can be full of inaccuracies when the opinions of the residents or owners are presented as fact. There are also two sides to every story – a fact that appears to have been forgotten as this rather complex issue affecting a whole community is presented in 563 words.