A Look Back at 2020
Our Top Five Blog Stories from 2020
- The pandemic was of course the main story of 2020. In March, the Covid-19 crisis made its presence fully known throughout all of our lives. What followed, for condominiums, included all sorts of decisions about “essential services”, gathering limits, opening and closing of amenities, quarantining, sanitizing, delayed AGMs, electronic meetings and voting, mask-wearing, etc. In the process: An April Court decision confirmed the right of a condominium corporation, during the pandemic, to prohibit non-urgent (non-essential) work in a unit. And you may also recall that in late summer we all turned our attention to questions about “re-opening” – temporary though it was.
- At the same time, during the early summer much of the world’s focus was turned toward incidents of heart wrenching mistreatment of some, and related injustice and inequality. Many the world over expressed their solidarity with related movements and demonstrations. We posted our firm’s statement of solidarity in June.
- In January, we blogged about the insurance crisis in the condominium industry. Since then, we’ve seen more and more condominiums having difficulty with their insurance renewals. It is becoming a huge problem for condominiums, not just in Ontario, but throughout the country.
- In late August, the appeal decision in the Amlani case told us that condominium corporations may not have the right to chargeback “enforcement costs” against the common expenses of a responsible owner (without a Court order). In our view, this is an extremely bad result for condominium corporations and in fact also for the “guilty” owners (because the decision only serves to promote more Court disputes, and related additional costs). We’re hoping that upcoming amendments to Ontario’s Condominium Act will address these issues.
- In October, the jurisdiction of the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) was increased to cover additional matters (most notably disputes about pets, parking, storage and motor vehicles, as well as related rights to indemnification or compensation). The subsequent sweeping report on the condominium industry from Ontario’s Auditor General (which arrived in December) has, among many other things, recommended further additions to CAT’s jurisdiction.
It’s been a challenging year for condominium corporations, their directors, officers and residents. Could there be some light on the horizon?
Stand by for my top five predictions for 2021, coming tomorrow.