Court Orders Owner to Sell and Vacate Unit

In the case of TSCC 1899 v. Devlin, the owner had a fairly brief history of misbehavior. As the Court explained it: “Starting in the spring of 2023, Ms. Devlin started to disturb, threaten, intimidate, and harass the residents, staff, and board members of the corporation.”

As a result, the condominium corporation applied for and obtained an order, in November of 2023, requiring the owner to “cease any threatening or harassing behavior, to cease contact with any member of the board of directors of TSCC 1899, and to comply with the Act, and the corporation’s declaration and rules”.

However, the owner’s misconduct had subsequently continued and worsened. The Court said that the owner had demonstrated “increasingly threatening and anti-social behaviour. This included screaming at residents, making veiled (and not-so-veiled) threats to kill residents, disrupting an annual general meeting of the corporation, banging on doors, verbally berating residents and staff, and making racist and discriminatory comments”.

As an example of this misconduct, the Court described one incident (recorded by a video surveillance camera) during which the owner “confronted a resident, repeatedly called him a ‘scumbag,’ and shouted” various insults and threats at the resident, including a threat to “shoot” him using a gun allegedly concealed in her purse.

The Court said that the other residents of the condominium community (and the Court) should not be expected to tolerate this sort of behaviour, and ordered the owner to sell and vacate her unit. The Court said:

 The court expects individuals to comply with its orders. Compliance orders, such as the one issued by Callaghan J., provide clear and direct direction to individuals covered by their terms. If a person does not abide by the terms of a compliance order, that is strong evidence that they are not willing to abide by the legal obligations that attach to living in a condominium community. How a person responds to a compliance order sheds significant light on whether or the court can expect that person to govern themselves in the future. In this case, Ms. Devlin breached the compliance order and did so in a particularly dangerous and threatening manner.

In our view:  When dealing with this sort of misconduct, the “first step”, in most cases, will be to obtain a “cease and desist” order (as occurred in this case). Then, if the problems continue and/or worsen, the next step will be to obtain a further order requiring the owner to sell and vacate the unit.  But we caution:  This second order will generally be granted only in these sorts of unusual and extreme circumstances.

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