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How to Fight a Bully Condo Board in Ontario: A Strategic Approach

Updated: Jan 19

Dealing with a bully condo board in Ontario can be challenging. In order to fight a bully condo board you need to understand your rights and the board's legal boundaries; this is crucial for a successful resolution. This is a comprehensive guide with helpful tips and resources that offers strategic advice for Ontario condo owners being bullied by condo boards.


Condo Board in Ontario

Understanding Your Rights and the Board's Role

The first step in fighting a bully condo board in Ontario requires a clear understanding of your rights as a condo owner and the legal framework governing condo boards. Being well-informed empowers you to effectively address issues with a bully condo board.


Key Points to Understand:


Ontario's Condominium Act: The Condominium Act of Ontario provides the legal framework for condominiums in the province. It sets out the rights and responsibilities of condo owners, boards, and corporations and can help fight a bully condo board. You can read the Ontario Condominium Act here.


Understanding Compliance: Familiarize yourself with the aspects of the Condo Act that relate to board governance, owner rights, and dispute resolution.


Condo Documents: Your condo's declaration, by-laws, and rules are the foundational documents that govern life in your condo community. They outline the rights and responsibilities of both the condo owners and the board. Understanding these documents helps you identify if the board is acting within its authority or overstepping its bounds.


Declaration: This is the primary document that outlines the ownership, general governance, and property rights of the condo units and common elements.


By-Laws: The by-laws govern how the condo corporation is run, including the election and conduct of the board of directors. Find more about effectively reviewing your condo by-laws 


Rules: These are the day-to-day rules for living in the condo, covering everything from noise levels to pet ownership.



condo property management

Documenting the Issue


Once you have a clear understanding of your rights, it is important to start maintaining a detailed record of all interactions with the board. Documenting everything (including dates, times, and descriptions of incidents) and keeping copies of all correspondence is crucial in winning a fight with a bully condo board in Ontario.


Here are tips for effective documentation:


  1. Maintain a Detailed Log: Create a logbook or digital document where you record every interaction with the board. Note the date, time, and a detailed description of each incident or communication. 

  2. Organize Correspondence: Keep all emails, letters, notices, and memos exchanged with the board. Organize them chronologically for easy reference.

  3. Record Meetings: If permissible, record audio or video of meetings for accuracy. Alternatively, take detailed notes during meetings, highlighting key points and decisions.

  4. Photographic and Video Evidence: If your issue involves physical aspects of the condo (like maintenance problems), take clear, time-stamped photos or videos as evidence.

  5. Witness Statements: If other residents witness an incident or have had similar experiences, ask them to provide written statements.

  6. Emails and Written Requests: Send requests or complaints to the board via email or registered mail. This provides a verifiable trail that you’ve communicated your concerns.

  7. Backup Your Documents: Keep digital copies of all documents in a secure cloud storage or external drive to prevent loss of data.

  8. Stay Objective: When going up against a bully condo board, it is essential to focus on facts and avoid emotional language. Objective documentation is more credible and useful, especially if legal action is required.


Communication: Your Most Important Step


Effective communication is often the most crucial step in resolving disputes with a bully condo board. It's important to approach the board in a manner that is clear, respectful, and constructive. Proper communication can lead to mutual understanding and can often resolve issues without the need for further escalation.


Here are Tips for effective communication:


  1. Formal Letters: Draft a concise and clear letter to the board outlining your concerns. Be specific about the issues you're facing, referencing relevant by-laws or sections of the Condominium Act as necessary. You can find sample letters for condo board communication here.

  2. Structure: Start with a brief introduction, state the issue, provide any evidence or references to condo laws or by-laws, and conclude with a proposed solution or request for action.

  3. Record Keeping: Keep a copy of the letter for your records; if sending by email, consider using a read receipt.

  4. Request a Meeting: If the issue is complex or hasn't been resolved through written communication, request a face-to-face meeting with the board. This allows for more detailed discussions and immediate feedback.

  5. Agenda Preparation: Prepare a clear agenda for the meeting. Know what points you want to cover and what outcomes you are seeking.

  6. Stay Focused: During the meeting, stick to the agenda. Be calm, collected, and respectful in your communication.

  7. Follow-Up Communications: After the meeting, send a follow-up email or letter summarizing what was discussed, including any agreements or action plans that were made.

  8. Clarity and Confirmation: Clearly state any resolutions or next steps agreed upon during the meeting. Ask for confirmation or clarification if needed.

  9. Positive Reinforcement: Acknowledge any positive responses or actions taken by the board. This can help in building a cooperative relationship.

  10. Seek Mediation if Necessary: If direct communication doesn't lead to a resolution when dealing with a bully condo board, consider seeking a neutral third party for mediation. 

  11. Professional Mediation Services: You can look into professional mediation services that specialize in condo disputes. The Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) offers dispute resolution services that you can utilize.


Start Building Alliances


In many cases of dealing with a bully condo board, issues with such a condo board are not isolated incidents affecting a single unit owner but may impact several residents. Building alliances with other condo owners creates a unified front, making your collective voice stronger and more difficult for the board to ignore. 


resources for condo property owner

Here are tips for building alliances:


Identify Common Concerns: Start by talking to your neighbors to understand their experiences. You may find that they have also been bullied by the condo board and have faced similar issues.


Organize Informal Gatherings: Arrange casual meetings with other residents to discuss issues related to the condo board. This could be a coffee meet-up, a gathering in a common area, or a virtual meeting. Here’s a guide to organizing a virtual condo community meeting in Ontario.


Create Communication Channels: Establish a way for residents to communicate and stay informed. This could be a private social media group, an email list, or a WhatsApp group.


Share Information and Documentation: Encourage group members to share their experiences and any documentation they have. This collective pool of information can be invaluable in understanding the full scope of the issues and in the fight against the bully condo board.


Develop a Unified Strategy: Once you have a group formed, discuss and agree on a unified approach to addressing the issues with the board. This might involve a group letter, a collective presence at the next board meeting, or appointing representatives to speak on behalf of the group.


Respect Diverse Opinions: Within your group, there may be varying opinions on how to proceed with actions against the bully condo board. It’s important to respect these differences and work towards a consensus that considers everyone’s perspective.


Stay United and Supportive: Throughout your dealings with the condo board, it’s important to stay united as a group. Support each other during meetings and in any interactions with the board.


Seek Legal Advice If Necessary


When seeking a resolution of issues with a bully condo board that cannot be resolved through direct communication or mediation, seeking legal advice becomes a necessary step. A lawyer specializing in condominium law can provide you with guidance on your rights, help interpret the Condominium Act and your condo's by-laws, and advise on the best course of action. You can start your search for a condo lawyer on  Stratastic Vendor Directory and can also look at the Law Society of Ontario 


Conclusion


Navigating conflicts with a bully condo board in Ontario requires a strategic and informed approach. We suggest that you arm yourself with knowledge of the Condominium Act and your rights, document all interactions, and focus on communicating effectively. If necessary, don't hesitate to seek legal advice. 


Building alliances with fellow residents will also strengthen your position. Remember, a structured, informed approach can lead to positive changes and a better living environment for you and your neighbors in the condo community. Here are more tips on preventing and resolving condo conflicts 

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