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Getting Proactive About Preventing Harassment in Condos: Coming Together as a Community of Condo Managers, Directors, Vendors and Residents (Pt. 4/6)

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In an industry that’s too exhausted to keep dealing with the aftermath of major incidents, it’s unsurprising that condo managers, directors, vendors, and residents alike are asking how we can do more to tackle this troubling trend of toxic workplaces and dangerous living conditions. Specifically, how can we, as a collective Condoland, come together to get proactive about preventing harassment in condos?

In our last blog post, we discussed the existing measures that can be leveraged to deal with harassment and violence in condos. While there are some deterring options (such as compliance letters from the corporation’s solicitors) and legal mechanisms available to workers covered under the OHSA (Occupational Health and Safety Act),  these inherently require the issue to have already taken place - an event and outcome that is undesirable and unacceptable. 

Let’s look at how condo managers, directors, vendors, and residents can explore and implement proactive methods of preventing harassment in condos, as well as come together for support, access to resources, and to create a call for change.

📰 If you haven’t already, don’t forget to check out our first three articles of the “Harassment in Condos” series:

Proactive Methods of Preventing Harassment in Condos

How Implementing an Anti-Harassment Rule Leverages The Condominium Authority Tribunal (The CAT) and Creates Community Comportment Expectations

The importance of passing an Anti-Harassment Rule cannot be understated. It’s not a difficult rule to implement, and it’s especially beneficial to condo corporations and their communities now that The Condominium Authority Tribunal (The CAT) has taken a stand against harassment. Approving and implementing this rule ensures that property management and the board of directors can effectively enforce it within the condo community, and leverage The CAT’s jurisdiction in requiring compliance should any resident fail to follow the rule accordingly. 

Does your condo corporation not have an Anti-Harassment Rule yet? Use this quick guide to find out how (click to drop down), and check out the free templates below!

How to Create and Implement an Anti-Harassment Rule in Your Condo Community

Typically, the process for creating and implementing an Anti-Harassment Rule looks like this:

  1. An Anti-Harassment Rule is drafted and approved by the Board at a Board Meeting.

  2. Once passed by the Board, the Anti-Harassment Rule must be distributed to all owners. According to the CAO, the owners must receive: “a copy of the change, the date the board is suggesting the rule become effective, a reminder that owners have the right to requisition an owner’s meeting about the rule, and that the rule will become effective 30 days after the notice unless a meeting is requisitioned, [and] a copy of section 45 and section 58 of The Condo Act, which cover owner requisitioned meetings”. 

  3. The owners have 30 days to challenge this Rule, using the appropriate process to Requisition a Meeting. 

  4. If the Owners do not challenge the proposed Rule (or the owner requisitioned meeting is not successful), it automatically passes after 30 days and the corporation officially adopts the Anti-Harassment Rule.

Once the rule is passed, it doesn’t stop there. Placing signs in common areas as reminders is critical, and you can use these free templates to quickly and efficiently remind residents of the expectation to communicate and behave appropriately:

However, having an Anti-Harassment Rule in condo corporations is not just about gaining the capacity to take conflicts to The Condominium Authority Tribunal, but also about creating community education. Once the community is made aware of this rule, condo residents start to understand what is expected of them and their comportment. What will, and won’t, be tolerated is clear, and there is no excuse to not govern oneself accordingly. 

Regularly communicating with residents in a respectful manner is also vital to creating community education - what better way to bring people together in a respectful manner than to ensure that the corporation’s condo manager, board, and other staff are modeling it, too?

Are you dealing with harassment or violence in your condo, and need a lawyer’s advice? You can find a condo lawyer on Stratastic’s vendor directory, “My Condo Vendor”, or a variety of lawyers via the Law Society of Ontario!

The Importance of Communication Within the Condo Community: A Common Goal for Condo Managers and Board Members 

Ideally, our common goal should be avoiding such issues in the first place through the use of proactive measures. So how can condo managers, directors, vendors, and residents come together to create a condo community that prevents harassment in condo work and living spaces? And are there any initiatives already in place?

According to Deborah Howden (Condo Lawyer and Partner at Shibley Righton LLP), “The question is timely. In light of the Vaughan mass shooting last December 2022 and the double stabbing at a North York apartment building in October 2023, there are active initiatives in place among condominium stakeholders to address and prevent harassment and violence in our condominium communities. Creating a safe living and working environment requires the active participation and commitment of all residents, condo board members, and management”. 

Howden further outlined the steps to achieving a safe living and working environment, which include resident education and further stress the importance of signage and security measures in condo corporations. 

Regular Education in the Condo Community: “First, condominiums should regularly educate residents about what constitutes harassment and violence. This can be done through newsletters, online resources and in townhall meetings. The board and management must also promote a safe workplace and living environment. They should encourage a sense of community and respect among residents.This can be done through any number of initiatives. For example, by organizing social events and activities that promote respect, inclusivity, and  tolerance.  Stronger connections among residents, management and directors  can help deter incidents of harassment and violence”.

These measures are a good start, and further solutions are available.

Signage and Security Measures: “At the same time, security measures within the condo premises could be enhanced.  Security cameras with appropriate signage set up in management offices and in the lobby could be helpful. It goes without saying that the corporation should take all reports of harassment and violence seriously and initiate prompt action to respond to the reports. Appropriate consequences must be implemented for individuals who engage in harassment or violence”, concludes Howden.

Calling for More Legislative Deterrence to Protect Condo Managers, Directors, and the Overall Condo Community

Unfortunately, it's not always enough to hope that everyone understands the expectation of behaving professionally, let alone the importance of kindness in condos. In cases such as these, the fear of harsher consequences are often a more effective deterrent. How can our collective condo community campaign for more accessible and effective legislative opportunities that can serve as a deterrent and help us prevent harassment in condos?

Accessible and effective legislative opportunities: Calling on the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO), Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario (ACMO), the Canadian Condominium Institute (CCI), and the Community Associations Institute (CAI)

Existing and proactive measures are a good start, but many of us are looking for more. Nicholas Chirametli  (President at City Sites Property Management) pointed out that the “Condominium Authority of Ontario was organized to be a resource to aid condominiums in resolving disputes and issues between owners and their Boards . . . [and should look at intervening] when harassment of Directors or anyone representing condominiums reaches a boiling point. These resources need to exist for extreme cases that cannot be resolved through civil discourse.” 

“I have and will continue to support industry leaders in their call to action for enhanced security of all condominium management Directors and Agents”, and noted that the “Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario (ACMO), the Toronto & Area Chapter of the Canadian Condominium Institute (CCI-T), and the Community Associations Institute (CAI) Canadian Chapter recently issued a letter to the Provincial government with recommendations for better oversight of harassment related issues”.

Regarding the actions required to better protect corporation staff, such as property management, Chirametli “would like to see similar initiatives that enhance the oversight of the Condominium Authority of Ontario or a comparable regulatory body such as the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario, to intervene with appropriate legislative backing to compel protective action for staff in those extreme cases of harassment or potential violence. 

“Such action could include compelling all Corporations to have in place a workplace harassment policy governed by the Condominium Act, both for employees of the Corporation, and third-party contractors that provide contracted staff to the property. This would compel Directors to ensure that they will fully support their staff if they are being accosted by residents, owners, or even fellow Directors”.

“When it comes to protections for Directors, Chirametli is again calling for “enhanced oversight from the Condominium Authority of Ontario (“CAO”)  or a comparable regulatory body, to intervene with appropriate legislative backing in those extreme cases of harassment or potential violence against Directors similar to those recommended by my colleagues in the condominium management industry.”

The Challenges of Protecting Condo Directors Against Harassment

Unfortunately, protecting Directors is a bit more complicated. While there are provisions in the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”) that protect “workers and applies to supervisors, employers and workplaces in Ontario”, because “condominium directors do not typically receive monetary compensation, they are excluded from the worker protections under that legislation” Howden explains.

So what are we doing as a collective to better protect the volunteers that direct our condo operations and represent the ownership? And could we do better? We’ll explore the role of Board Members and the impact of harassment on Directors in our next blog post of this series - stay tuned!

Coming Together as a Community to Prevent Harassment In Condos: An Invitation for Condo Managers, Directors, Vendors, and Residents to Join Stratastic's Condo Safety Advocacy Group

There are many ways that we, as a collective condo community, can come together to take the first steps towards creating safety within our industry, workplaces, and living spaces, and Stratastic is aware that this will be a long journey to embark on. We invite you to walk alongside us, and those who have already committed to bettering Condoland for one and all, by joining our Condo Safety advocacy page (it’s free). We’re leveraging this platform to share resources for condo managers, directors, vendors, and residents to help prevent harassment in condos, as well as provide processes and support for those who encounter incivility or violence in their condo corporations.

How can you chip in? We’re glad you asked! 

👤 Become a member and get full access to the Condo Safety advocacy page, including our forum feature.

🗣️ Participate in the forum - share your thoughts and lend your voice to encouraging others so they don’t have to deal with challenges alone!

🗒️ Share resources! If you know of valuable resources to share, or can create and contribute something unique of your own, please do! It takes a village to raise awareness for this issue, and a collective condo community to combat the current climate of incivility in condos. 

We appreciate having each and every one of you by our side as we continue tackling this troubling trend of violence and harassment in condos, and are excited to do it together!

-Stratastic Inc.

P.S. Don’t miss out on how we can do more to help protect our volunteers - register now and be the first to have this series, and more, delivered straight to your inbox!

P.S.S. Want more helpful resources to help you better understand Condoland and build a better community in your condo corporation? Check out Stratastic's resource library "Stak'd" for over 10,000 hand-curated, condo-related resources!


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