We had water ponding on our floor from a leak in the Jacuzzi in the unit above. The couple upstairs agreed to not use the Jacuzzi but also said they would not repair it because of the cost. Our condo’s management says they can prevent the owners from using the Jacuzzi but can’t force them to make repairs because it’s not part of the common elements. Is that correct?
If the leak is in a pipe that is part of the common elements, it is the corporation’s responsibility to make repairs. However, your condo’s declaration could specify that a pipe in the common elements serving only the owners’ unit is part of that unit. If that’s the case, or if the deficient pipe is otherwise part of the Jacuzzi owners’ unit, the repair obligation belongs to them.
If it is the owners’ obligation to repair and they do not make those happen within a reasonable time, the Condominium Act states that the condo corporation must step in and fix the problem. The owners will then be responsible for the cost.
One more thing: If the leak comes from the owners having had connected their Jacuzzi pipe to a common-element pipe, that connection would be an improper alteration. The owner could be required to restore the common element pipe to its original status.
Our manager, at the request of some unit owners, wrote to another owner who parks in visitor parking, contrary to our condominium’s rules. The manager refuses to give copies of his letter to the board of directors, citing subsection 55(4) of the Condominium Act. Can the manager refuse to give the letter to the board?
The manager, under subsection 55(4), might have decided to not make the letter available to any owner other than the party it was addressed to — even if the party asking for it was the party who requested that the letter be written.
Section 55(4) states that an owner is not entitled to examine certain condominium records, including a record relating to any owner other than the owner requesting the record or relating to any unit other than the unit of the person requesting the record.
Subsection 55(4) relates only to requests by a unit owner to examine a record and does not entitle the manager to withhold from the board a record that the board requires in order to fulfil its function of managing the condominium.
Some managers seem to forget that management of the condominium is the responsibility of the board. The management company is misnamed and is simply a management assistant carrying out the board’s instructions. It has no authority to decide what records the board is entitled to see in order to perform its management functions.
Can the corporation’s contractor enter our unit while we are at work and start repairing the bathroom without my consent?
It would normally be your obligation to make unit repairs. The corporation is required to make the repairs at your expense if you failed to do so within a reasonable time. The corporation does not require your consent, but must, nonetheless, give you reasonable notice of the entry to your unit at a reasonable time, in accordance with section 19 of the Condominium Act.
Lawyer Gerry Hyman is a former president of the Canadian Condominium Institute and author of Condominium Handbook. Send questions to
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