Changes to Ontario’s Condominium Act make it easier to deal with problem tenants

If your upstairs neighbor wears concrete shoes or constantly smokes, changes to the Ontario Condominium Act now make it easier to fix those issues.

Changes to Ontario’s Condominium Act, amended this fall, come into effect January 1, 2022.

The new changes mean it will be easier for condo owners to work out issues with a “problematic” tenant or co-owner, according to attorneys for Tierney Stauffer LLP.

The law will prohibit condominium residents from creating “nuisance, annoyance or disturbance” or making “unreasonable” noise. What is considered a nuisance or unreasonable is subjective. People living in condominiums generally have to expect that living close to neighbors means dealing with sounds and smells.

But the issues listed in the law include:

  • Smoke and vapor (including cannabis or smoke entering units from doors or balconies);
  • Smells (cooking, perfume, candles or incense);
  • Light (such as light entering a unit);
  • Noise and vibration (heavy footsteps, loud pets, loud music, shouting or using tools)

Previously, co-owners took these issues to court, which could be expensive. Now, under the new amendments, these and other issues will be heard by the Condominium Authority Tribunal.

“The hope is that this change will allow all parties involved, including landlords, tenants and condominium associations, to resolve disputes more quickly and less expensively than going to court,” writes Tierney. Stauffer LLP Lawyers.

However, this does not make it easier for a landlord to evict a tenant — eviction hearings remain the jurisdiction of the Landlord and Tenant Board.

It remains to be seen how much the new rule change will affect tenants, but it could mean less noise for condominiums in 2022.

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