Thursday, May 3, 2012

Can you hang a Mezuzah on your Toronto Condo?

There is a debate about whether you can install a Mezuzah on your door frame in a Condominium Building where you reside.  Does the same apply in Toronto as we become the condo capital of North America?  A debate has erupted lately in Stratford, ON, about a tenant claiming religious persecution over their right to install a religious icon on their door frame. This video from the local News station is furthering the debate. The door frame is clearly a Common Element of the building and NOT YOUR PROPERTY as described by the Condominium Act.   You own the INSIDE of your suite.

Where are you on this issue?

When you  purchased the condominium suite you were presented with a bundle of documents that included the Rules and Regulation of residing in a condominium community and the Building Declarations.  You further acknowledged your receipt and compliance.  You have a TEN day cooling off period, [Rescission] or in the case of a resale condo purchase, the right to examine the condominium Status Certificate and Rules and Regulations. [usually 5 days]

You, as the Owner have an obligation to present these materials to a Tenant prior to their moving in because they acknowledge receipt of those documents. (you should also be video taping or taking pictures of the interiors to document current condition prior to move in). When signing the Tenant agrees to follow the Rules and Regulations of the Condo Building. The Landlord then provides a Form 5 [including lease term and contact details] for the condo unit owner to complete authorizing their tenant access to book an elevator, get keys and have access to amenities, parking and common areas.

Your condominium Board of Directors has an obligation to enforce all the Rules and Regulations in an even handedly and equitable manner in the interest of all Owners [and by extension Residents and Tenants].  If there was going to be a Rule change or modification this could be addressed in an Annual General Meeting.

Buildings are now presented with a minefield of Legislation for compliance that are not always in agreement. This could be a Human Rights Issue over religious freedoms, or a Landlord Tenant Tribunal Issue over the the rights of a Tenant and peaceful enjoyment.  The Condominium Act also applies in the compliance for Rules and Regulations of a Condominium Corporation and their right to enforce existing Bylaws.

Where are you on this issue?  Would you let it slide?   What issues would you  be prepared to defend?

Then, when you are in court the judge will ask "Why did you enforce Rule 1 and Not Rule 2?"  What will your answer be?

We all own the [Toronto] Condominium Corporation together!

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