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Solutions for Condominium Boards & Managers

Light

1. Understand the condominium corporation’s rights and obligations

You can learn more about what the Condo Act says, and the role of your condominium corporation’s governing documents by visiting Step #2 – Legal Considerations. Once you have reviewed this information, proceed to #2 below.

As noted in Step #2 – Legal Considerations above, the Condo Act prohibits unreasonable light-related nuisances, annoyances or disruptions. While the Condo Act does not define the term “unreasonable,” the following criteria may be relevant:

  • The source of the light;
  • The intensity of the light;
  • How long it lasts;
  • How often it occurs;
  • Whether it is permitted or prohibited by the condominium corporation’s governing documents; and,
  • Whether it affects a person’s right to use and enjoy their unit.

2. Determine who is causing the issue

Your next step is to determine who is causing the issue.

If you know the unit number of the person causing the issue, you should next determine whether the person is the unit owner or an occupant (e.g., a tenant or a guest).

  • You can determine who owns a unit by checking the corporation’s record of owners and mortgagees. Under section 46.1 of the Condo Act, all condominium corporations are required to maintain a record of the names (and addresses) of all condominium unit owners.
  • Owners are required to notify their condominium corporation if they lease their units. Condominium corporations are required to maintain a record of which units are leased under section 83 (3) of the Condo Act.

By looking at the record of owners and mortgagees and the record of leased units, you can determine whether the person is an owner or an occupant.

3. Contact the owner and/or occupant causing the issue

If a unit owner or occupant is causing the issue, you may wish to speak with them directly. They may not know that they are causing an issue, so speaking to them about the issue may resolve your issue quickly.

We have letter and email templates you can use located in the Helpful Resources section at the bottom of this page.

  • If the person causing the issue is a unit owner, then you should send your letter to the owner.
  • If the person causing the issue is a non-owner occupant, then you should send your letter to the owner and the occupant.
  • If you don’t know who is causing the issue, then you should send your letter to the unit owner.

In this initial communication, you may want to identify:

  • The light issue(s) that they are causing;
  • The specific provisions in the governing documents they have violated (if any);
  • How they can resolve the issue;
  • The condominium corporation’s next steps if the issue continues; and
  • That if they require an accommodation, they should request one formally.

Depending on the nature of the issue, it may take some time to resolve. Your condominium corporation’s governing documents may set out a specific timeframe for resolving such an issue. If the governing documents don’t specify a timeframe, you should give the owner or occupant a reasonable amount of time to resolve the issue.

You should also keep track of your interactions with the owner and/or occupant with as much detail as possible and note the date and time that you sent them.

If your issue isn’t resolved after contacting the owner and/or occupant, proceed to #4 below.

4. Follow up

After you’ve contacted the owner and/or occupant, they will hopefully take steps to address and resolve the issue.

If you’ve given them a reasonable opportunity to resolve the issue but the issue has not been resolved, you can send a follow-up letter. You can use our Second Letter template, which you can find under the Helpful Resources section at the bottom of this page.

As before, you should keep a record of your interactions with the owner and/or occupant with as much detail as possible and note the date and time that you sent them.

If the issue isn’t resolved after contacting the owner or occupant, proceed to #4 below.

5. Determine what to do next

Depending on the response that you receive from the owner and/or occupant, you need to decide what steps to take next. You could:

  • Approach the unreasonable nuisance, annoyance, or disruption and / or non-compliance issues in the same way you would approach other potential violations of the Condo Act or the condominium corporation’s governing documents. At this stage, many condominium corporations send the owner or occupant a letter prepared by their legal counsel.
  • If the issue is affecting multiple units, you may wish to call and hold a meeting to discuss the matter with the owners and appropriate parties.
  • If an owner requests an accommodation, please read the information under Scenario #4.

We encourage you to take all reasonable steps to resolve the issue by working collaboratively with the owner or occupant before you incur any costs or expenses.

What if these steps don’t resolve my issue?

If you’ve tried the steps above and your issue still hasn’t been resolved, then you may be able to file an application with the CAT.

Visit Step #4 – Condominium Authority Tribunal for more information.

Have a Question?

Shape

Description automatically generated with medium confidenceIf you have a question about any of the information you’ve read, please contact us. We have a team available to answer any questions you may have.

1. Understand the condominium’s rights and obligations

You can learn more about what the Condo Act says, and the role of your condominium corporation’s governing documents by visiting Step #2 – Legal Considerations.

As noted in Step #2 – Legal Considerations above, the Condo Act prohibits unreasonable light-related nuisances, annoyances or disruptions. While the Condo Act does not define the term “unreasonable,” the following criteria may be relevant:

  • The source of the light;
  • The intensity of the light;
  • How long it lasts;
  • How often it occurs;
  • Whether it is permitted or prohibited by the condominium corporation’s governing documents; and,
  • Whether it affects a person’s right to use and enjoy their unit.

2. Gather information from the owner or occupant who raised the issue

You may wish to reach out to the owner or occupant who raised the issue to gather all the information you can about the issue, including:

  • The date and time when the issue occurs;
  • The type of lighting issue they are experiencing (e.g. is the source of the light identifiable);
  • Where they think the light is coming from; and
  • Any other details that might be relevant.

After you’ve gathered all the information you can, you should proceed to #3 below. contact the owner or occupant causing the issue.

3. Determine who is causing the issue

Your next step is to determine who is causing the issue.

If you know the unit number of the person causing the issue, you should next determine whether the person is the unit owner or an occupant (e.g., a tenant or a guest).

  • You can determine who owns a unit by checking the corporation’s record of owners and mortgagees. Under section 46.1 of the Condo Act, all condominium corporations are required to maintain a record of the names (and addresses) of all condominium unit owners.
  • Owners are required to notify their condominium corporation if they lease their units. Condominium corporations are required to maintain a record of which units are leased under section 83 (3) of the Condo Act.

By looking at the record of owners and mortgagees and the record of leased units, you can determine whether the person is an owner or an occupant.

4. Contact the owner and/or occupant causing the issue

If a unit owner or occupant is causing the issue, you may wish to speak with them directly. They may not know that they are causing an issue, so speaking to them about the issue may resolve your issue quickly.

We have letter and email templates you can use located in the Helpful Resources section at the bottom of this page.

  • If the person causing the issue is a unit owner, then you should send your letter to the owner.
  • If the person causing the issue is a non-owner occupant, then you should send your letter to the owner and the occupant.
  • If you don’t know who is causing the issue, then you should send your letter to the unit owner.

In this initial communication, you may want to identify:

  • The unreasonable light-related issue they have caused and / or the specific provision(s) in the governing document(s) they have violated (if any);
  • How they can resolve the issue; and
  • The condominium corporation’s next steps if the issue continues.

Depending on the nature of the issue, it may take some time to resolve. Your condominium corporation’s governing documents may set out a specific timeframe for resolving such an issue. If the governing documents don’t specify a timeframe, you should give the owner or occupant a reasonable amount of time to resolve the issue.

You should keep a record of your interactions with the owner and/or occupant with as much detail as possible and note the date and time that you sent them.

If the issue isn’t resolved after contacting the owner and/or occupant, proceed to #4 below.

5. Follow up

After you’ve contacted the owner and/or occupant, they will hopefully take steps to address and resolve the issue.

If you’ve given them a reasonable opportunity to resolve the issue but the issue has not been resolved, you can send a follow-up letter. You can use our Second Letter template, which you can find under the Helpful Resources section at the bottom of this page.

As before, you should keep a record of your interactions with the owner and/or occupant with as much detail as possible and note the date and time that you sent them.

If the issue isn’t resolved after following up with the owner or occupant, proceed to #5 below.

6. Determine what to do next

Depending on the response that you receive from the owner and/or occupant, you need to decide what steps to take next. You could:

  • Approach the unreasonable nuisance, annoyance, or disruption and / or non-compliance issues in the same way you would approach other potential violations of the Condo Act or the condominium corporation’s governing documents. At this stage, many condominium corporations send the owner or occupant a letter prepared by their legal counsel.
  • If the issue is affecting multiple units, you may wish to call and hold a meeting to discuss the matter with the owners and appropriate parties.
  • If an owner requests an accommodation, please read the information under Scenario #4.

We encourage you to take all reasonable steps to resolve the issue by working collaboratively with the owner or occupant before you incur any costs or expenses.

What if these steps don’t resolve my issue?

If you’ve tried the steps above and your issue still hasn’t been resolved, then you may be able to file an application with the CAT.

Visit Step #4 – Condominium Authority Tribunal for more information.

Have a Question?

Shape

Description automatically generated with medium confidenceIf you have a question about any of the information you’ve read, please contact us. We have a team available to answer any questions you may have.

1. Identify the Change

Your first step is to identify what type of change that the board of directors wants to make to the governing documents (e.g., adding, modifying or removing a provision) and which governing document is going to be changed.

You can do this by reviewing your governing documents and determining what kind of change the board wants to make

2. Learn about the Procedural Requirements

Once you have identified where the provision is or should be located, you can learn more about the procedural requirements you will need to follow when amending that governing document. You can learn more about the procedural requirements to change your condominium corporation’s governing documents on our website here.

Each governing document has a different purpose and the requirements to amend each document are different – for example, the process of changing the rules is very different from the process of amending the declaration.

If the board is considering adding a new provision to the governing documents (e.g., a light-related restriction), the board should determine which governing document will be amended to include the new provision. Provisions that restrict, prohibit or govern light or lighting will most likely fall under the condominium corporation’s declaration or rules.

3. Begin the Process to Change the Governing Document.

Once you have determined what change you want to make, you can follow the steps to change the appropriate governing document set out on our website here.

Have a Question?

Shape

Description automatically generated with medium confidenceIf you have a question about any of the information you’ve read, please contact us. We have a team available to answer any questions you may have.

1. Learn about accommodations under the Code

If you have received a request for accommodation, you should first review the information available on the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s website.

2. Respond to the requestor

Once you have reviewed the information on the OHRC’s website, you should respond to the requestor in writing. Your response should outline if:

  • You are willing to grant the accommodation;
  • You need more information from the requestor to properly consider the accommodation;
  • You are willing to discuss possible accommodations that might work for the requestor; or
  • You are refusing to grant the accommodation.

It will be helpful for the condominium corporation to discuss the accommodation request with the requestor before making a final decision. By discussing the type of accommodation needed, you may be able to work with the requestor to identify an accommodation that works for everyone.

If you are unsure about how to respond to an accommodation request, you may wish to seek legal advice before responding.

You may also want to review information on our website regarding the Ontario Human Rights Code and Condominium Governing Documents.

Solutions for Condominium Boards & Managers

Helpful Resources

Owner to other Owners or Occupant Templates

First Letter to Owner
Second Letter to Owner
Third Letter to Owner

Owner to the Board of Directors Templates

First Letter to Condo Corp
Second Letter to Condo Corp

Board Directors to Owners Templates

First Letter to Owner

Solutions for Condominium Boards & Managers

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