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Solutions for Condominium Boards & Managers

Smoke and Vapour

1. Understand your rights and obligations

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

2. Contact the owner or occupant

An owner or occupant may not be aware that what they are doing is causing a smoke or vapour issue, so speaking to them directly may resolve this issue quickly.

You may also contact in writing the owner or occupant who is causing a smoke or vapour issue that is contrary to the condo corporation’s governing documents. In this initial communication, you may want to identify:

  • The smoke or vapour issue(s) that they have contributed to, and the specific provisions in the governing documents they have violated;
  • How they can resolve the issue;
  • The condo corporation’s next step if the issue continues; and
  • If they require an accommodation, and if so, encourage them to request one formally.

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

Depending on the nature of the issue, it may take some time to resolve. If your condo corporation’s governing documents outline a specific timeframe for resolving such an issue, this should be the amount of time you give them. 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 track of your interactions with the owner or occupant with as much detail as possible, and note the date and time that you sent them.

3. Determine what to do next

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

  • Approach this situation the same way you would approach other potential violations of the declaration, by-laws, or rules. At this stage, many condo corporations send the owner or occupant a letter prepared by their legal counsel.
  • If the condo corporation is dealing with a smoke or vapour issue that is affecting multiple units, they may wish to call and hold a meeting to discuss the matter with the owners and appropriate parties.
  • Include provisions about smoke or vapour in the condo declaration or rules. For example, condo corporations can prohibit smoking and vaping within units and exclusive use common elements.
  • Contact your municipality to learn about any existing smoke or vapour-related by-laws and ensure that the corporation and all owners comply with them. The condo can model their rules on those of the municipality to be able to enforce them, without relying on municipal by-law enforcement in all cases.
  • If an owner requests an accommodation, please read the information under scenario #2.

What if these steps don’t resolve my issue?

If you’ve tried the steps above and your issue still hasn’t been resolved, there are further steps you can take, including private mediation, arbitration, or other legal actions.

Visit Step #4 – Additional Help for more information.

Have a Question?

If 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 condo corporation to discuss the accommodation request with the requestor before making a final decision. By discussing the reasons why the accommodation is needed, the condo may be able to work with the requestor to identify an accommodation that works for everyone.

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

1. Understand your rights and obligations

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

2. Contact the party who raised the issue

If the letter you receive from the owner reporting the smoke or vapour issue is unclear, you may wish to have that person clarify their concerns. It may be helpful for them to note:

  • The date(s) and time(s) that the issue occurred;
  • The type of issue they are experiencing (e.g. is the type of smoke or vapour identifiable); and
  • Where they think the smoke or vapour is coming from.

An owner or occupant may not be aware that what they are doing is causing a smoke or vapour issue, so speaking to them directly may resolve this issue quickly.

You may also contact in writing the owner or occupant who is causing a smoke or vapour issue that is contrary to the condo corporation’s governing documents. In this initial communication, you may want to identify:

  • The smoke or vapour issue they have caused and the specific provision(s) in the governing document(s) they have violated;
  • How they can resolve the issue; and
  • The condo corporation’s next steps if the issue continues.

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

Depending on the nature of the issue, it may take some time to resolve. If your condo corporation’s governing documents outline a specific timeframe for resolving such an issue, this should be the amount of time you give them. 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 track of your interactions with the owner 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 or occupant, proceed to #3 below.

3. Determine what to do next

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

  • Approach this situation the same way you would approach other potential violations of the declaration, by-laws, or rules. At this stage, many condo corporations send the owner or occupant a letter prepared by their legal counsel.
  • If the condo corporation is dealing with a smoke or vapour issue that is affecting multiple units, they may wish to call and hold a meeting to discuss the matter with the owners and appropriate parties.
  • Include provisions about smoke or vapour in the condo declaration or rules. For example, condo corporations can prohibit smoking and vaping within units and exclusive use common elements.
  • Contact your municipality to learn about any existing smoke or vapour-related by-laws and ensure that the corporation and all owners comply with them. The condo can model their rules on those of the municipality to be able to enforce them, without relying on municipal by-law enforcement in all cases.

What if these steps don’t resolve my issue?

If you’ve tried the steps above and your issue still hasn’t been resolved, there are further steps you can take, including private mediation, arbitration, or other legal actions.

Visit Step #4 – Additional Help for more information.

Have a Question?

If 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.

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