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Solutions for Owners

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.

If your condo corporation does not have any provisions about smoke or vapour (or general rules or restrictions that might also address the issue), owners can request a meeting to discuss their concerns. Find out how to requisition a meeting on our website.

2. Contact the owner or occupant

If you know the owner or occupant causing the issue

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

If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to them in person, or if you’ve spoken to them already and the issue has not been resolved, you may want to send a letter. You can use our First Letter template, located in the Helpful Resources section at the bottom of this page.

You should keep track of the issues you’ve been experiencing with as much detail as possible. This will help those you contact understand the issues, and what’s causing the problem. It may be helpful to keep track of:

  • The date(s) and time(s) that the issue occurs;
  • The type of smoke or vapour issue you are experiencing (e.g. can the source of the smoke or vapour be identified, etc.); and
  • Where you think the smoke or vapour is coming from.

As noted in Step 2, if your condo corporation’s governing documents deal with smoke or vapour issues, your condo corporation has a legal obligation to ensure that everyone complies with them.

If you’re going to send a letter to another unit owner or occupant, you should also send a copy to your condo corporation. That way, you can ensure that they are aware of the issue, and your corporation will have an opportunity to take steps to resolve it.

If you are sending the letter to an occupant of a unit (e.g. a tenant or guest), you should also send a copy to the owner. An easy way for you to do this is to send it by mail to the address listed in the corporation’s record of owners and mortgagees. Under section 46.1 of the Condo Act, all condo corporations are required to maintain this record.

Don’t have a copy of these records?

Owners can request a copy from your condo corporation using the mandatory Request for Records form, available on our website.

You should keep a copy of your letter/email and note the date and time that you sent it.

Keep in mind that it may take a few days to resolve your issue, particularly if it requires a repair or maintenance.

If your issue isn’t resolved after contacting the owner or occupant, proceed to #3 below.

If you don’t know who is causing the issue

If you don’t know who is causing the issue, you can still raise the issue with your condo corporation.

3. Follow up

After you’ve contacted the other owner or occupant and your condo corporation, they should take steps to resolve the issue. Depending on the nature of the issue, it may take some time.

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

You should keep a copy of your letter/email and note the date and time that you sent it.

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, and other legal actions.

Visit Step #4 – Additional Help for more information.

Before proceeding to Step #4, you may wish to reach out directly to the board. Explain the steps you have taken, request that the board take action, and note that you are considering further action if the board doesn’t address the issue. You can use our Third Letter template which you can find under the Helpful Resources section at the bottom of this page.

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. 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.

If your condo corporation does not have any provisions about smoke or vapour (or general rules or restrictions that might also address the issue), owners can request a meeting to discuss their concerns. Find out how to requisition a meeting on our website.

2. Contact your Condo Board

If you believe that the smoke or vapour is being caused by the condo’s common elements, you may want to speak to your condo board (and your condo manager, if your condo corporation has one).

If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to them in person, or if you’ve spoken to them already and the issue has not been resolved, you may want to send a letter. You can use our First Letter template, which you can find in the Helpful Resources section at the bottom of this page.

You should keep track of the issues you’ve been experiencing with as much detail as possible. This will help those you contact understand the issues, and what’s causing the problem. It may be helpful to keep track of:

  • The date(s) and time(s) that the issue occurs;
  • The type of smoke or vapour issue you are experiencing (e.g., can the source of the smoke or vapour be identified, etc.); and
  • Where you think the smoke or vapour is coming from.

As noted in Step 2, if your condo corporation’s governing documents deal with smoke or vapour issues, your condo corporation has a legal obligation to ensure that everyone complies with them.

You should keep a copy of your letter/email and note the date and time that you sent it. Keep in mind that it may take a few days to resolve your issue, particularly if it requires a repair or maintenance.

If your issue isn’t resolved after contacting your condo board or condo manager, proceed to #3 below.

3. Follow up

After you’ve contacted your condo board or condo manager, 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.

You should keep a copy of your communication with the date and time that you sent it.

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, and 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. 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.

If your condo corporation does not have any provisions about smoke or vapour (or general rules or restrictions that might also address the issue), owners can request a meeting to discuss their concerns. Find out how to requisition a meeting on our website.

2. Determine why you’ve been contacted about this issue

Another owner or occupant or your condo corporation may contact you if they have reason to believe that you are contributing to a smoke or vapour issue. They may request that you take immediate steps to stop smoking, vaping or otherwise creating smoke and vapour in your unit.

If your condo corporation has a provision in its governing documents relating to smoke or vapour that you have not complied with, then your condo corporation can take steps to enforce compliance. This may include sending a letter prepared by the condo corporation’s legal counsel. Your condo corporation may attempt to charge you for any costs that it incurs while attempting to enforce compliance with their governing documents.

If you do not know why you’ve been contacted, you may wish to ask your condo board (or condo manager, if your condo corporation has one). You should also check your condo corporation’s governing documents to see if they contain any provisions dealing with smoke or vapour. One you have reviewed this information, proceed to #3 below.

For an overview of declarations, by-laws and rules, visit our website.

Don’t have a copy of your condo corporation’s declaration, by-laws or rules?

Owners can request a copy from your condo corporation using the mandatory Request for Records form, available on our website.

3. Determine what to do next

Once you understand why you have been asked to stop, you need to determine what to do next:

  • If you are causing a smoke or vapour issue, you may want to immediately take steps to address it.
  • If you are not complying with your condo corporation’s governing documents, you should consider complying with these requirements, or trying to have them changed. For more information on declarations, by-laws, and rules, and the process for amending them, visit our website.
    • Note: Even if you’re going to try to change your condo corporation’s governing documents, you still need to comply with them in the meantime. If you don’t, another owner or your condo corporation may take legal action against you.
  • If you don’t know what to do next, you may wish to seek advice from a legal professional. The CAO and our staff can’t provide legal advice.

As noted above, if you do not adequately respond to the smoke or vapour issue or comply with the condo’s governing documents, your condo corporation may take steps to address the issue or enforce compliance, and there may be financial or other consequences.

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 your condo corporation prohibits smoke or vapour in your unit and you think you require an accommodation under the Code, you should first review the information available on the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s website. If you have confirmed that you require an accommodation under the Code, proceed to #2.

2. Request an accommodation from your condo corporation

Your next step is to reach out to your condo board (or your condo manager if your condo corporation has one) to request an accommodation. You should do this in writing, so your condo corporation understands exactly what kind of accommodation you are seeking, and for what reason.

After making your accommodation request, your condo corporation will typically reach out to you to discuss your request. It is important for you and your corporation to work collaboratively to come up with an accommodation that will meet each party’s needs. It will often be helpful for you to participate in discussions about potential solutions with your corporation. Proceed to #3 and #4 if your condo corporation does not grant, or respond to, your request.

3. Contact the Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC)

If your condo corporation does not grant you an accommodation, you may want to review the information available through the Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC). The HRLSC is a not-for-profit provincial agency that provides free legal assistance to individuals who feel they have experienced discrimination.

The HRLSC may assist you in working with your condo corporation to resolve your disagreement with your condo corporation, and may assist you in filing an application with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO), should you wish to do so.

For more information or to contact the HRLSC, please visit their website.

4. Contact the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO)

If you have followed steps 1-3 above and your corporation still refuses to provide you with an accommodation, you may want to consider filing an application with the HRTO. The HRTO is a tribunal that resolves cases dealing with discrimination and harassment under the Code.

If you need assistance in filing an application with the HRTO, you may wish to seek legal advice.

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 Owners

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