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Home COFSAB Forum Condo Owners Forum Q&A Owner denies access for Gas Fireplace inspections, Plumbing Maintenance etc.

  • Owner denies access for Gas Fireplace inspections, Plumbing Maintenance etc.

    Posted by Bailey B F on September 7, 2023 at 11:47 am

    Can anyone comment if they have had this issue and how they dealt with it?

    For many years, we have been unable to inspect one upper unit because the owner has denied access. This has resulted in a leak that was undetected causing building damage, of which the owner was charged. This also causes challenges when bleeding the heating valves for the building water heat. Their smoke detector is likely not working and cannot be replaced without access.

    Our bylaws maintain access must be given for 24 hours notice for inspections.

    Can anyone comment if they have had this issue and how they dealt with it?

    Terry Gibson replied 1 week, 5 days ago 4 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
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  • Mark Hambridge

    September 7, 2023 at 12:20 pm

    The situation would appear to be covered in section 24.1 of the Condominium Property Act, which may supersede any provisions of the bylaws (the Act was amended in 2016). However, I recommend using the condominium corporation’s lawyer in this situation – wording and timing will be critical, and a history of attempts to remedy the situations you describe will be essential. Let us know how you fare – this will be of interest to almost everyone!

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  • Dana Bouwman

    September 7, 2023 at 3:35 pm

    Hi Bailey!

    Consent to enter a unit is not required if 24-hour notice is provided to the owner or tenant to replace, renew, or restore anything in the unit that would otherwise cause damage to the common property. The scheduled unit access needs to happen between 8am and 8pm on a non-religious worship weekday or Saturday. Notice to enter must be provided in writing, state the reason for entry, and provide the date and time of entry.

    Attached is an example letter I sent to a unit owner a couple of weeks ago. You can copy this letter if you want but I don’t make any promises that it’s compliant with your bylaws!

    If after the third attempt to enter the unit owner does not provide access (for example if they are home and refuse entry to the contractor) then the condo corporation can apply for a writ of enforcement to be registered on the unit – the corporation should hire a lawyer to assist with this.

    If the corporation has a responsibility in the bylaws to repair this equipment, then unfortunately, the cost to repair damage to the common property is likely going to be condo corporation responsibility. Check your bylaws to see if this equipment is actually the responsibility of the corporation. If the unit owner is responsible to repair the equipment then the damage caused to common property is their responsibility, but check your bylaws to see if you are allowed to charge costs back to units.

    Let me know if I can assist in any way.

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  • Terry Gibson

    September 11, 2023 at 8:41 am

    I concur with my learned colleagues.

    At a principle level, It is in the best interests of all owners that timely access be provided to any unit to ensure the safety of owners and to identify potential risks to the corporation as a whole.

    Many condos do not conduct annual internal inspections. I know inspections are controversial but each owner has a legal responsibility to the corporation to manage their own unit properly and allow condo corp inspections. I favour internal inspections of all units at least yearly.

    Inspections can identify issues like water leaks from plumbing or from the outside, hoarding or other issues that can impact others. (60% of insurance losses relate to water issues).

    I concur: consult legal counsel. Be gentle but direct and persistent. Don’t allow your condo to be bullied.

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