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Home COFSAB Forum Legislation, Bylaws and Rules Banning Natural Christmas Trees Reply To: Banning Natural Christmas Trees

  • Dana Bouwman

    Member
    July 25, 2023 at 1:09 pm

    Hi Jonathan,

    It sounds to me like your condo board is trying to reduce the chance of fire, which is a good risk management strategy!

    Here are some thoughts for you to consider!

    I’m assuming in my reply that your bylaws do not explicitly state that wood christmas trees are banned.

    Note that condo legislation does not allow the condo board to make a ‘rule’ that restricts the owners’ use of their units. So if the wood christmas trees that you are worried about are within residential units, you will have to rely on your bylaws to ban the wood christmas trees. This kind of initiative can likely be enforced through your bylaws if you have a clause similar to: “owners shall not use their unit in a manner that causes a hazard or causes the corporation insurance premium rates to increase.” This is a fairly common clause in condo bylaws, but not universal. If you do not have this clause in your bylaws then look to see if there is another clause that could support the condo board’s initiative.

    However, if the wood christmas trees you are worried about are installed on common property, including a balcony or patio or front/back yard, then the condo board can make a rule banning wood christmas trees. But note that rules created by the condo board cannot easily be enforced (you cannot fine a unit for not complying with a rule)… so when you send out the notice to owners about the new rule really emphasize that you are trying to reduce the chance of fire to promote safety and to keep insurance rates as low as possible.

    I tried to cover all possible bases in my response, but let me know if I am missing an important component of your condo rules or bylaws that would assist you.

    Please spread the word!
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