ontario condominium act

Ontario Condominium Act changes make it easier to deal with problematic tenants

If your upstairs neighbour wears concrete shoes or smokes constantly, changes to the Ontario Condominium Act now make these issues easier to resolve.

The changes to the Ontario Condominium Act, amended this fall, come into effect on Jan. 1, 2022.

The new amendments mean it will be easier for condo owners to address issues with a "problematic" tenant or fellow owner, according to Tierney Stauffer LLP Lawyers.

The act will prohibit condo residents from creating a "nuisance, annoyance, or disruption" or making "unreasonable" noise. Just what is deemed a nuisance or unreasonable is subjective. People living in condo buildings should typically expect that living in close proximity to neighbours means dealing with sounds and smells.

But the issues listed in the act include:

  • Smoke and vapour (including cannabis or smoke that seep into units from doorways or balconies);
  • Odours (cooking, perfume, candles or incense);
  • Light (such as light entering a unit);
  • Noise and vibrations (heavy footsteps, loud pets, loud music, shouting or operating tools)

Previously, condo owners would take these issues to court, which could be costly. Now, under the new amendments, these problems and others will be heard by the Condominium Authority Tribunal.

"The hope is that this change will allow all parties involved, including owners, tenants, and condominium corporations to have disputes resolved more quickly, and in a less costly manner than going to court," writes Tierney Stauffer LLP Lawyers.

This doesn't make it any easier for a landlord to evict a tenant, however — eviction hearings remain the jurisdiction of the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Just how much the new rule change will impact tenants remains to be seen, but it could mean less noise for condo buildings in 2022.

Lead photo by

Karen Longwell

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