Window repair or replacement is the condo corporation’s responsibility

A window in our unit cracked. The property manager advised that the replacement is my responsibility because the cracked pane is the interior of the two-pane window. He said the outer pane is a common element, and the corporation is only obligated to repair or replace the outer pane. Is that correct?

A declaration for a highrise condominium invariably provides that the unit boundary is the interior surface of windows. That means that the entire window — whether it is a single pane or a double pane — is a common element. Necessary repairs or replacement of a broken pane is the obligation of the corporation.

My basement has flooded twice recently and other owners have also experienced floods. Our complaints to the board have been ignored. Is there some sort of mediation or arbitration available?

Mediation under the Condominium Act is only available in regard to a disagreement between a unit owner and the corporation if the disagreement relates to the declaration, bylaws or rules.

A mediator does not make a decision, but acts as a conciliator to assist the parties in resolving their disagreement. If the mediation does not produce a resolution, the disagreement immediately proceeds to arbitration and the arbitrator makes a binding decision.

A disagreement relating to an alleged failure of a corporation to carry out necessary common element repairs does not relate to the declaration, bylaws or rules but to the Condominium Act. An owner cannot require mediation of that disagreement but must initiate a court action in an attempt to obtain a compliance order against the corporation, pursuant to Section 134 of the Condominium Act.

Prior to the end of their terms, board members in our condominium go door-to-door obtaining proxies. They have a board member named as proxy with the agreement the proxy will vote for the re-election of that board member. The result is that such a board member obtains sufficient proxies to ensure their re-election over other candidates. Is this acceptable?

The Condominium Act provides that a vote at an owners’ meeting may be made personally or by proxy. The purpose of allowing an owner to appoint a proxy is to allow an owner who will not attend an owners’ meeting to instruct someone else to attend and vote on the owner’s behalf.

The purpose would not appear to be to enable someone to collect proxies from numerous unit owners in order to secure the election of one or more candidates to the board.

There is nothing in the Act, however, including the current amendments to the Act that prevents the collection of multiple proxies, providing for votes in favour of a particular candidate or candidates to the board.

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