Although condominium ownership allows one to own a portion of a
larger piece of property, the unit owner does not have the same
freedoms with respect to that property as would be had in the case
of a detached, freehold residential dwelling. The condominium unit
owner is required to abide by the rules of the corporation that
have been created for the purpose of preventing unreasonable
interference with the use and enjoyment of the common elements, the
units or the assets of the corporation. While enjoying one's
own unit, such enjoyment is not to be at the expense of interfering
with the use and enjoyment of the other owners in the condominium
While many condominium corporations allow pets in the
condominium, owners must comply with the rules regarding pets. If a
unit owner breaches the rules, the unit owner runs the risk that
the pet will be declared a nuisance animal and be required to be
permanently removed from the property. This is what happened in the
case of York
Condominium Corp No. 26 and Ramadani.The unit owner permitted
her dog to go out on the 2nd floor balcony where it barked at
passers-by and urinated, with the result that the urine flowed over
onto the patio of the unit immediately below.
Property management wrote to the unit owner advising of these
problems and asking how the unit owner intended to deal with those
issues. Aside from an initial denial of all the allegations, the
unit owner did not respond. After ignoring these letters, an
additional letter was sent advising the owner that the dog was
considered to be a nuisance and was to be removed from the
property. That letter was also ignored and she failed to remove her
dog from the property. A subsequent letter from legal counsel for
the condominium corporation notified the owner that the dispute was
being submitted to mandatory mediation and identified four
mediators, one of whom she was entitled to select. The respondent
failed to respond to this request as well, and as a result, legal
counsel for the corporation wrote again to the unit owner
initiating arbitration proceedings pursuant to Section 132(1)(b) of
the Condominium Act. This letter was also ignored.
Not only did the unit owner ignore all of the written
communication received from the corporation and its lawyer, she
flagrantly disregarded the demand that the dog be removed and
continued to allow her dog to go out onto the balcony and bark and
It was not until the corporation commenced legal proceedings
that the unit owner retained a lawyer and decided to deal with
these issues, most of which was a complete denial of all the
allegations. Unfortunately for the unit owner and her dog, this was
too little, too late.
Based on the fact that the unit owner failed to respond to the
corporation's reasonable requests and allowed the offensive
conduct to continue, the court had no problem in issuing an order
for the unit owner to remove her dog from the unit and requiring
the unit owner to pay $1384.25 for the cleaning costs the
corporation had incurred and $806.65 for its legal costs in
relation to the mediation and arbitration paperwork. The judge
reserved its decisions as to the costs relating to the court
proceedings. This turned out to be very costly for the unit
As most pet owners consider their pets to be family members,
having to permanently remove one's pet would be heart-breaking.
The result in this case could have been significantly different had
the unit owner addressed all of these issues and co-operated with
management and the corporation in order to achieve a compromise
that would allow her to keep her pet and not infringe on other unit
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Russell v. Township of Georgian Bay provides a useful reminder of the fact that while municipal officials sometimes appear to hold all of the cards in disputes with home owners, that is not always the case.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).