We have heard (a story that I broke on simplycondos.com, the predesessor to simplycharles.com) of half a million dollar “toilet scheme” thefts by property managers of condominiums, along with a literal plethora of other cases of theft, kick backs and other financial exploitation of condo corporations.
The answer is disturbingly simple!
Because it is sooooo easy to do!
It didn’t take con artists and the like to catch on that “any major ‘cash flow business’ that is run by uninformed volunteer board of directors should be easy picking“!
I’ve warned about this in my blogs for decades.
Fortunately for my readers, I’m prepared to follow the philosophy of “put up or shut up” with the management of my own affairs, but unfortunately the decided majority don’t prescribe to this point of view with their own lives.
Buying into a condo is exactly the same as being an active member of society.
If you don’t vote for who runs your country, you probably don’t pay any attention to what goes on in your condo corporation.
Actually stunning statistics about how few condo owners actually pay any attention to the actual running of their condo corporation at all.
Most condos these days can’t get sufficient attendance to form a quorum to conduct their Annual General Meetings let alone see a meaningful statistic of owners actually take the time to vote or even submit a “proxy“.
They obviously fail to understand that a condo corporation can be a major “cash cow” and always in life, with anything, where their is a cash cow there is a flood of shady characters trying to “milk it“!
Our newly formed, or trying to become legally formed, Board of Directors for Bronte Harbourside, our unique upscale residential community on the shores of Lake Ontario, had its “turn over meeting” two weeks ago and that was the first time that we were introduced to the property management company working for the builder.
To say that we are getting the “run around” from Sunrise Home’s “Ringer” property management company, (I’ve taken out their name to avoid their “Ambulance chaser” litigator that is threatening a frivolous law suit) the company selected by the builder, would be an understatement!
This snap shot of actual events will show you just how unethical, and contrary to the public good, not just the good of a new neighbourhood, but the good of everyone except, of course for these “slippery fish” players masquerading as professional property managers while exploiting the Act and consumers alike for their own personal or corporate gain.
The Condo Act leaves no doubt that Sunrise Home’s “Ringer” property management company, (I’ve taken out their name to avoid their “Ambulance chaser” litigator that is threatening a frivolous law suit) has consciously and willingly “set out” to exploit the eighteen consumers that constitute the buyers in this elite collection of homes.
These guys, masquerade that they are functioning within the “Act” and can spew off an endless stream of Rhetoric to mislead and confuse trusting owners.
The owners are consistently new to condos and don’t understand the laws, or lack of them as most don’t actually protect them, but rather protect the builders and property management companies.
It is a disgusting reality that must change!
But you see the industry is so fragmented and is so well polished in its set up, that consumers really don’t have a chance.
For example, my wife and I own an investment unit in College Park thus we receive the annual package including budgets and I’ve consistently been appalled by the compensation to the property management company ($250,000 approximately a year!).
Realistically a condo corporation could hire a property manager like a high rise rental building does at under $50k/year!
No-one ever challenges the ill-logic of this because no-one ever knows anyone.
The majority of condo buildings in Toronto are populated with a weighted majority of “renters“.
Unless one is privy to the confidential records held by the property manager they cannot ever communicate with one another.
Over the years I’ve watched the constant refinement of the shake-down that is Condoland and I’m just sick of it.
We pay all these politicians and government officials (all highly educated with AAA resumes) and have ended up with a literal “shake-down” of buyers and no-one, including those being duped, let alone their paid government officials who are there allegedly to protect the citizens of our province, seems to care!
What you read here at simplycharles.com is not your usual academic (usually brides) commentary by purported “journalists” who publications are dependent upon the income from ads from builders and financial institutions that push everyone to believe that everything is hunky dory, while Rome is burning!
So, back to today’s blog, we held the turn over meeting which amounted to an introduction to a property management company’s two employees and a run through by one builder’s lawyer (now I’ve got to say “one” builder’s lawyer because this “Key Stone Cops-like adventure” actually introduced three builders, none of who’s buyers were apparently notified about the turn over meeting.
And how could they have been, when this masquerading group of incompetent so-called property managers admitted to me to “not knowing who they were or if it was even disclosed to them that this was a common element condominium“!
Could we even conclude that the turn over meeting was legitimate?
The lawyer (Sunrise Homes’ lawyer) for example at the meeting stated that she was giving us “Certain documentation” and my radar went off immediately.
We don’t expect nor are we merely entitled to “certain documents” but rather “the documents set out in Section 44 of the Condo Act“. After all is that the meeting was for?
They seemed offended when I informed them that as owners we didn’t want “certain documents but all the materials set out in the Condo Act“.
The Act told us what to expect, and there was clearly an attempt to only deliver selective parts of it.
So, now we are operating outside of the Act!
We were given promises by Sunrise Home’s “Ringer” property management company, (I’ve taken out their name to avoid their “Ambulance chaser” litigator that is threatening a frivolous law suit) that “all the prescribed material would be emailed to us the following day” (which was 2 weeks ago and still no delivery of them) along with “the Audited Financial Statements” for the past two years, as apparently the condo component of this common element condo (basically the road) had been “Registered prior to our even having bought into the community“!
I had already discovered and blogged about this dysfunction (how could you register a condo corporation and activate all the requirements under the Condo Act for a newly registered condo corporation) BEFORE everything else!
That equate’s to potentially “criminal intent” (I am not yet familiar with penalties for breach of the Condo Act – let’s look forward to finding out) as they knowingly led purchasers to believe that they could rely on the Disclosure Statement “Package of Documents” when they knew that this was not the case at all.
Once the condo “Registered” they were required to deliver a “Status Certificate” showing specific details that obviously Sunrise Homes did not want purchasers to see, such as “is there any pending or existing litigation or leans”, the answer for which would have had to be yes as a number of “trades” have sued Sunrise Homes for “non payment” putting Liens on the property.
This would have produced a “blemish on title” causing most buyer’s lawyers to advise them to withdraw from the deal. Agreements in the condo world always should include a “condition of receipt of an up-to-date Status Certificate“.
Buyers, as recently as last month from Nascent, another builder (alleged to be a cousin of the COO of Sunrise Homes) showing similar signs as Sunrise who when asked to remove an outhouse sitting in front of a long completed house (and a turn over meeting) brushed off the request by insisting the the government would punish him (simply get you work done in a timely manner Mr. President and get the “shit house” out of our community!!!!)!
I’ll be meeting with the Mayor’s office again soon.
Two weeks have gone by with numerous attempts from our very diplomatic and academically quite impressive volunteer “Secretary/Treasurer” to no avail.
Have a look at the ridiculous reply to our Secretary/Treasurer’s straight forward, “follow-up requests” for the promised “critical documents“.
My guess is that the dysfunctional and highly unethical builder (Sunrise Homes) who named himself “President of the original Board of Directors” to oversee himself as COO of Sunrise Homes, consistent with everything else on which his finger prints appear was either not done properly or not done at all!
Failing to or refusing to Turn Over this “Turn Over Meeting material” (see Condo Act Section 111) is a flagrant breach of the Act and I will investigate and publish here at simplycharles.com, how such a flagrant breach of the Act is to be dealt with under law.
Despite refusing to co-operate with the Board of Directors other than send meaningless materials when specific have been asked for, Sunrise Home’s “Ringer” property management company, (I’ve taken out their name to avoid their “Ambulance chaser” litigator that is threatening a frivolous law suit), appears to have had the time to send out invoices to owners.
I’m sorry but this is NOT how it works.
Oh, I know that’s how it works in the majority of instances in Condolands throughout Ontario, but that’s not how it is going to work here.
I’m calling on the Ontario Government to help is clear up this matter seeking disclosure of what potential penalties arise when someone attempts to highjack a condo community in the manner by which this builder (“Sunrise Homes“) and this Property Management Company (“Sunrise Home’s “Ringer” property management company, (I’ve taken out their name to avoid their “Ambulance chaser” litigator that is threatening a frivolous law suit)”) continue to employ.
I’m confident that you will want to continue to tune in as this unfolds.
We’re just getting started on the final phase of this distasteful journey.
If you are buying, thinking of buying, living in or thinking of living in a condo or simply investing in condos, or know someone who is . . . . I’m sure you will find everything that you will need to know to deal with the dilemmas of condo ownership in Ontario.
Watch for my upcoming book, “Crisis in Condoland” as the problems are far greater that little skirmishes such as getting back control of your condo community for unprofessional and unacceptable property management companies.