Condominium Plan No. 0221347 v. NY (2003) A.J. No. 1227 An owner in Edmonton was evicted from a condominium due to substantial bylaw breaches.

Evict a tenant? Yes, the Condominium Act and most Alberta Condominium Bylaws provide for the Board’s authority to evict a bylaw- breaching tenant. However – evict an Owner? An Alberta court has upheld the right of a condominium corporation to evict a bylaw-breaching homeowner. The Sept.18, 2003 decision in Edmonton has given some “teeth” to Condominium Boards that sometimes struggle with those few owners who feel they are above the bylaws. Prior to this ruling, corporations could evict the misbehaving tenants of owners, but the authority to evict an owner had been in doubt. However, not any longer!

In this Alberta case of Condominium Plan No. 022 1347 v. N.Y. [2003] A.J. No. 1227, a resident, who was renting the unit from her parents continually and flagrantly breached the condominium’s bylaws with noisy parties, verbal abuse of her neighbour, allowing her pet to litter the common property without picking up after it and allowed her visitors to regularly park in the exclusive use parking stalls of other owners. Adjacent neighbours sent 23 written complaints to the Board and the manager and finally, the manger provided written notice of eviction to both the tenant and the owner (her parents). Rather than vacating the unit, the parents transferred title to their daughter in June, 2003 for a sum of $67,000, which was far below the market value of $140,000. The eviction was then appealed by the owner on the grounds that an owner cannot be evicted.

The Condominium Corporation brought proceedings against NY on June 19, 2003. Hon. Justice Donald Lee upheld the court-ordered eviction, regardless of whether the person in the suite was a tenant or the owner. He also ordered the family involved to pay the legal costs of the condominium corporation, which of itself is a pretty strong statement. Justice Lee made it clear that, “…a person’s right to do as they choose in their home must yield, at least in degree, where ownership is in common or cooperation with others. Individuals ought not to be permitted to disrupt the integrity of the common scheme.”

Further, the judgement stated, “I have decided that an owner of a condominium residence can be evicted by the condominium association for substantial breaches of the condominium bylaws, just as if she was a tenant. In this case the Appellant was basically a tenant in any event, or holding the property as a constructive trustee. However, even if she was the owner of the condominium unit at all times, she could still be evicted by her condominium association in these circumstances.”

“All owners of condominiums are required to obey the condominium bylaws, and give up the right to do as they choose in their homes, given that their unit ownership is in common, and in cooperation with others,” he continued. “…owners will…not be allowed to disrupt the common scheme by their individual actions in breach of the contact they have entered into with the other owners as signified by the bylaws.”
Justice Lee put aside hair-splitting over whether the resident of the suite was a tenant or the owner. Regardless of that question, he ruled, section 67 of Alberta’s Condominium Property Act gives a court discretionary authority to, “…make any other order that the Court considers appropriate in the circumstances.” In this precedent-setting case, that order was to evict the condo homeowner for repeated breaches of numerous condominium bylaws.