Streamlining Condo Rental disputes

If you own a condominium as an investment property and rent it out, it's important for you to know The Government of Ontario has introduced new changes to the Condominium Act, 1998 related to an expansion of the jurisdiction of the Province’s virtual tribunal that helps resolve condo-related disputes.

As of January 1st, 2022, the Condominium Authority Tribunal, or CAT will be granted the authority to handle disputes involving nuisances, annoyances, and disruptions. Specifically, prescribed nuisances under the Condominium Act 1998 will now include “unreasonable” instances of:

  • Odour 
  • Smoke
  • Vapour
  • Light
  • Vibration

Previously, these issues were dealt with through mediation, arbitration, or the courts, leading to costly and time-consuming proceedings. Under the current rules, landlords and condo owners often have to foot the bill for these types of disputes.

The new rules will provide a faster and more cost-effective dispute resolution mechanism for condo owners and their tenants. It is important to note that the expanded jurisdiction of the CAT will not have a direct impact on eviction proceedings, as those issues are still governed by the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Applications for condominium-related disputes can be found on CAT’s online portal and dispute resolution services are offered at a total cost of $200.

OREA will be releasing more information on updates to the CAT’s jurisdiction as they become available. For more information about the CAT, please visit the Condominium Authority of Ontario’s website at:  

Current Rules Governing disputes

All renters of condominiums have to abide by the condo’s by-laws and rules.  The landlord of an investment condo should provide the rules and by laws to the tenant at the onset of the lease.   Important information to review would be: smoking & vaping rules, pet rules, guest rules, maximum occupancy rules & rules surrounding the recreational facilities.  

As well, the tenants should carry appropriate insurance to cover any damage to both their home and any damage caused to other units.  

While the tenants enjoy the facilities; if they behave in a way that breaks the rules, the landlord/owner becomes responsible for damage and other expenses.   

Due to understaffing and backlogs at the Landlord & Tenant board, often disputes can take months to resolve.   And while the Residential Tenancy Act clearly states all tenants in condos must follow the rules, any outcome at a Landlord/Tenant board hearing is largely dependent on whichever specific Adjudicator is assigned.

Why Condos are popular investment properties 

Condos are attractive to many investors in part because they require less maintenance than a house.  Renters also tend to turn over faster, so a landlord can raise rents between tenants to keep up with market rates. 

Of course, condominiums in Toronto are less expensive than houses to buy, so are an affordable option for real estate investors in Toronto.  

A popular condo building with nice facilities, close proximity to transit, en-suite laundry and parking will rent quickly for top rent.  It’s common for rentals in Toronto to command top dollar, and in some cases Toronto condos rent with multiple offers. 

What attracts a good tenant?

Great tenants often want a building with 24H security, a concierge, laundry in the suite & parking.  Landlords can charge a bit more for updated finishes, newer appliances, a fresh coat of paint. 

Close proximity to transit & luxurious building amenities (including well kept lobby, stairwells & halls) also command higher rental rates.  

Recent Blog Posts

I’ve put together this 3 part video series to talk about condos.  

While condos are easy to live in because they are virtually maintenance free, many of my clients feel choosing the condo that’s right can seem tricky, simply because you have lots of choices! 

So where do you start? I recommend you start with the features that will suit you best now, and also think about 5 years in the future - if you think your needs will change, plan for that as well.  My 3 minute video will take you through all the tips including: 

  • Is bigger necessarily better?
  • What layouts are best?
  • What amenities work for you?
  • What to consider about the location

Here are some extra thoughts that I don't share on the video: 

Condo prices in Toronto can be higher if you want very specific features like: 

  • a locker
  • a nice view
  • recent renovations
  • close to transit, especially near the Subway
  • an extra parking space
  • a concierge

That just makes sense right?  The better the features, the greater the price. 

The condo in the top picture below will likely get a higher price per square foot than the one in the second picture: 

So where are the best value condos in the Greater Toronto area right now? 

Condos for sale in Scarborough & North York are the best value for your money.  You will get a great combination of size, amenities & price per square foot in established, safe neighbourhoods.  

Many Scarborough & North York condos are older, so you will find large suites with spacious rooms that will fit your furniture.  You can also find what I call 'modest' buildings with fewer amenities - which over time keeps maintenance costs for the building modest as well.   

Surprisingly, Durham condos are more expensive per square foot.  That's because the buildings there are newer.   In Durham, right now the best value condos are in Pickering, near the Pickering Town Centre.  

The most luxurious condos but still great value are also in Pickering, Whitby Shores and Guildwood.  There are also some lovely new buildings in Scarborough all along the Kingston Rd. corridor. 

Pro Tip: Try and view condos that are furnished models to get an idea of whether the layout works for you.   Then you’ll be able to narrow down your wish list, making your decision making much easier. 

Pro Tip:  If you narrow down a building and layout you like the ones above and below are likely the same layout!  So all the units with "02" at the end are likely similar! 

More information on Condo Prices in Toronto: 

Financial Post Article on Condo Prices

Blog TO prediction on Condo Prices in 2022

Of course this is just an overview – if you’d like to learn more you can call me at: 416-562-5002 – I’ll put the number below.  My next video will be all about the monthly condo fees. 

Also I’ve created this handy tip sheet called “12 Helpful Tips to buying a Condominium” which you can download for free! 

You can download the tip sheet from my Google Drive, here: 12 Helpful Tips to Download


Tight market conditions prevailed throughout the GTA and broader Greater Golden Horseshoe in 2021, with a lack of inventory noted across all home types. The result was intense competition between buyers, pushing selling prices up by double digits year-over-year. Looking forward, the only sustainable way to moderate price growth will be to bring on more supply. History has shown that demand-side policies, such as additional taxation on principal residences, foreign buyers, and small-scale investors, have not been sustainable long-term solutions to housing affordability or supply constraints,” according to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board 

One sales trend that stood out in 2021 compared to 2020 was the resurgence in demand for homes within the City of Toronto. Overall sales in the “416” area code were up by a substantially greater annual rate (+36.8 per cent) compared to sales growth for the surrounding Greater Toronto Area (GTA) suburbs combined (+23.6 per cent). The marked recovery in the condominium apartment segment was a key driver of this trend.

House prices in Scarborough, house prices in Pickering, house prices in Ajax and home prices in Whiby were all affected, with marked increases in the Durham region as well as Toronto.

Consumers continue to see Toronto as a good investment in Real Estate as shown by the equity increases of Toronto Homes, Toronto Condos, Toronto Townhomes and Toronto Condos over the past 5 years (second chart) 

This chart shows the price change for December vs. 2020 illustrating clearly the low inventory (Sales) 


Mortgage Rate News

I work with several mortgage lenders, who are all very experienced & knowledgeable.   Looks like rates are on the rise, but variable rates are still the best option right now according to my sources.   It's likely that we will see some rate increases this year, so if you're planning on buying now is a good time to talk to a mortgage professional.  

Here are some good websites:   Simon LeFave, The Mortgage Centre  Sandra Barnes, Dominion Lending

Pro tips for Buyers in a Competitive Market

If you're planning to buy a home in Toronto, home in Scarborough, home in Pickering or home in Whitby this year, here are some tips to survive a competitive market:

  • Property prices are increasing faster than anyone can possibly save - The table below shows the equity you could build over 5 years in the Toronto market.  If this is your goal, getting in the market is everything.  Creative financing options like buying a property with family, family gifting down payment monies or partnering with friends to purchase are all options in this competitive market.   
  • Being flexible with your wish list & area will help you achieve your Real Estate goals.   After all, properties in Toronto are often what we call ‘stepping stones’ – used to build equity to eventually get your dream home! 
  • Consider a "bully' or 'pre-emptive' offer; this is an offer that's so irresistible to the seller that they are willing to sell to you and forgo other buyers
  • Work with an experienced Toronto real estate agent with lots of negotiation training that can create a strong offer strategy for you
  • Do your homework, comparison shop with sold house prices, not listing house prices
  • Loop in your mortgage broker, discuss your offer beforehand with them to make sure they are on board
  • Do your due diligence (like home inspections or review of status certificate document) before you bid so you can remove as many conditions as possible
  • have your deposit ready with your offer & get it into the hands of the sellers that day to give them confidence in your offer
  • review your closing costs & tax credits before hand, like the home buyers plan to save as much money as you can

Pro tips for Sellers in a Sellers Market

If you're planning to sell a home and the market is a strong sellers market, if your home is for sale in Scarborough, for sale in Pickering, for sale in Whitby or for sale in Toronto, here are my pro tips:

  • Follow the market for pricing.  Even in a strong sellers market, an overpriced home lingers for weeks without selling.  By working with your agent to develop a pricing strategy that's been proven time and time again you will get better results.  Otherwise, buyers will see you as not serious or just testing the market and will pass you by
  • Prepare your home for market.  Do those repairs, painting, and touch ups now.  Buyers are paying big bucks and prefer move-in ready homes whenever possible.  
  • Understand the condition of your home - do a pre-listing home inspection unless you are selling 'as is' to to budget for repairs 

We all grew up with something similar if your childhood was pre-digital photography, that is!  Whether it was slides, photographs, videos or home movies - at some point you may need to deal with your family's collection.    Well, that's what I did over this holiday season! 

I went through

29 Boxes of slides

Stacked on top of each other, it was over over 6 feet of boxes!

Oh oh this will be a big job! 


at 140 slides per carousel this was over 4,060 slides to review! 

Clearly I needed a plan of attack. 

A bit of history to set the scene.  I have 2 boxes in my basement that have been guilting me ever since my mother moved from her house into a retirement home apartment over 2 years ago.    These slides had made the move from our family home in Scarborough when the Scarborough home was for sale .  These boxes moved with her to her townhouse in Markham, where they lived there in the basement for 20 years.  When she the Markham townhouse was for sale, the boxes came to live with me.   They are boxes full of kodak slide carousels!   Here's the full stack in all it's glory: 

Here's what 4000 family slides look like - over 6' tall!


My dad was a huge photography buff.  He even made a darkroom in our basement.  But his biggest passion was slides - he took slides up until the 1990’s.   Of course no family get together would be complete until the slide projector & screen were set up and the show began!  

I even remember posing with my sister for the ‘title’ slides between events.  The backdrop was our kiddie pool liner and we would pose with a letter board spelling out “Trip to PEI, 1967” 

While the earlier slides don’t seem to be around, my mom is.  At 92 her memory is not that great, so I thought I’d finally do what I have been putting off & sort through the slides.   Spanning from 1970-1986 I sorted through over 4,000 slides.   My dad was an organized guy and many of the slides were labelled, and of course they were in chronological order.    Here’s how I did it:

  1. The original plan was to set the slides up on the projector & sort through what to keep.  Unfortunately, while we had the projector the lens assembly was missing.  I borrowed another projector and empty slide trays but the job of transferring 140 slides per carousel to smaller trays then sorting was pretty daunting.  
  2. Plan B – I just looked at the slides against a bright light.  They were mostly labelled, so I knew what I was looking at, and in most cases who I was looking at.  
  3. Sorting Criteria. I wanted to keep mainly pictures of people.    After sorting through all the slides I had a pile of about 170 slides.  Luckily many of the slides were trips my parents had taken with no people in them, or pictures of historic sites, so a great many could be chucked with little remorse…. My sorting criteria was loosely
    1. Keep mainly people
    2. Keep people who mostly I knew 
    3. Keep a variety of years
    4. Keep in mind my sister & my kids who may also want to take a look at them
  4. Digitize the slides.  My husband found a small digitizer on Amazon that had pretty good reviews for about $80.   It can digitize slides, pictures & filmstrips – to stills.   It has a manual feeder with some adjustment buttons to flip or rotate images.  Then it saves them to a chip.   If you want to tune up the pictures, you’d need some software, and of course you need a chip reader to transfer them to your computer.   
  5. That’s it!  Now I can get rid of: 2 big boxes & a bunch of guilt (for keeping the boxes so long & also not doing this sooner)  My sister got a bigger kick out of the slides than my Mom did, too! 

Heres a look at the digitizer and the steps involved: 

The digitizer we bought - the slides feed manually on the bottom

Choosing the slide




  Saving the slide to an internal chip


Controls to flip or rotate the image 


Et Voila! (Yes that's me on the left)

The feeling when you're done! 


Some hidden gems I found: 

Bunny hopping in the 1960's

Skating at Nathan Phillips Square in the 1970's - remember those fur hats! 

Some most excellent 1970's fashion moments

Including the ubiquitous "Keep on Truckin'" t-shirt


 More articles on digitizing slides and photos can be found here:


How to Digitize 35mm slides


Downsizing Presentation on YouTube - Dealing with your stuff