At Common Ground Condo Law, we combine progressive thinking, technology – and insightful legal advice, grounded in common sense.
Our services are designed to help you minimize costly, painful disputes and escalations. And when needed, aggressively enforce liens.
Here are the services we offer to Ontario condo corporations, through their boards and managers:
We deliver our services with efficiency in mind, and with a deep understanding of the industry.
Advice and strategy
The best condo boards and managers seek legal advice early and often, when it matters most. But playing phone tag can be frustrating. Long-winded opinions that don’t answer your question, are irrelevant or just ramble on – are of no help.
We believe that legal advice must be accessible, quick, focused and insightful as well as economical.
We’ve set up our services so that clients can ask us quick questions, and request advice on more sophisticated issues.
Sometimes, you just need a brief call with a condo lawyer to get your question answered. We’re making legal advice more accessible, by allowing you to book brief calls with Chris directly.
When more complex legal questions arise, we’re able to help you navigate them. We believe that every question deserves a clear answer. But not every question has a simple answer.
For more sophisticated issues, we’ll work with you to explore the broader context, identifying interests and goals. We’ve found that by understanding the history and the reason for the question, we can often reveal insights that not only effectively address the problem at hand – but avoid creating new issues in the process.
Lien registration and aggressive enforcement
If unit owners do not pay their share of the common expenses in a timely way, condominium corporations are soon in deep trouble.
For this reason, condo corporations enjoy a high priority statutory lien, which means that as long as the necessary legal steps are taken, corporations have the legal right to aggressively collect the debt through a lien on the property.
We’ve developed a turn-key approach to registering and enforcing liens. Rather than allow receivables to languish, we can help you collect those accounts quickly and painlessly.
Our lock-step process shortens the time needed to collect most debts and ensures collection of proper common expenses, plus interest and costs.
Condominium living isn’t always sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. Condo corporations must sometimes flex their muscles to ensure the rights of all owners and residents are respected and the interests of the entire corporation are protected. That said, there is no prize for spending the most money fighting a condo dispute.
To help our clients achieve a fair, timely resolution, we use a streamlined process where each side gets a fair hearing and the space to present their cases in the most compelling way possible.
Our team has a deep understanding of condominium issues, and a long and established track record in virtually every type of condo dispute, including:
From devising the initial strategy to the final stages of enforcing compliance orders, we offer all necessary services and the value-added insight to identify possible solutions at every stage of the escalating process of mediation, arbitration and court.
Strategic coaching and support
It’s a fact that condo directors and managers are more frequently handling their corporations’ legal cases before boards, tribunals and courts without engaging lawyers for every aspect of the representation.
Reducing costs is important, but seeking advice and coaching from a seasoned legal professional can make the difference between victory and defeat. Short consultations and brief coaching provides valuable insight and help in choosing your corporation’s battles and strategies wisely, maximizing the odds of success and minimizing risk and downside.
Shared facilities disputes
Disputes over condo-shared facilities are more common, more complicated and more emotionally-driven than ever before. We advise condo corporations candidly and sensibly and represent them fearlessly.
Throughout, we recognize that underlying relationships between the parties will last for decades, long after the individual representatives are gone, and that divisions must be healed sooner rather than later.
The Condominium Act, 1998 requires certain condo disputes like declaration and rule enforcement cases and shared facilities squabbles to be decided by arbitration if they are not resolved through mediation.
As a neutral arbitrator, Chris Jaglowitz offers parties a streamlined process, a fair hearing and a deep understanding of condominium issues, to help ensure a just and conclusive result of important disputes.
Chairing condominium owners’ meetings
The days of condo directors and managers chairing owners’ meetings are quickly drawing to a close.
The requirements of the new Condo Act regulations are mind-bogglingly complex. It’s very difficult to navigate the rules while remaining impartial and keeping good relationships with community members.
To make sure your meeting runs smoothly, you can hire Chris to act as an impartial, professional meeting chairperson at your AGM or owners’ meetings. Chris can help you:
- Administer and host your meeting electronically, and conduct electronic voting
- Select and implement the right third party e-proxy or e-voting solution to suit your meeting and budget
- Diffuse tense situations that may arise
- Solve difficult legal challenges
- Improve your annual meetings, making them more enjoyable, productive, and inviting to owners
Easier-to-use and self-serve condo documents
Condominiums are creatures of statute and operate in accordance with their documents. But sometimes those documents can be difficult to use, out-of-date, and filled with mind-bending legalese.
Typical documents condo corporations need their lawyers to prepare include:
- Declaration Amendments
- By-laws and Rules
- Agreements and Contracts
- Owners’ Meeting Packages
- Standard Letters
We can make it easier for you to prepare your condominium documents.
The documents we use have been well-drafted, improved over time and reflect modern best practices. They are:
- Clear and concise
- Easy to read and understand
- Respect the prevailing laws
- Designed to contemplate and avoid common issues and potential disputes
We can also help you customize them to meet your particular requirements and community’s values.
We’re planning to roll out an easy-to-use, self-service document generation system. Our clients’ boards and managers will be able to generate and prepare condo documents themselves.