Specific Legal Issues
No License Plate Sticker? How to Now Enforce Condominium Parking Rules?
From the CCI Review 2021/2022-4 June 2022 issue of the CCI London Chapter
The Ontario government announced earlier this year that it was ending licence plate renewal fees and corresponding sticker fees by March 13, 2022 and will refund the cost of stickers purchased over the past two years.
Note: You must still renew your Ontario license plate, which you can do free-ofcharge online; at a ServiceOntario or by Mail.
While this was a welcome change for some, it left many condominium corporations and their managers wondering how they were now going to enforce their parking rules which commonly include rules that state as follows:
“No licensed or unlicensed derelict vehicle, oversized commercial vehicle, machinery or equipment of any kind shall be parked on any part of the common elements or on Unit driveways.” “No vehicle shall be parked on the premises or stored in the parking garage that does not have a current and valid registration and license.” “Derelict vehicles, vehicles with flat tires and/or noncurrent plates will not be allowed.” “A motor vehicle shall not be abandoned or inoperable and shall bear a valid license plate.”
From a legal perspective, the lack of a valid license plate sticker is only one piece of evidence that a condominium corporation should rely upon when determining whether a parking rule has been breached and enforcement proceedings are necessary. For example, it would be uncommon for a corporation to require an owner of a newer vehicle with no mechanical issues that is being driven on a regular basis to renew their license plate sticker. On the other hand, it is the “derelict” vehicles that are the target of the rules outlined above – those that are rusted, partially dismantled to the extent that they are not road-worthy, inoperable and/or stored for scrapping. They have often been undriven and left for months at a time on a driveway or parking space without the owner updating their license plate stickers.
Going forward, just as with any other enforcement issue, condominium corporations should evaluate the evidence as a whole when determining whether a parking rule has been breached and not make any decisions in haste.
There is also not an immediate or urgent need for corporations to go to the time and/or expense to rewrite their rules to remove any reference to “non-current license plates” or “unlicensed vehicles”. However, as part of any review and updating of a condominium’s rules, this issue can be addressed and we recommend that this be done at least every few years, if not annually.
If a condominium corporation has any uncertainty about whether a parking rule has been breached or the matter involves a larger, more complex set of facts, the assistance of legal counsel specializing in condominium disputes may be helpful and our office is always open to working with condominium communities to help navigate such rule enforcement matters.
Kristi Sargeant-Kerr specializes in all aspects of condominium and real estate law, including development, management and litigation at the Scott Petrie LLP Law Firm.
She was appointed to the Advisory Committee of the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO).
Kristi is also a very active board member on the CCI- London and Area Chapter , currently on the Education Committee and as Secretary of the Board.
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