Alert: Observing the Rules
From the September 2021 issue of the CCI London CCI Review
Rules can create contentious discussions in condominiums and in business. We have all experienced conflict that evolves by non-compliance to rules and regulations. There are rules that can touch a palpable sore spot in some. It should be noted though that they are designed to preserve safety and security in the workplace and in a community.
Is it the rule itself OR the manner in which it was brought to task about a non-compliance that offended the most?
Every business owner and board has a responsibility to ensure safety and security, as well as provide risk management of all those they are responsible for, including the assets they oversee. When rules are properly defined and then followed, they provide a stable environment of harmony.
Proper messaging and tone is critical to establishing rules and regulations to insure smooth operations of business and community and more importantly to how they are received. Then, addressing non-compliance of them must be respectful, courteous and remain consistent and without exceptions.
For Assistance in Business
Each year the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, schedules compliance initiatives in specific sectors of business, which are created to protect workers’ rights under both the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Employment Standards Act and enhance employers’ awareness of their responsibilities.
For Assistance in Condominiums
The Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) is focused on consumer protection and supporting healthy condominium communities across Ontario. They provide assistance with “HOW-TO guides and letter templates” to positively address common issues in condominium living.
Time, circumstances and demographics in condominiums will conceivably determine the need to review and amend rules to address safety issues. For example, more children on a property might create a decision to review or enhance rules relative to parking, speeding on roadways or playing on the common elements to create additional safety for them.
Everyone needs to know and follow their governing documents, including the rules. It is recommended that boards schedule periodic reviews of their rules and regulations to make, amend or repeal rules respecting the use of common elements and units to promote safety, security or welfare of the owners and of the property and assets of the corporation (Section 58).
Contrary to popular opinion, rules are not created to make your lives more difficult and residents are provided and follow the opportunity to address their disdain for any new or amended rule through Section 46. The Board of Directors are responsible for enforcing rules and regulations with the assistance of their managers and enforcing rules has to be equal for everyone.
Boards who have and follow a process they have created of notifying owners about non-compliance issues in a pleasant and respectful manner, will find it less time consuming and more palatable for owners to receive and follow.
No-one is Above the Law
The loudest grievances about rules addressed to boards and managers are of inequality, where directors themselves don't comply with the rules so why should others in the property? Directors need to be totally attentive to the rules and follow then just as everyone else must.
Rules Related to COVID-19
As we continue to combat COVID-19, we must all continue to adhere to municipal, provincial and federal guidelines that address our safety. In some cases, we have also took notice of the resources of legal counsels across the province to address issues of rules as they relate specifically to COVID-19 that continues to plague us. We can all do our part though, to protect ourselves, family and the community. For more information on COVID-19: Stop the spread, visit the website.
CCI Social Media – Legal Matter Mondays
For more about legal matters relating to non-compliance, check out our social media platforms for postings: Legal Matter Mondays where CAT Decisions and Orders can be reviewed.
Trish Kaplan, CCI (Hon’s) is the current part-time Administrator for the CCI-London and Area Chapter, also having served in the position from April 2003-September 2010 and was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from CCI National in November 2006.
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