Sunday, November 26, 2006

Dining Rooms and Condominium Fees

Dear Betty,
I bought a condo 3 years ago with a dining room in an age 60 plus building. Am supposed to spend money every month in the dining room, which I did for a a good length of time. The food was awful. They have had several caterers since. Also, the meals were very small so I ordered two at a time. With my failing health I started having them delivered to my suite. They balked at that despite knowing that I have arthritis in my leg and am unable to walk sometimes for two or three days. I am on a special diet now and have not used the dining room for over a year. The Board Director are billing me for about $?/?@@ in back fees. I have ignored letters from the condo Board of Directors as I am living on small pension. I would never be able to pay this bill. I don't believe the law can make me pay for food I can't eat. What would be your advice? I cannot afford a lawyer and have no living family.



Dear AP
Thank you for submitting your question. You are not the first to find themselves in this dilemma. Unfortunately there are a few issues here that need to be considered. In cases like these it is always best to hire legal council.

First, if you knew about the benefit of the dining room and agreed to this arrangement of having food prepared by the kitchen during the purchase of the condominium, then you are bound to pay the fees for the meals, despite your enjoying them. It is prudent that you inform the Board of Directors of your dissatisfaction with the portions and that you did not care for the food, but this does not mean you are exempt from keeping your agreement. It would be a good idea to look over the information you were provided when you purchased. If this relationship with the dining room is part of the commitment you made as an owner, then you are obligated to pay your share of the costs, as set by the Board of Directors. In a condominium in Alberta, and owner cannot withhold paying their contributions and a Board of Directors cannot withhold services. Ultimately, when and owner does not pay their share of the contributions in a timely manner, the Board of Directors has the authority to foreclose on the unit and collect the outstanding contributions.

I realize that this is not easy when you are living on a pension. This is why these issues need to be clearly understood when selecting if the condominium home is the right one for you. In this case I suggest you revisit the documents you received when you purchased your unit or ask the Board prove that they have the right to charge for the meals as a part of the condominium operation.

Once the proof that they have the right to charge for these meals has been obtained, I suggest you make payment arrangements to catch up your arrears and keep them current in the future. If you feel the charges are unreasonable, you have the option of filing a claim in Small Claims Court. Be sure to understand that if the Court rules in favour of the condominium you could end up paying their costs to defend the claim.

I hope this is helpful and suggest you seek legal council before withholding your contributions.

Betty's Condo Owners Club


At December 5, 2006 at 11:30 PM, Blogger Paul said...

How do you sign up to blog?
I'd love to post my question..
but can't seem to get an account set up?

At September 2, 2009 at 3:13 AM, Blogger lisa_d said...

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At July 1, 2010 at 8:18 PM, Blogger paula said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

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At May 4, 2011 at 6:10 PM, Blogger arrielle_p said...

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At July 18, 2011 at 7:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is why we have to assess every little aspect of the place we're planning to move into... Goodluck on that.

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At October 20, 2011 at 3:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At November 14, 2011 at 3:51 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

If you think it's worthy even in the long run to do so, then why not. Of course you want to spend on your money on things that really count - so if those things count for you, then why not spend money on it.

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At June 26, 2012 at 11:39 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

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At October 2, 2012 at 1:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At December 26, 2012 at 1:44 AM, Blogger Gaile said...

Those information are really nice. We all want to have a good and comfortable dining room in our condo. Thanks for sharing.

At December 27, 2012 at 8:27 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

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It is also possible for a condominium to consist of single family dwellings: so-called "detached condominiums" where homeowners do not maintain the exteriors of the dwellings, yards, etc. or "site condominiums" where the owner has more control and possible ownership (as in a "whole lot" or "lot line" condominium) over the exterior appearance. These structures are preferred by some planned neighborhoods and gated communities.
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At March 25, 2013 at 4:08 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Indeed.I have been suffering from it a couple of weeks.

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At October 31, 2013 at 2:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At April 2, 2014 at 12:34 PM, Blogger ceilidh said...


I have a question regarding insurance claims. I just bought into a four unit condo seven weeks ago. Since then, one unit was going up for sale and had two showings during the extreme cold snap. During this showing, the buyers Realtor mistakenly shut off the switch for the furnace. Resulting in the pipes freezing, toilet was an icicle etc. The owners Realtor the next morning called the owners to the suite where they turned the furnace on and the pipes burst, resulting in water to the entire complex to be shut off. This unit is putting in a claim for flooding, as well, today, we just received an estimate for asbestos removal for their unit. When I had spoken to this gentlemen, he had said he was gutting his place and re- renovating it. ( also should mention they had six offers first day, and said owners work for builders and we are now in an owners market. Wondering if they are doing everything over to increase the price now, that they know there is a market and interest). What I had been told at that time and viewed was two rooms needing drywall repair, and flooring for that area, now we have a possible abatement, and flooding claim. I'm waiting for them to throw in the electrical as well! Feeling like this unit is taking advantage of the policy, can they do this, and how does this affect the other units in the long run, with selling? Feeling like I bought a lemon!

At April 2, 2014 at 12:36 PM, Blogger ceilidh said...

I should clarify, all damages and claims are to the one suite that was up for sale.

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