Real Estate

Condo extra fee for occupant

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  • Sep 14th, 2017 4:29 pm
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Deal Addict
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Mar 23, 2008
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It was put to a vote, so yes, it's probably legal. If you refuse to pay, as you can see by the letter they sent you, they can put a lien on your property, and could conceivably force the sale of your unit to recover both the overdue fees plus costs to collect. So in effect, you would end up paying to sue yourself.

C
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Jan 6, 2011
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The same deterrence protecting owners' interests also creates inconveniences. Over-crowding basically ruins a lively community and turns it into slum.

The way they came up with the $75 still seemed within reasons.

Even with separate metered hydro, overcrowding still adds expenses to other owners. Water, gas, common element, unit fan coil heating/cooling...etc, all of which are variable, not fixed. It merely lessen the burden of overcrowding, not eliminate it.

Check your resale price though. I saw many unit price dropped 10% when implemented but recovered somewhat later. I suspected many of slum landlords had to take exit all at same time, but that also replaces them with genuine owners.
Last edited by LongLiveRFD on Sep 13th, 2017 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Question for those who stated separate metering should be mandatory...

Does separate meter really adds value for owners or resale?

1. You pay time-of-day 6-13 cents vs bulk rate 9 cent.
2. You pay admin plus account change fees
3. Are delivery and other charges calculated same as bulk? otherwise you lose on those too.

Comparing my bills for both, it's not conclusive to go either way. What have I missed?
Jr. Member
May 15, 2015
180 posts
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North York, ON
My single parent lived in a 3-bedroom condo and had to pay for 6 people's worth of utilities. It was their choice to do this so they paid willingly.

I think what your condo is doing sounds pretty reasonable. I wouldn't want to have to chip in for a neighbour who is stuffing a family of 5 into a 1-bedroom condo.
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Aug 12, 2004
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Seems fair. Realise that some condos also are adult only complexes and if it was written in the bylaw, and if you have a child, you may be force to move out / sell or even face a monthy fine. These are rules voted on by your condo. If you have an extra child / person in the unit it stands that you will use more utilities than if you were only 2. It's clear this is meant to avoid overcrowded condo units and rental issues, and you are an unintended side effect.

Here's a pet peeve of mine. If you never bothered to attend the AGM, sorry but why whine about it now? I'm on the board of directors in my condo, and issues and questions are raised during an AGM. The majority voted for this rule, but had you been there to voice your concern, you may have found others to agree, and the rule may have gotten modified. We often barely get a quorum for our meeting because of lack of participation, and it's always the same owners participating. So guess what happens? They get more of a say, since they participate. They may not represent your demographic, only you can do that.

Overcrowding of units is clearly an issue in your condo building, enough that this rule was brought it and voted on. It's a bylaw now, you had your chance, and blew it. It can be enforced legally at this point.
Last edited by Firebot on Sep 13th, 2017 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Maybe OP could propose amendment to add expiry to the $75, say after 3 or 5yr of continuous ownership, such charge could be dropped.

That still destroys slumlords cap rate calc on spreadsheet, meanwhile, lessen the physiological impact of compromised ownership.
[OP]
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Apr 22, 2014
761 posts
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, ON
I do not oppose the fee altogether. I understand its purpose and it COULD deter slum landlords, but will not completely solve the problem as they probably still making money by overcrowding their units. You also need to be aware that it is impossible to know how many people actually live in their units. Why? It is because many of them only request for few access fob and the rest they either piggy back people when the door is open, or simply dial in via the intercom and their roommate will let them in. These are all the loopholes.

I was willingly registered all 3 of us and was being honest about it. Look what is happening to me and I am sure there are others too. We are ended up supporting the over crowing units.

The fee is supposed to be applied using some rules. For an example, family with young children (under the legal age) is exempt as these children are not able to move out and to support themselves. This is just one idea.
It is not fair to use the same paintbrush that was intended for renters/inventors.
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Aug 12, 2004
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anotherbargainhunter wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 1:23 pm
I do not oppose the fee altogether. I understand its purpose and it COULD deter slum landlords, but will not completely solve the problem as they probably still making money by overcrowding their units. You also need to be aware that it is impossible to know how many people actually live in their units. Why? It is because many of them only request for few access fob and the rest they either piggy back people when the door is open, or simply dial in via the intercom and their roommate will let them in. These are all the loopholes.

I was willingly registered all 3 of us and was being honest about it. Look what is happening to me and I am sure there are others too. We are ended up supporting the over crowing units.

The fee is supposed to be applied using some rules. For an example, family with young children (under the legal age) is exempt as these children are not able to move out and to support themselves. This is just one idea.
It is not fair to use the same paintbrush that was intended for renters/inventors.
That's why you should be attending AGMs... It's written in law now, so any changes has to be voted on. Did you speak to your condo board about your concerns? Note that just because you are low risk low offending family doesn't mean everyone is the same, what about a family with 3 children under the age of 2 in a 1 bedroom apartment? That is certainly overcrowded, and no other condo unit wants to subsidise a family of 5. Technically you are already over with your child. A friend of ine had to move out of their condo within 1 year after the birth of their child, since it was an adult only condo.

Yes you are right that it seems to punish those being honest and won't fully solve the problem. Guess what, we have rules in terms of pets, cars, rental units, etc... Not everyone abides by them. Those people, when caught are warned first, then fined. Not everyone gets caught, but it's fairly easy to tell if there are extra occupants (usually comes from complaints from your neighbours) If they do not pay, they get a caveat placed on their land title. Overcrowding definitely is a huge problem in your building, and the solution of 75$ per extra person is a much better solution than raising everyone's fees because of bad units.
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Jul 14, 2008
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Firebot wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 1:40 pm
That's why you should be attending AGMs... It's written in law now, so any changes has to be voted on. Did you speak to your condo board about your concerns? Note that just because you are low risk low offending family doesn't mean everyone is the same, what about a family with 3 children under the age of 2 in a 1 bedroom apartment? That is certainly overcrowded, and no other condo unit wants to subsidise a family of 5. Technically you are already over with your child. A friend of ine had to move out of their condo within 1 year after the birth of their child, since it was an adult only condo.

Yes you are right that it seems to punish those being honest and won't fully solve the problem. Guess what, we have rules in terms of pets, cars, rental units, etc... Not everyone abides by them. Those people, when caught are warned first, then fined. Not everyone gets caught, but it's fairly easy to tell if there are extra occupants (usually comes from complaints from your neighbours) If they do not pay, they get a caveat placed on their land title. Overcrowding definitely is a huge problem in your building, and the solution of 75$ per extra person is a much better solution than raising everyone's fees because of bad units.
That's the thing, isn't it? The honest will subsidize the dishonest, who rarely get caught. So the fee ends up being more onerous to people who likely are not even contributing to the problem, as opposed to targeting those units/tenants/landlords who are the actual offenders. Let's say they continue to fly under the radar (likely), and this $75 ends up being insufficient. Now they make it an additional $150/m. Etc it's probably higher than it needs to be because there is a smaller pool of people contributing to the excess (the honest). All this is assumptions of course, I have no idea of the actual conditions of this apartment.
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Jan 6, 2011
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Several types of overcrowding:

1. Owner self use: affordability dictates small unit thus overcrowding by owner and no profit is involved
2. Landlord/Tenant Self Use/Sublets: similar but there's profit motive as well; landlord owner may lacked the intention but the tenant do.
3. Slumlords/Short Term leases/AirBnB or stacked beds for pure profit--> security issues

#1 would be internal pure cost attribution issue, which is impossible to resolve.
#2 and 3 are external deterrence issues, somewhat resolvable but at genuine owner's expense.

Therefore, my view is to leave genuine owners along and target those profiting from someone else's expenses.

Let the city by-law to deal with owner's abuses.
Jr. Member
Mar 10, 2009
189 posts
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Toronto
LongLiveRFD wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 12:34 pm
Question for those who stated separate metering should be mandatory...

Does separate meter really adds value for owners or resale?

1. You pay time-of-day 6-13 cents vs bulk rate 9 cent.
2. You pay admin plus account change fees
3. Are delivery and other charges calculated same as bulk? otherwise you lose on those too.

Comparing my bills for both, it's not conclusive to go either way. What have I missed?
A lot of it will depend on your lifestyle. For me I'm out of my condo at 7AM and i'm back around 5:30 however I don't use any major appliance (dishwasher / laundry) until after 7PM when rates are lowest. For me, my Hydro/Electricity bill ranged from $35-50 per month depending on the month. And out of the $35-$50, about $25-$30 of it was for delivery! (don't get me started on the ridiculous delivery charges).

I have family that lives in condo's where the units are not independently metered and their maintenance fees keep going up every year (In the 2 years I was in my condo my maintenance fees went up $20/mth total).
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imperial1 wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 2:36 pm
A lot of it will depend on your lifestyle. For me I'm out of my condo at 7AM and i'm back around 5:30 however I don't use any major appliance (dishwasher / laundry) until after 7PM when rates are lowest. For me, my Hydro/Electricity bill ranged from $35-50 per month depending on the month. And out of the $35-$50, about $25-$30 of it was for delivery! (don't get me started on the ridiculous delivery charges).

I have family that lives in condo's where the units are not independently metered and their maintenance fees keep going up every year (In the 2 years I was in my condo my maintenance fees went up $20/mth total).
You are frugal, $60/mo. is minimal for me.

If you look at the financial statement, your corp is still paying for hydro.

So, if you add the corp's hydro, divide by # of units then add your own, do you still save?

Based on my neighbors, they complained the savings aren't much if any.

Further, your fan coil motor is about 50W? that's your unit cost for using A/C and heating which costs more than 50W? The AC/Heating is not-metered. So the abuse on central air still makes tons of sense. Assuming central air usage ~ sq ft or volume, the incremental cost may curve upwards. In English, bad for cost attribution among different unit size.

Then, the point is to add yet another middleman's profit? the admin fee itself is $10-$15 per month just to track your usage?
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Mar 10, 2009
189 posts
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Toronto
LongLiveRFD wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 2:44 pm
You are frugal, $60/mo. is minimal for me.

If you look at the financial statement, your corp is still paying for hydro.

So, if you add the corp's hydro, divide by # of units then add your own, do you still save?

Based on my neighbors, they complained the savings aren't much if any.

Further, your fan coil motor is about 50W? that's your unit cost for using A/C and heating which costs more than 50W? The AC/Heating is not-metered. So the abuse on central air still makes tons of sense.

Then, the point is to add yet another middleman's profit? the admin fee itself is $10-$15 per month just to track your usage?
You got me there I didn't do an in-depth breakdown anywhere close to that. You're right I guess I am pretty frugal.. barely used the A/C / heater (got a nice breeze from the balcony / windows in the summer and I'm pretty sure my computer / plasma TV contributed to heat in the winter lol).. dishwasher twice a week and laundry once a week. I used the stove to cook a couple times a week (bought food the other times) and of course daily showers. That said my condo was also on top of lots of things (energy efficient bulbs throughout the entire building, energy efficient windows, even efficient toilets and shower heads lol.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Apr 22, 2014
761 posts
178 upvotes
, ON
There was a typo on my post. The only utilities included in maintenance fee is water. Hydro is out of pocket.
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Aug 12, 2004
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onlineharvest wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 2:24 pm
That's the thing, isn't it? The honest will subsidize the dishonest, who rarely get caught. So the fee ends up being more onerous to people who likely are not even contributing to the problem, as opposed to targeting those units/tenants/landlords who are the actual offenders. Let's say they continue to fly under the radar (likely), and this $75 ends up being insufficient. Now they make it an additional $150/m. Etc it's probably higher than it needs to be because there is a smaller pool of people contributing to the excess (the honest). All this is assumptions of course, I have no idea of the actual conditions of this apartment.
The condo building has to run somehow and pay its bills right? If it's not a 75$ fee, it will be a 50$+ fee increase across the board on condo fees, and it does not target the abusers. So now everyone will get hit, including those abiding with the occupancy standard. Generally condo fees are adjusted based on square footage, the same argument could be made. Technically a family of 3 in a 1 bedroom is already past the occupancy standard designed for the condo building. The condo IMO used a very fair calculation to get a fee based on occupancy levels. It's not perfect, but any system where the units are not metered will never be 'fair' to everyone. Certainly the single working male is not using as much as a family of 3.

Let's remember that this was voted on by a majority of those attending the AGM. Clearly the majority people viewed that the current subsidising of extended families and overcrowded units was unfair and voted accordingly. OP needs to go to these meetings. at this point with it written in the bylaw, all he can do is voice his concern and hope the condo board will make exceptions and request an amendment to be voted on. Perhaps knock door to door, get a petition signed by other members in a similar state (at the same time take count of all the abusing units :D).

It's funny, the people complaining about rule changes and new fees in a building always tend to be the least interested in AGM's and are never involved in my experience.

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