Real Estate

Notice of Lien from Condo Management company

  • Last Updated:
  • May 4th, 2020 10:42 pm
[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 23, 2008
157 posts
2 upvotes

Notice of Lien from Condo Management company

Hi RFD,

Was looking for advice.. I got a notice of Lien from the Condo management company, and I'll try to put the timeline as best as I can.. I was wondering if people who are familiar with this topic can give me any advice or my best course of action.

January 8, 2020 Bought a new townhome with condo Management property (Closing Date)
Paid 1 month of Management fees (got a bill in the mail so I assumed they would send a bill every month) -- The bank statement states March 2nd, 2020

Fast forward to April 29th, got a Notice of Lien that was dated April 10th saying I had 10 days to respond in my mailbox for failing to pay the Management fees for 3 months (they had a right to do it after 90 days or something) -- but because of the COVID 19 situation, I guess the postal service was severely delayed and I just received the notice 2 weeks after, giving me no chance to respond and I have been checking my mailbox regularly during this time
Total is 470$ ($90 x3 months) + 200$ legal fees paperwork

I e-mailed/called them ASAP when I got the notice , they said that they gave me a SECOND notice of Lien (which was dated April 27th) or something and now the total is almost $1600...

A few questions is I did some reading and they can only put a notice of Lien on if I didn't pay for 90 days (which I have a bank statement showing that I had paid condo fees that went through on March 2nd, 2020) which cuts that period of time - shouldn't the notice of Lien be invalid then?

Anyways, I'm looking for just some general advice as I have no idea what I should do next, and I have no intent on paying $1600 for this because the mail was severely delayed and I was given no time to respond -- I offered to pay the $470 and those bloodsuckers demanded I pay the full $1600 amount. I have no power and the notice of lien has already been placed..
I've obviously started payments for condo fees in May, 20 - as they MAILED ME A BILL AND NOTICE THAT I HAVE TO PAY THOSE FEES.

What should I do? Sorry if this doesn't make sense, I'm just very frustrated by this whole situation

Thanks in advance
23 replies
Sr. Member
Jun 7, 2017
957 posts
710 upvotes
BC
Haha, hope you are enjoying your condo which you have no control over.
Sr. Member
Dec 12, 2007
702 posts
279 upvotes
Toronto
So when you didn’t get your bills for feb and mar you didn’t assume anything wrong and just ignored it ? You should have at least reached out to the management and indicated whether or not a bill would be sent. Its pretty obvious you need to pay every month or you just decided to play dumb and hope they forget ?

I didn’t receive my water bill recently and first thing I did was email my town to clarify which they did and was actually an error on their part. This avoids them trying to screw me later which you are now obviously learning it the hard way
Deal Addict
Jul 22, 2009
1407 posts
954 upvotes
Brampton
You knew you had to pay your condo fees and chose not to now since lien is in place you have no choice but to pay full amount
[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 23, 2008
157 posts
2 upvotes
They mailed a bill out for one of the months when we moved in

So I assumed that they would mail out a bill per month

It’s a townhouse and it’s the first time I’ve owned a home and have monthly bills so I didn’t really think too much of it

The more important point is about the timeline

They can only place a notice of a lien if I didn’t pay my fees for 90 days

However as mentioned, there is a month in there when they mailed the bill which interrupts the 90 day cycle which should invalidate the lien..

I’m more looking for legal advice if possible from people who are knowledgeable in this field
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 16, 2012
1288 posts
783 upvotes
Vancouver, BC Canada
I’m a strata President here in BC most everybody uses pre-authorized payments or some seniors still write postdated cheques for the year in regards to maintenence fees nobody gets a monthly bill in the mail.

I would pay it in full use line of credit if needed you don’t want things to go further with the bank.

We also have the CRT (Civil Resolution Tribunal) not sure if there is something similar assuming you’re in ON.
Deal Fanatic
Apr 5, 2016
5035 posts
3567 upvotes
Calgary/Vancouver
$90 monthly management fee? That's so cheap.

What's the breakdown for the $1600? If it's like late fees then see if you can get that waived. If it's the actual strata fee and legal fees, then you're on the hook for these because strata had to pay them out of pocket. If they covered it, that means every member of your strata has to cover it which would be unfair.

Honestly, just pay the whole thing and treat it as a lesson learned. You don't want to mess with your strata council and be targeted. Throw a whole bunch of bylaws your way.
Current Fido and Rogers customer.
Ex Koodo customer.
Deal Addict
Nov 13, 2013
2413 posts
1189 upvotes
Ottawa
bomber17 wrote: $90 monthly management fee? That's so cheap.

What's the breakdown for the $1600? If it's like late fees then see if you can get that waived. If it's the actual strata fee and legal fees, then you're on the hook for these because strata had to pay them out of pocket. If they covered it, that means every member of your strata has to cover it which would be unfair.

Honestly, just pay the whole thing and treat it as a lesson learned. You don't want to mess with your strata council and be targeted. Throw a whole bunch of bylaws your way.
Yeah it’s a bit like fighting city hall. Not sure why your payment going through March 2 resets the clock. I’m not a lawyer but even if you are 90% right it’s very risky to pursue further. As you say it puts the other owners on the hook. If you fight they could easily spend thousands in legal fees which has to be paid by you or your neighbours. There are cases of people losing their entire equity in judgements. I don’t know why they rushed right to a lien but your are where your are.
Newbie
Mar 11, 2007
63 posts
37 upvotes
Toronto
I had the exact same thing happen. Except I bought a condo with an existing tenant, and they didn't forward any of the mail. Condo corp ended up putting a lien for 5k, which I just had to eat.
Deal Addict
Nov 13, 2013
2413 posts
1189 upvotes
Ottawa
admiraltictac wrote: I had the exact same thing happen. Except I bought a condo with an existing tenant, and they didn't forward any of the mail. Condo corp ended up putting a lien for 5k, which I just had to eat.
I've always had lawyers or Realtors (don't remember which) contact the board and arrange for direct deposit. An invoice seems so 90s. Still don't understand why they don't knock on the door. Probably it is their "fee" which is profitable to the agency if not the board.
Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
3749 posts
3155 upvotes
Most condo fees are due the 1st of the month. When you closed on Jan 8th, you owed fees from Jan 8th - 31st. The fees that you paid March 2nd most likely covered that time period.

Condo fees due Feb 1st were not paid. March 1st were not paid and April 1st were not paid. On April 10th, the management company issued a collections letter informing you that you were in arrears and that a a lien could be registered against title if the full amount is not paid. At this point, the full amount had increased to include the 3 missed condo payments and the additional administrative costs.

You claim that you emailed the management company on April 29th when you became aware of this letter and was informed that the management company had issued a second Notice of Lien. This is the correct procedure as the lien has to be registered before the period of 3 months expires if the condo corp is to recover all the arrears.

It would seem then from what you have laid out that if the lien was registered (and you should check to ensure whether it has been registered) that it most likely is valid. The $1600 bill most likely includes outstanding condo fees, interest and legal fees.
Member
Oct 26, 2007
306 posts
180 upvotes
Speak to the board members directly if you can as management follows their instructions.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 2, 2012
3979 posts
1847 upvotes
Toronto
skeet50 wrote: Most condo fees are due the 1st of the month. When you closed on Jan 8th, you owed fees from Jan 8th - 31st. The fees that you paid March 2nd most likely covered that time period.
Usually in this case the previous owner would have paid entire month of January fees. On the closing date, the new owner would then pay directly to the old owner the balance of fees for the month (lawyer would calculate as part of the final payout). So there's a good chance here the first payment he made, would have been for February.
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2013
1243 posts
651 upvotes
Toronto
Talk to the board members to explain the situation and see if the lien can be removed with no additional cost to you. Pay the outstanding condo fees asap. Either set up direct deposit (not something I'd do) or provide cheques in advance.
Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
3749 posts
3155 upvotes
rob444 wrote: Usually in this case the previous owner would have paid entire month of January fees. On the closing date, the new owner would then pay directly to the old owner the balance of fees for the month (lawyer would calculate as part of the final payout). So there's a good chance here the first payment he made, would have been for February.
Yes, that is typically what happens. But, as there is a possibility that a lien has been registered, I am guessing that it didn't happen in this case.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 3, 2011
5773 posts
2936 upvotes
Thornhill
If you're in Ontario,
q1w2e3 wrote: January 8, 2020 Bought a new townhome with condo Management property (Closing Date)
Paid 1 month of Management fees (got a bill in the mail so I assumed they would send a bill every month) -- The bank statement states March 2nd, 2020
Did your lawyer's adjustments include a credit to the seller of 24 days worth of maintenance fees? If not then this March 2nd payment would have been for January, if so the March 2 applies to February.
Fast forward to April 29th, got a Notice of Lien that was dated April 10th saying I had 10 days to respond in my mailbox for failing to pay the Management fees for 3 months (they had a right to do it after 90 days or something)
To explain to 90 days, the condo corp automatically has a lien for any unpaid meantenance fees however, unless it is registered on title any amount older than 90 days ceases to be an enforceable lien. The corporation can send out a notice of a lien at any time upon default but it then wants to ensure that in order to not lose any owed amounts to the 90 day rule, it would have to register the lien within 90 days of the first default. Before doing so they must notify the owner at least 10 days before the lien is registered.

Reacapping then: They sent the notice on April 10. By April 20 (10 days from the date of notice) at the earliest, they could have registered a lien. Once that lien is registered it remians in force and will also cover any accruing maintenance fees or reasonable costs.
-- but because of the COVID 19 situation, I guess the postal service was severely delayed and I just received the notice 2 weeks after, giving me no chance to respond and I have been checking my mailbox regularly during this time
unfortunately this is no defense since they sent the notice as required and the postmark is what will count. As the owner you are required to remit the fee by the first of each month.
Total is 470$ ($90 x3 months) + 200$ legal fees paperwork
The 3 months of fees though is the question. It would be correct only if they had not received February's where at April 10 there were 3 months outstanding and 70 days would have transpired. The 10 day notice meant that they would have to wait at least an additional 10 days before registering the lien on title but not later than April 30 or they would lose the February amount due.
I e-mailed/called them ASAP when I got the notice , they said that they gave me a SECOND notice of Lien (which was dated April 27th) or something and now the total is almost $1600...
This is the intriguing part. A second notice wasn't necessary and any additional charge should only be additional interest which should be minimal plus legal and fee cost to register the lien on title.
What should I do? Sorry if this doesn't make sense, I'm just very frustrated by this whole situation
Additionally, the legal fees must be reasonable almost $930 within 17 days of the first notice doesn't seem reasonable to me. You should speak with your lawyer about that maybe they can find something from the "parrot" case in Ontario to your benefit.
Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
3749 posts
3155 upvotes
OP, are you the registered owner of the condo, or are your parents?
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 3, 2004
5450 posts
4319 upvotes
Edmonton
Furcorn wrote: Haha, hope you are enjoying your condo which you have no control over.
That's not true. If you are in a condo with strata-paid heat and hot water then you can run the hot water taps 24/7 and leave all your windows open. #bitter #condoowner #fighttherealenemy #bchydro
[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 23, 2008
157 posts
2 upvotes
Thanks everyone

It’s under my parents name

I’m not even sure how to approach this.
At this point. The only reasonable course of action would be with a lawyer?

If anyone knows anyone in the GTA that can handle this and feels this is the best course of action.. they can PM me.

But after reading this.. it feels like the best course of action is paying the 1600$ as there’s not a lot of options when fighting the condo board...

The lien is registered now (I think) it’s the second 1600$ notice that they gave me which never gave me the time to reply, given the COVID 19 situation. And also whether that payment for March is for month of March which should make the whole lien invalid..

I don’t want to pay the fees obviously, but I also don’t want to spend too much time on this as it seems the condo board wins a lot of the time and it might cost me even more if I was to find a lawyer
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
11878 posts
8134 upvotes
Edmonton
q1w2e3 wrote: Thanks everyone

It’s under my parents name

I’m not even sure how to approach this.
At this point. The only reasonable course of action would be with a lawyer?

If anyone knows anyone in the GTA that can handle this and feels this is the best course of action.. they can PM me.

But after reading this.. it feels like the best course of action is paying the 1600$ as there’s not a lot of options when fighting the condo board...

The lien is registered now (I think) it’s the second 1600$ notice that they gave me which never gave me the time to reply, given the COVID 19 situation. And also whether that payment for March is for month of March which should make the whole lien invalid..

I don’t want to pay the fees obviously, but I also don’t want to spend too much time on this as it seems the condo board wins a lot of the time and it might cost me even more if I was to find a lawyer
And if you lose, you'll also end up paying at least a portion of the condo's legal fees...

C

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