Condo property manager overstepping her authority?
October 13, 2009 6:43 PM   Subscribe

My condo suddenly wants me to sign an agreement saying I will abide by their draconian rules and provide a tonne of personal data to them. This is all under the guise that they are creating 'files' for residents for access to the building. Is this legal?

I'm renting from an owner in a condo building in Ontario. Over the past few months, the new property manager has exhibited major control freak tendencies - there are notices about some perceived problem posted in the elevators every other day. Recently all residents received a form that we were 'required to' fill in. The form asks for you name, but all sorts of other personal details, email, job etc. There isn't any privacy or usage policy presented.

The form also has a spot for you to sign that says you agree to abide by the condo 'rules' a copy of which I have not seen since 2005. This all strikes me as odd - I think the agreement should be between my landlord and myself.

There are omnious notes about residents not being able to access their 'file' under the new 'entry system' whatever that means.

This seems rather intrusive and odd. What are my rights as a tenant?
posted by urbanette to Law & Government (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you tried asking the Privacy Commissioner (Federal) or the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (Provincial) for guidance?
posted by saucysault at 6:53 PM on October 13, 2009

Just fill it out and skip whatever you're not comfortable with. If they ask about it, tell them you forgot the answer, or just that you're not comfortable giving them that information.
posted by Slinga at 7:04 PM on October 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

"I'm renting from an owner in a condo building in Ontario."

Can you just forward anything you receive personally to the condo owner? You have a direct relationship with the condo owner, not the building owner. As far as I understand Ontario tenant issues, the condo owner (not the building owner) is your landlord, even if the building owner is your landlord's landlord. IANAL.
posted by astrochimp at 7:22 PM on October 13, 2009

You don't have to give them shit. Its the owner's responsibility to work out details with the HOA.

This was the case when I was renting a condo in tenant-loving Santa Monica, YMMV.

And by the way, your landlord(condo owner) should have his address of service (or whatever its called) on record with the HOA. You are NOT the HOA's personal delivery boy/girl.
posted by hal_c_on at 7:30 PM on October 13, 2009

(I am a condo owner in Ontario. I have rented my condo to tenants.) You should not be receiving anything from the property management - all regulations/forms/correspondence should be going directly to the owner. Let them deal with it. And don't fill out anything.
posted by meerkatty at 7:39 PM on October 13, 2009

Tell them "No, thank you," like they were offering you a service you're not interested in. It's funny how squirmy people get when they realize they actually have no real power to push you around.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:32 PM on October 13, 2009 [6 favorites]

Forward everything on to the actual owner of the unit. When I rented a townhouse in a similar situation, I use to just take all the HOA crap and pass it on to the owner, ignoring all of it. (They used to whine constantly about the exterior paint.) Then I'd wait for the owner—my landlord—to ask me to do things, if she wanted them done. But I certainly wasn't going to take orders from the HOA dweebs, and I don't see why you should, either, unless you agreed when renting the place to act as the owner's proxy in dealing with the HOA.

I have a terribly low opinion of homeowners associations and it's probably showing; I guess they're a necessary evil in condo complexes than in neighborhoods, but I'd still approach them with suspicion. Nothing seems to bring out the nasty in people like a feeling of authority and a copy of Roberts Rules of Order.
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:22 AM on October 14, 2009

As others have noted, you shouldn't be dealing with the property managers at all since you are renting your unit. All of that mail should be sent to the actual owner.
posted by chunking express at 9:19 AM on October 14, 2009

Your relevant legislation is the provincial private sector privacy act (PIPEDA only applies in jurisdictions that do not have provincial level legislation), and the provincial tenancy regulations. In addition to the privacy offices, it might be worth a call to a tenants' rights organization to get more information about which rules supercede in the event of a conflict between a condo association's legal authority and an owner/landlord's responsibility under the tenancy law.

Do you hava rental agreement with your landlord (the owner of the condo)? If I were renting a condo out to someone, I'd probably have a reference to any regulations of conduct for the condo association in the rental agreement, just to cover my own butt. I'd check any agreements you signed with the owner and then forward everything onto him/her to deal with. Explain that it's not appropriate for the condo association to contact you directly.
posted by Kurichina at 10:54 AM on October 14, 2009

Thank you for the advice all. I do have an agreement with my landlord and aside from confirming my name for the front door buzzer, I don't appear to owe the condo association anything. I'll write them a note confirming my name and will forward the rest to my landlord. I will also check the Ontario Tenant's Act just to understand what my rights are.

Seriously, these people are aggressive!
posted by urbanette at 2:19 PM on October 14, 2009

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