October 2017 Condo Association News Roundup


October has come and gone.  While trick-or-treaters might be done for the year, the October 2017 Condo Association news roundup has signs that marijuana and Airbnb might just be here to stay.  Whether your community considers these tricks – or treats – is up to you.  Enjoy the articles in the October 2017 Condo Association news roundup!

Condo boards will face uphill battle in banning marijuana plants

Do your Owners want to turn your building into a weed farm?

Brodie Thomas, Metro Calgary, 10/6/17

Better Condo Life predicted that 2017 would be the year of marijuana battles in Condo Associations.  While the jury’s still out, we might at least be right in Canada.  This article captures the issues for Associations in Calgary, where citizens are allowed to own and grow up to four plants.  It is highly likely that a Condo’s bylaws are silent on the matter of plants.  This means that it will be exceedingly difficult for Condos to ban their growth.

This is is quite different from the Airbnb wars, where there often are rules about “short-term occupancy” in the bylaws.  Not so when it comes to growing marijuana – a boon for those who enjoy, and likely a nuisance for those who do not.  A great read for any Condo Association in a jurisdiction where growth of plants is legal.

HOA Homefront: Reader asks is Mary Jane OK in Unit 420?

Kelly G. Richardson, OC Register, 10/13/17

While the path to growth in Calgary may be clear, it is less so in California.  Despite the fact that California has legalized personal use and the growth of plants, there are more nuances in the state than in Calgary.  The California law expressly notes that marijuana is not “agriculture” and thus can be restricted more heavily.  In addition, California has various secondhand smoke laws which also give Associations more leeway in banning the use of marijuana.

While many jurisdictions are legalizing marijuana, it is clear that the impacts will be very different.  As always, consult with your Association lawyer – and with your community.  Only by doing both can you make sure you’re following the law and your Owners’ interests.

Can You Afford NOT to Pay for Cyber Security?

Those numbers mean you’ve been hacked.

Adam Janos, Habitat Magazine, 10/11/17

It seems not a month goes by without a major hack of a big company or government agency.  Despite this, many industries remain woefully behind the times, and unfortunately the community Association business is one of them.  Cybersecurity is something that every Association needs to practice.

This article is a good reminder of what communities are up against.  It discusses recent breaches and reiterates the value of the data which community Associations have.  Whether payrolls, vendor information, or Owner payment files, Associations have valuable data and Boards and Management need to protect it.  The article covers some ways to save money and protect your data.  In today’s environment where even a corporation like Equifax can be hacked, this is a must-read.

Toronto Condo Just Signed an Historic Agreement with Airbnb

Michael Ott, BlogTO, 10/26/17

Earlier this year, amidst many challenges in Condo Associations, Airbnb launched a “Friendly Buildings Program.” The goal of this program was for Airbnb to stop being an under-the-table nuisance for apartments and Condos, and instead become a fully regulated – and profit-sharing – relationship.  This follows arrangements like in Michigan where Airbnb is now paying taxes.  Every time a revenue deal is signed, Airbnb is closer to being fully legitimate.  Canada has had some fierce Airbnb battles, but a Toronto building has now signed up for this program.  Could this be a sign of things to come?

That’s all for the October 2017 Condo Association news! Did you know that you can get even more news articles by signing up for our mailing list?  Mailing list subscribers get monthly bonus news stories and analysis.  Join the list today! 

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