by Debbie Dale & for DEL CONDO LIFE MAGAZINE – SPRING 2011

‘IT’ shot the unsuspecting community into a reactionary position like a rifle trigger being carelessly squeezed. Animated conversations near the Management Office became louder as a few assertive-aggressive residents voiced displeasure. I hurried past residents assuring that ‘IT’ would be attended to. Radio, keys, Iphone, plumber’s key, business card, Owner’s Welcome Book and the sure to remedy (ha ha ha) pleasant smile. Ready. Aim. Shoot?

There ‘IT’ was in the main lobby. Drywall, carpet, plumbing supplies jammed into two elevators. A trail Hansel and Gretel would be proud to own strewn across shining marble. Security held construction material-filled elevators hostage at the lobby, refusing to release computer controls as tradesmen argued about entry rights, delivery routines, renovation procedures and a ‘plan’ to pile the materials in the hallway near the suite that it was destined for. Condo Cops? In my dreams….&

DARN!! Another ‘new to high rise condo living’ soul tripped over the ‘3 R’s to Reno Success’. Reality = planning ahead. Responsibility = who, what, when, why, where and how. Rules = apply (and really vary to reflect each condominium community’s unique flare).

I supervised the removal of materials and watched as trades departed. Certainly not a trade that knows usual condo routines, like Toronto Decorating or CPL. Explanations fell on deaf ears. No, they knew nothing of Renovation Consent Letters, Rules, Service Elevator Reservations, Damage Deposits. Just a name and suite number of a vacant home. &Yes, I could imagine they had a schedule. Yes, they were free to call my boss and complain about me. Yes, I understood there would be consequences due to my behaviour. I felt like a hockey Goalie protecting the net from flying sheets of drywall and I chuckled about the small shoulder pads under my suit jacket. Some protection that was! The cleaners sprang into action. Calm was restored, briefly.

The yelling new owner arrived and our meeting began with ‘who did I think I was that I would dare interfere with and obstruct their trades and cost them money?’ After ten minutes our meeting shifted to ‘I had no idea … did not read the letter with the Status Certificate … or the Rules … &Realtor or Lawyer should have explained … &I really did not want to create bad neighbour relations before I move in … I am not used to condos … what do I do?’

The poised owner proceeded to complete Registration, Renovation and Elevator Reservation Forms, pay a damage deposit, receive the Welcome Book (to read!) and buy a plumber’s key. He was pleased to be shown a padded, extra high service elevator, receiving dock, patrol guard to oversee deliveries to ensure he was not charged back for damages unfairly and, in general, how his new home is operated to protect the interests of all.&

Tip of the Day! Meet with Management BEFORE moving in or renovating. Ah, yes, the perfectly serene condo management world …. in the wildest dreams of Toronto Condo Managers as we LOL and perform our 3 R’s … Run, Run, Run! Perhaps Goalie pads should be built into Condo Manager wardrobes &…. but this is Toronto … hockey in Toronto means the Leafs … mmmm ….