Smoker Has to Close Door

The Toronto Star − Condo Living Section
Condo Living sent the following question to Shlomo Sharon, President, Taft Forward Property Management Group


We have a unit owner who insists on keeping his front door open, wedged with a piece of wood. He is a heavy smoker and the hall reeks from tobacco smoke. He has been asked to keep his door closed, but he insists on keeping it open. I'm afraid that if he falls asleep smoking, it is dangerous for all of us on the floor - and he has had a fire in his unit. The property management will do nothing about this problem. Can you give me a suggestion on how we can rectify this problem?



You have good reason to be concerned and it is unfortunate that owners and residents do not realize they have a responsibility to ensure they do not jeopardize anyone's safety by creating a hazard.

The Ontario Fire Code establishes the minimum fire safety standards, including the installation of door closures. This means that the Board of Directors and management should be taking steps where an owner has propped open a door which is required to be closed.

This is an issue which could also affect your corporation's insurance and could also result in the Fire Department or the Ontario Fire Marshal's Office involvement.

The board of directors of the condominium corporation is elected by the owners to carry out their duties for the benefit of all the owners. Directors often have to balance the needs of various individual owners.

A unit owner who wants to smoke is free to do so within the unit he or she owns. It is when the owner's activity interferes with the other residents' use and enjoyment of the condominium or where the activity poses some form of risk, that the board has to step in and look after the interests of the owners as a whole. This means smoking must take place within the confines of the unit and with the door closed.

You may want to meet face-to-face with the board at the beginning of a board meeting, if the members agree to do so, in order to get this issue resolved.

If the board and property management refuse to address this problem, as a last resort, you may want to consider taking steps to remove your existing board members and re-elect new board members. In order to do so, you will have to meet the requirements under the Condominium Act to requisition an owners meeting to remove and elect a new board.

Quick Contact

Taft Management and Forward Property Management Group

250 Davisville Avenue
Suite 108
Toronto, Ontario
M4S 1H2 Canada
Tel : (416) 482-8001
Fax : (416) 482-8010
After Hours Emergency:
(647) 955-3681