Condo Law Series — Up in Smoke


Medical Marijuana is becoming more prevalent in today’s society, forcing condominium boards and condominium property management companies to become current with the law.

A recent case, involving MTCC 659 v Truman, was held before Deputy Justice Hunt in Ontario Supreme Court during the summer of 2015. The condominium corporation’s claim was filed against the unit owner, for more than $19,000 in unpaid water bills.

The owner of the unit was licensed to grow marijuana out of his unit, however, in so doing, resulted in consuming more than 20 times more water than the average unit in the complex.

At trial, the unit owner claimed that the production of marijuana was for personal use, not a business, and as such, any and all water consumed should be deemed included in his condo fees.

Karen Phung, a litigator with Miller Thomson LLP represented the condominium corporation. In her submission, she affirmed that the Condominiums Declarations provide that the corporation is responsible to pay for water usage, however, raised the point of proportionality in dealing with common expenses.

Deputy Justice Hunt focused on the principles of equity and fairness, as the government-issued production license is not the same personal use of water contemplated within this Condominiums Declarations. “As such, it would be unfair and disproportionate for the other unit owners of MTCC 659 to bear the cost of the defendant’s water usage.”

The court awarded MTCC 659 the full amount of its claim as well as the maximum amount of costs allowable.