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Jan 30, 2023


What Condominiums Need to Know about Employing a Superintendent: Where to Start? (Part 1 OF 4)

Legislative Framework

Many condominium corporations opt to hire a building superintendent to perform the Condominium’s maintenance needs at the Condominium’s building and property. When a Superintendent is hired, an employer-employee relationship may be created, thereby triggering all of the obligations and rights that are assigned to employers and employees by Ontario’s workplace legislation. The legislation that will most often apply to this employment relationship includes (but is not limited to):

  1. The Employment Standards Act, 2000, S.O. 2000, c. 41
  2. The Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H. 19
  3. The Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O1

For superintendents that live in a Condominium’s “super suite”, Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c. 17 will also be triggered and the Condominium will be subject to some of the rules and regulations that apply to landlords in Ontario.

Common Law Obligations

The employer-employee relationship is also governed by many “common law” legal principles.  These rules are not written in legislation. Rather, they are derived from the case law (also referred to as the “common law”) that is written by judges in orders and decisions. These decisions set important legal precedents that are binding upon employers. Unfortunately, the decisions can difficult to find and difficult to understand.

Where to Start?

When a Condominium is looking to hire a superintendent and/or is wanting to further their understanding of their obligations under Ontario’s employment legislation, it is a good idea to consult a lawyer who can act as a knowledgeable and trusted advisor as the Board navigates the complex web of Ontario’s employment laws. It may also be prudent for the Condominium Board to undertake a general review of Ontario employment standards set out in the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”). The Ministry of Labour has published an easy-to-read guide that provides a good overview of Ontario’s employment standards.

Live-in superintendents are subject to special rules and exemptions under the ESA. As such, even those Property Managers and Condominium Board Members who are familiar with the general provisions of the ESA would be wise to familiarize themselves with the special rules that apply to live-in superintendents.

Main Takeaways for Condominium Employers

  • Condominiums who hire superintendents are legally bound by all of the applicable laws that govern workplace and the employer-employee relationship; and,
  • There are special rules that apply to Superintendent in the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000. 


 Written by Marni Outerbridge 

Click here for Part 2 

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and is not legal advice. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your specific circumstance.