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Rafael Barreto-Rivera v Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 704 - 2018 ONCAT 11 - 2018-11-27

Corporation:

RBRMTCC 704

Date:

2018-11-27

Under:

CAT Decisions - Decision
Access to Records
Adequacy of Records
Fees, Costs, Penalties

Summary:

In the case of Rafael Barreto-Rivera v Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 704 (2018 ONCAT 11), the applicant sought minutes of a specific owners' meeting held on February 2, 2016. The respondent, a condominium corporation, failed to provide the minutes, claiming the meeting was informal and no official minutes were drafted. The adjudicator found that, based on the circumstances, the meeting constituted an owners' meeting, and the refusal to provide minutes without reasonable excuse warranted a penalty. A penalty of $500 was imposed on the condominium corporation.

Verdict:

In the case of Rafael Barreto-Rivera v Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 704, the Condominium Authority Tribunal found that the condominium corporation violated the Condominium Act, 1998 by refusing to provide minutes of an owners' meeting. The Tribunal ordered the corporation to pay a penalty of $500 to the applicant, emphasizing the importance of timely and diligent production of meeting minutes as required by the Act and condominium by-laws. This case serves as a reminder to condominium corporations to fulfill their obligations regarding record-keeping and timely disclosure of important documents to unit owners.

Takeaways:

Nature of Dispute: The case involves Rafael Barreto-Rivera, a unit owner, seeking access to minutes of a February 2, 2016 owners' meeting from Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 704 (MTCC 704) under the Condominium Act, 1998.

Refusal to Provide Minutes: Despite the absence of formal minutes, the tribunal found that the meeting qualified as an owners' meeting, requiring minutes. The Respondent's failure to provide minutes constituted a refusal under section 55 of the Act.

Penalty Imposed: The tribunal ordered MTCC 704 to pay a penalty of $500 to Barreto-Rivera due to the refusal to provide the requested records without reasonable excuse.

Board's Inadequate Response: The Board's characterization of the meeting as informal was deemed not credible, and their failure to respond to the owner's request for minutes was a factor in the penalty decision.

Purpose of Penalty: The penalty serves as a deterrent and emphasizes the importance of timely and diligent record-keeping by condominium corporations, aligning with the Act's objectives.

Recommendations: 

Compliance Review and Training:

The condominium corporation, Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 704 (MTCC 704), should conduct a review of its policies and procedures regarding record-keeping, especially with respect to minutes of owners' meetings.
The Board of Directors and relevant personnel should undergo training to ensure a clear understanding of the requirements under the Condominium Act, 1998, regarding the recording and provision of minutes for owners' meetings.
Policy Amendment and Communication:

MTCC 704 should consider amending its by-laws or policies to explicitly outline the procedures for recording and distributing minutes of owners' meetings.
Communication protocols between the Board and unit owners should be enhanced to ensure timely and transparent sharing of information, especially in situations involving contentious issues discussed during meetings.
Dispute Resolution Mechanism Improvement:

The Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) may consider reviewing its processes to ensure that disputes related to records, especially the absence of minutes, are addressed efficiently.
The CAT could provide clearer guidelines on how condominium corporations should handle requests for records that do not exist, ensuring that responses are prompt, transparent, and in compliance with the Condominium Act, 1998.

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