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Bashir v. Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1821 - 2021 ONCAT 93 - 2021-10-14

Corporation:

BTSCC 1821

Date:

2021-10-14

Under:

CAT Decisions - Decision
Entitlement to Records
Fees, Costs, Penalties

Summary:

In the case of Bashir v. Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1821, the dispute centered on the entitlement to unapproved board meeting minutes. The Applicant, an owner of the condominium corporation, requested these minutes. The Respondent, citing that the minutes were not yet approved, did not provide them. The issue was whether the refusal to provide unapproved board meeting minutes was without reasonable excuse. The Respondent argued that such minutes were not considered a record until they were approved, relying on legal opinions. The Tribunal found that the Respondent's refusal was not without reasonable excuse as the minutes did not qualify as a record until approval. However, concerns were raised about the delay in approval. The Applicant was awarded filing fees for Stage 1 and 2.

Verdict:

In the case of Bashir v. Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1821, the Tribunal ruled that the Respondent did not unreasonably refuse to provide unapproved board meeting minutes, as these minutes were not considered records until they were approved. While the delay in approval raised concerns, the Respondent was not found to have deliberately delayed the process. The Applicant was awarded their filing fees, highlighting the importance of timely approval of board meeting minutes to keep condominium records accessible and maintain transparency for unit owners.

Takeaways:

In the case of Bashir v. Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1821, the dispute revolved around the entitlement to unapproved board meeting minutes requested by the condominium unit owner (Applicant).

The Respondent, the condominium corporation, did not provide unapproved minutes, claiming they were not considered a record until approved by the board.

The Tribunal found that the Respondent's refusal to provide unapproved minutes was not without reasonable excuse, as these minutes did not qualify as records before approval.

The delay in approving minutes due to circumstances like the COVID-19 pandemic and director changes raised concerns, but the Respondent was not found to have deliberately delayed the process.

While the Applicant was awarded their filing fees for the case, it was emphasized that condominiums should rarely take more than a year to approve board meeting minutes, as these minutes inform unit owners about the board's decisions and are considered records.

Recommendations: 

Timely Record Keeping: Condominium corporations should prioritize timely record keeping, especially when it comes to important documents like board meeting minutes. Delays can raise concerns among unit owners, so it's advisable for boards to ensure that records are maintained and approved in a reasonable timeframe.

Effective Communication: To maintain transparency and build trust with unit owners, condominium corporations should communicate any delays or challenges they face in providing records. Keeping owners informed about the reasons for delays, such as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, can help alleviate concerns and prevent unnecessary disputes.

Efficient Dispute Resolution: The case highlights the importance of having a structured dispute resolution process in place. Unit owners should have access to a fair and efficient process, such as the Condominium Authority Tribunal, to address concerns related to record access. This ensures that disputes are resolved fairly and in a timely manner.

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