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Brown v. Peel Condominium Corporation No. 21 - 2020 ONCAT 26 - 2020-08-05

Corporation:

BPCC 21

Date:

2020-08-05

Under:

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

Summary:

In the case of Brown v Peel Condominium Corporation No 21, the applicant requested records from the respondent, Peel Condominium Corporation No 21, that were denied by the corporation. The applicant alleged a lack of financial accountability and fiscal oversight by the board of directors. The Condominium Authority Tribunal determined that the applicant was entitled to receive most of the requested records, including governing condominium documents, records of owners and mortgagees, notices indicating leased units, financial records, and board of directors meeting minutes. The tribunal found that the respondent had refused to provide the records without a reasonable excuse and ordered the respondent to pay a penalty of $4,000 to the applicant. The tribunal also awarded the applicant costs of $200.

Verdict:

the quick verdict is that the Applicant was entitled to most of the requested records from Peel Condominium Corporation No 21. The tribunal found that the Respondent had refused to provide the records without a reasonable excuse and ordered the Respondent to pay a penalty of $4,000 to the Applicant. The lesson from this case is that condominium corporations should adhere to financial accountability and transparency requirements, and failure to provide requested records can result in penalties and costs for the corporation.

Takeaways:

Record entitlement: The applicant requested various records from the respondent, Peel Condominium Corporation No 21. The Condominium Authority Tribunal ruled that the applicant was entitled to most of the requested records, including governing condominium documents, records of owners and mortgagees, financial records, and board of directors meeting minutes.

Financial accountability and oversight: The applicant alleged a lack of financial accountability and fiscal oversight by the board of directors of the condominium corporation. Although the tribunal acknowledged these concerns, it stated that issues related to fiscal impropriety and the running of the self-managed corporation were beyond its jurisdiction.

Penalty and costs awarded: The respondent refused to provide the requested records without a reasonable excuse. As a result, the tribunal ordered the respondent to pay a penalty of $4,000 to the applicant. Additionally, the tribunal awarded costs of $200 to the applicant for bringing the matter before the tribunal.

Recommendations: 

Improve financial transparency and oversight: In order to avoid potential disputes and penalties, it is recommended that Peel Condominium Corporation No 21 enhance their financial transparency and oversight. This can be achieved by implementing proper accounting practices, maintaining accurate financial records, and providing timely access to those records to unit owners upon request.

Strengthen board governance and accountability: Given the allegations of fiscal impropriety and failure to carry out obligations, it is important for the board of directors of Peel Condominium Corporation No 21 to review and strengthen their governance practices. This may include regular training for board members to ensure they are aware of their responsibilities under the Condominium Act 1998, promoting transparency in decision-making, and conducting regular audits to ensure financial accountability.

Foster effective communication: To build trust and avoid misunderstandings, it is crucial for condominium corporations to establish clear and open lines of communication with unit owners. This includes providing regular updates on important matters such as financial statements, budgets, and meeting minutes. Additionally, establishing a platform for owners to voice their concerns and providing a timely response can help address potential disputes before they escalate.

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