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Cameron v. Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 2078 - 2021 ONCAT 83 - 2021-09-17

Corporation:

CTSCC 2078

Date:

2021-09-17

Under:

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

Summary:

In the case of Cameron v. Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 2078, the applicant submitted multiple requests for records regarding a special assessment levy that the respondent imposed on unit owners to cover costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The applicant requested both core and non-core records but received only a portion of the requested records. While the tribunal found that there was valid delivery of the requests, it also found that the applicant was not entitled to all the records and ordered the production of certain records held by the respondent. However, no penalty was awarded in the circumstances of the case. The case underscores the importance of proper record-keeping practices and responding to records requests within the required timeframes under the Condominium Act.

Verdict:

In this case, a unit owner of a residential condominium submitted multiple requests to obtain several core and non-core records. The decision found that there was valid delivery of the requests but not all the records requested were provided. The condo corporation was ordered to produce certain records it may have had in its possession, and a penalty was not awarded in the circumstances of the case. The takeaway from this case is that as a condo owner, you have statutory rights to access both core and non-core records, and condo corporations have an obligation to provide requested records within a reasonable time frame. However, not all requested records may necessarily be produced if the tribunal finds they're not entitled under the Condominium Act. Proper record-keeping practices and compliance with the act are critical to avoiding disputes and penalties in the condo management industry.

Takeaways:

Proper record-keeping practices and responding to records requests within the required timeframes under the Condominium Act are critical in the condo management industry.

Condo owners have statutory rights to access both core and non-core records and to be provided with a suitable response by the condo corporation within a reasonable time.

The CAT Order under section 1.44 of the Condominium Act mandates condo corporations to provide requested records where such records are required under the act or were in the possession of the condo corporation when the request was made.

The decision in this case suggests that not all requested records may be produced if the tribunal finds that such records are not entitled under the Act.

Under the Condominium Act, a penalty may be awarded to an applicant if the respondent fails to provide the requested records or deliberately interferes with the applicant's right to access records; however, a penalty is not automatically awarded in every case.

Recommendations: 

Improve record-keeping practices: In order to avoid disputes and penalties, condominium corporations should ensure that they have proper record-keeping practices in place. This includes promptly responding to record requests, maintaining organized and accessible records, and complying with the requirements set forth in the Condominium Act.

Enhance communication and transparency: To minimize conflicts and improve relations between unit owners and condo corporations, it is essential to maintain open lines of communication and provide transparent information. This includes adequately informing unit owners about important decisions and providing access to the relevant records and documents related to those decisions.

Seek legal advice when necessary: If a dispute arises regarding access to records or other condominium matters, it is advisable for both unit owners and condo corporations to seek legal advice. Engaging legal counsel can help ensure compliance with the Condominium Act, navigate the tribunal process effectively, and help resolve conflicts in a legally sound manner.

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