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Comtois v. Ottawa-Carleton Standard Condominium Corporation No. 783 - 2021 ONCAT 100 - 2021-10-28

Corporation:

COCSCC 783

Date:

2021-10-28

Under:

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

Summary:

In the case of Comtois v Ottawa-Carleton Standard Condominium Corporation No 783, the applicant requested access to various records from the condominium corporation. The corporation provided electronic copies of most of the requested records but refused to provide board meeting minutes for the last 12 months, claiming that those records did not exist. The applicant argued that the corporation failed to provide the records she was entitled to and also failed to keep adequate records as required by the Condominium Act. The condominium authority tribunal conducted a bilingual written hearing and considered the evidence presented. The tribunal had to decide whether the corporation provided all the requested records, whether they had failed to keep adequate records, and whether to order the payment of costs and penalties.

Verdict:

The Condominium Authority Tribunal found that the condominium corporation (Ottawa-Carleton Standard Condominium Corporation No 783) failed to provide all the requested records to the unit owner. Additionally, the tribunal concluded that the corporation did not keep adequate records as required by the Condominium Act. The lesson from this case is that transparency and access to records are essential in condominium corporations, and failure to provide records and maintain adequate records may result in penalties or costs imposed by the tribunal.

Takeaways:

Access to records: The applicant requested various records from the condominium corporation, including meeting minutes, financial statements, and contracts. While most of the records were provided in electronic copies, the corporation claimed that some records, particularly the board meeting minutes for the last 12 months, did not exist. This case highlights the importance of ensuring transparency and access to records for unit owners as outlined in the Condominium Act.

Adequacy of records: The applicant also argued that the corporation failed to keep adequate records as required by the Condominium Act. This raises a critical issue regarding the responsibility of condominium corporations to maintain accurate and complete records to facilitate transparency, accountability, and the rights of unit owners.

Dispute resolution: The case was presented to the Condominium Authority Tribunal, which conducted a written online hearing to evaluate the evidence and make a decision. This demonstrates the role of the tribunal in resolving disputes related to condominium matters, such as access to records, adequacy of records, and potential penalties or costs.

Recommendations: 

Ensure compliance with record-keeping requirements: Condominium corporations should review and assess their record-keeping practices to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Condominium Act. This includes maintaining accurate and complete records, including meeting minutes, financial statements, contracts, and other relevant documents.

Enhance transparency and access to records: Condominium corporations should prioritize transparency and provide timely access to requested records to unit owners. It is crucial to respond promptly and diligently to record requests, providing electronic copies whenever possible to facilitate access for unit owners.

Prioritize communication and collaboration: Effective communication between condominium corporations and unit owners is essential. Condominium corporations should establish clear channels of communication to address inquiries, record requests, and other concerns raised by unit owners. This helps foster a positive working relationship and ensures transparency throughout the decision-making process.

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