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Comtois v. Ottawa-Carlton Standard Condominium Corporation No. 783 - 2022 ONCAT 114 - 2022-10-25

Corporation:

COCSCC 783

Date:

2022-10-25

Under:

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

Summary:

The case "Comtois v Ottawa-Carlton Standard Condominium Corporation No 783" involves a dispute over access to records between a unit owner, and the condominium corporation. The applicant requested both core and non-core records, but the corporation disputed providing some of the non-core records. The condominium authority tribunal found that the corporation had provided all the core records but not all the non-core records within the prescribed time limits. However, the tribunal did not view the late provision of records as a refusal and did not impose any penalties. The tribunal also clarified that the management of the corporation was outside of its jurisdiction.

Verdict:

The case titled "Comtois v Ottawa-Carlton Standard Condominium Corporation No 783" involved a dispute over the access to and adequacy of records requested by the unit owner. The Condominium Authority Tribunal found that the corporation had provided the unit owner with all the core records she was entitled to and many of the non-core records, although some were provided late. No penalty was assessed against the corporation for late provision of records. The lesson from this case is that condominium corporations have a responsibility to provide unit owners with access to requested records within the prescribed time limits, and failure to do so may result in penalties.

Takeaways:

Access to Records: The case revolved around the unit owner requesting access to both core and non-core records from the condominium corporation. The tribunal found that the unit owner was entitled to the core records, which include items such as the by-laws, financial statements, and meeting minutes.

Late Provision of Records: While the corporation provided many of the requested non-core records, some were provided after the prescribed time limits. However, the tribunal did not consider this as a refusal to provide the records and did not penalize the corporation.

Scope of Requested Records: The unit owner requested records dating back to 2013, which the tribunal deemed as very broad. The tribunal clarified that the corporation had provided all the core records she was entitled to and many of the non-core records within the requested time frame.

Recommendations: 

Improve Record-Keeping Practices: The case highlights the importance of maintaining adequate records as required by the Condominium Act. To avoid disputes and potential penalties, it is recommended that condominium corporations implement robust record-keeping practices. This includes accurately documenting core records such as financial statements, meeting minutes, and owners' records, as well as non-core records that might be requested by unit owners.

Timely Provision of Records: While the tribunal did not penalize the corporation in this case for providing some records after the prescribed time limits, it is advisable for condominium corporations to prioritize timely provision of requested records to unit owners. This can help maintain transparency and prevent unnecessary delays or misunderstandings.

Clarify Scope of Requested Records: It is important for both unit owners and condominium corporations to have a clear understanding of the scope of requested records. In this case, the tribunal mentioned that the unit owner request for records dating back to 2013 was very broad. To optimize efficiency and avoid unnecessary burden, it is recommended for unit owners to specify the specific time frame and types of records they require, while condominium corporations should clarify any ambiguity in the request and provide records accordingly.

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