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Crabbe v. Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 2150 - 2022 ONCAT 105 - 2022-10-06

Corporation:

CTSCC 2150

Date:

2022-10-06

Under:

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

Summary:

In the case of Crabbe v. Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 2150, the Applicant sought access to records related to water ingress into his condominium unit owned by Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 2150 (TSCC 2150). He argued that TSCC 2150 failed to respond to one of his requests and did not provide all the requested records in response to others. TSCC 2150 contended that it had fulfilled its obligations. The case revolved around three key requests for records, and the issues were whether TSCC 2150 provided all records to which the Applicant was entitled, whether they refused records unreasonably, and whether costs should be awarded.

Verdict:

Verdict:
The Tribunal found that the condominium corporation (TSCC 2150) had not provided all of the records the applicant was entitled to receive.

The Tribunal ordered TSCC 2150 to provide the applicant with copies of specific records, including emails or written correspondence from Trace Consulting containing reports or opinions of a professional engineer and invoices from Trace Consulting and Detail Roofing during the relevant period. These records were to be provided at no cost to the applicant.

The Tribunal ordered TSCC 2150 to reimburse the applicant $200, the amount he paid in Tribunal fees.

Lessons:
Transparency and Compliance: Condominium corporations are required to maintain transparency and provide owners with access to certain records. It's crucial for corporations to comply with legal requirements regarding the provision of records and to respond to owners' requests promptly and clearly.

Proper Documentation: Condominium corporations should ensure that they keep records as required by the Condominium Act and relevant regulations. In this case, correspondence that contained reports or opinions of a professional engineer was considered a record that must be kept by the corporation.

Communication: Clear and effective communication between owners and condominium corporations can help prevent disputes and the need for legal action. If owners have concerns or requests, it's advisable for the corporation to address them promptly and provide clear reasons for their decisions.

Takeaways:

The case dealt with an owner's right to access condominium corporation records under the Condominium Act, 1998. The Act specifies that certain records must be made available to owners, but not all documents are considered records.
The tribunal ruled that TSCC 2150 had not provided all the records the Applicant was entitled to receive. It ordered the corporation to provide specific records related to the roof repair and water ingress. The tribunal clarified that correspondence containing reports or opinions of professional engineers should be treated as records.
The tribunal did not find TSCC 2150's refusal to provide some records to be without reasonable excuse, and thus, no penalty was assessed. The tribunal awarded the Applicant the fees paid to the tribunal but did not award any additional costs to either party. The case highlighted the importance of clear and compliant responses to requests for records by condominium corporations and owners.

Recommendations: 

Compliance with Record-Keeping: Condominium corporations should review and ensure compliance with the Condominium Act and associated regulations regarding record-keeping. This includes understanding which documents and correspondence must be maintained as records.

Clear Responses: When responding to owners' requests for records, condominium corporations should provide clear and detailed explanations for their decisions, whether they decide to provide the records or refuse the request. This can help prevent misunderstandings and disputes.

Open Communication: Encourage open and constructive communication between owners and the condominium corporation to address concerns and questions promptly. Consider alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, to resolve issues before resorting to formal legal proceedings.

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