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Cumming v. York Condominium Corporation No. 116 - 2023 ONCAT 44 - 2023-03-21

Corporation:

CYCC 116

Date:

2023-03-21

Under:

CAT Decisions - Dismissal Order
Other Type of Nuisance, Annoyance or Disruption

Summary:

In the case of Cumming v. York Condominium Corporation No. 116, the applicant, filed an application with the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) regarding a dispute related to bed bugs infesting her unit. The CAT reviewed the application but proposed to dismiss it on the grounds that the issues raised were outside its jurisdiction. The CAT determined that the application did not identify any provisions in the condominium corporation's governing documents that prohibit, restrict, or govern infestation issues. The applicant provided evidence of bites consistent with bed bugs but the CAT stated that it only has jurisdiction over issues falling under specific sections of the Condominium Act. Accordingly, the CAT ordered the case to be dismissed.

Verdict:

In the case of Cumming v. York Condominium Corporation No. 116 (2023 ONCAT 44), the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) dismissed the application because it fell outside the CAT's jurisdiction. The applicant filed a dispute related to bed bug infestations, but the CAT can only address issues governed by the condominium's governing documents. The CAT clarified that the issues presented were not within its jurisdiction, leading to the dismissal of the application. The key lesson is that the CAT's jurisdiction is defined by specific regulations, and cases must relate to matters governed by the condominium's governing documents for the CAT to have the authority to address them.




Takeaways:

In the case of Cumming v. York Condominium Corporation No. 116 (2023 ONCAT 44), the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) dismissed the applicant's case for specific reasons:

CAT's jurisdiction: The CAT's jurisdiction is determined by Ontario Regulation 179/17, and it can only address issues falling within that jurisdiction.

Nuisance, annoyance, or disruption: The application was related to a dispute involving bed bugs infesting the applicant's unit, allegedly originating from a neighbor's unit. For CAT to accept such cases, the issues must be governed by the condominium's governing documents.

Governing document provisions: The applicant did not identify any provisions in the governing documents that prohibited, restricted, or governed issues related to infestations, making it outside CAT's jurisdiction.

Jurisdictional error: While the applicant cited the Condo Act's section 117(1), the CAT only has jurisdiction over issues falling under section 117(2) of the Act.

The CAT ordered the dismissal of the application due to its lack of jurisdiction to address the issues raised by the applicant.




Recommendations: 

Review the Condominium's Governing Documents: The Applicant, Carol Cumming, should thoroughly review the condominium corporation's governing documents, including the declaration, by-laws, and rules. Specifically, she should look for any provisions that relate to nuisances, annoyances, or disruptions, even if they are not explicitly related to bed bug infestations. In some cases, the governing documents may have broader provisions that could indirectly cover such issues. Identifying these provisions is crucial if she intends to pursue a case related to bed bug infestations.

Consult Legal Advice: It's advisable for the Applicant to seek legal advice, especially if she believes that the bed bug infestation issue should fall within the jurisdiction of the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT). A legal expert with experience in condominium law can provide guidance on how to present the case to the CAT, explore potential arguments or interpretations of the governing documents, and help draft a stronger application if a case is deemed appropriate.

Engage in Dispute Resolution with the Condominium Corporation: In cases where there are disputes with a condominium corporation, it's often beneficial to engage in alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as mediation or negotiation. These processes can help the parties involved reach a mutually agreeable solution without going through a formal tribunal hearing. The Applicant might consider requesting mediation or attempting to resolve the bed bug infestation issue through direct communication with the condominium corporation before pursuing a CAT application.

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