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D'Onofrio v. Halton Condominium Corporation No. 363 - 2022 ONCAT 106 - 2022-10-11

Corporation:

DHCC 363

Date:

2022-10-11

Under:

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

Summary:

In the case of D'Onofrio v. Halton Condominium Corporation No. 363, the applicant who was the former president of the respondent condominium corporation, requested copies of the minutes from the last board meeting in which she participated. This board meeting occurred on November 17, 2020, just before the corporation's annual general meeting (AGM). The minutes were expected to be produced by the corporation's solicitor. Despite multiple requests, the solicitor did not provide the minutes. The Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) found that the corporation's refusal to produce the minutes was without reasonable excuse, and the applicant was entitled to receive the minutes. The tribunal ordered the corporation to produce the minutes and awarded the applicant reimbursement of her filing fees and a penalty of $300 against the corporation.

Verdict:

In the case of D'Onofrio v. Halton Condominium Corporation No. 363, the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) found that the Respondent condominium corporation, Halton Condominium Corporation No. 363, effectively refused to provide board meeting minutes, specifically those of a meeting held before their annual general meeting, as requested by the Applicant. As a result of this refusal, the Respondent was found to be in breach of the Condominium Act, 1998, and was ordered to produce the missing minutes and pay a penalty of $300. The CAT also awarded costs to the successful Applicant. This decision underscores the responsibility of condominium corporations to maintain records, highlights the importance of not using the absence of records as a reasonable excuse for refusal, and demonstrates the CAT's authority to impose penalties and order costs in cases of non-compliance, with the specific remedies tailored to the circumstances of each case. It further emphasizes the need for clarity and simplicity in record-keeping and continuity in the management of records during transitions.

Takeaways:

Responsibility for Records: Condominium corporations are legally obligated to maintain and provide records, including board meeting minutes, upon request.

Timely Compliance: The case highlights the importance of promptly responding to record requests and having a reasonable excuse for any delays or refusals.

Penalties for Non-compliance: Failure to provide records without reasonable justification can result in penalties, as seen in this case, where a $300 penalty was imposed on the corporation.

Recommendations: 

Responsibility for Maintaining Records: The case reinforces that condominium corporations are legally obligated to maintain minutes of their board meetings. This is a critical aspect of their record-keeping responsibilities under the Condominium Act, 1998.

No Reasonable Excuse for Refusal: It emphasizes that the absence of records is not a reasonable excuse for refusing to provide them when requested. Condominium corporations must ensure they have adequate records and cannot rely on external parties, like solicitors, as a justification for not producing necessary records.

Penalties and Costs: The case illustrates the authority of the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) to impose penalties on corporations that refuse to provide records without reasonable excuse. It also highlights that costs may be awarded to successful applicants, serving as a financial incentive for condominium corporations to comply with record requests.

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