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Emerald PG Holdings Ltd. v Metro Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 2519 - 2019 ONCAT 5 - 2019-02-22

Corporation:

EPHLTSCC 2519

Date:

2019-02-22

Under:

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

Summary:

The case of Emerald PG Holdings Ltd v Metro Toronto Condominium Corporation No 2519 involved a dispute regarding the entitlement to records and the imposition of fees, costs, and penalties. The applicant sought access to specific records related to their commercial-retail units within the condominium managed by the respondent, Metro Toronto Condominium Corporation No 2519. The respondent initially agreed to provide some records but refused to provide copies of certain records claiming that they contained information related to specific unit owners. The tribunal found that the exception to the right to examine or obtain records applied to the extent that the records contained information related to specific units or owners. As a result, the respondent was not required to provide unredacted copies of the records. The tribunal ruled in favor of the applicant and granted them access to redacted copies of the requested records. The tribunal also awarded costs to the applicant but did not impose a penalty.

Verdict:

the case of Emerald PG Holdings Ltd v Metro Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 2519 involved an application for access to specific records related to a condominium corporation's financial statements. The applicant was granted some of the records requested but not all, and the tribunal found that the condo corporation was justified in withholding certain information related to specific unit owners. The decision emphasizes the importance of understanding the limits of the right to access condo corporation records, as records related to specific units or owners may fall under an exception to the right to examine or obtain records as set out in the Condominium Act. The case also highlights the importance of communication and cooperation between the condo corporation and unit owners in order to prevent disputes and legal action.

Takeaways:

Comply with record retention requirements: Ensure that all records are safely kept and stored in accordance with the requirements outlined in the Condominium Act and Regulation 4801. This will help prevent penalties and non-compliance issues.

Timely response to record requests: Respond to unit owners' requests for records within 30 days, using the designated form specified by the Minister responsible for the Condominium Act. This will demonstrate transparency and adherence to the law.

Maintain accurate and up-to-date records: Regularly update and maintain accurate records, including minutes of board meetings and other relevant documents. This will help avoid potential disputes and ensure transparency within the condominium corporation.

Recommendations: 

Improve Communication and Cooperation: Encourage condominium corporations to establish effective lines of communication with unit owners and respond promptly to requests for records. By fostering better communication and cooperation, potential disputes and legal action can be avoided.

Clarify the Scope of Access to Records: Provide clearer guidelines or regulations on what types of records can be requested and accessed by unit owners. This would help prevent disputes over the extent of access to specific records and ensure a consistent approach among condominium corporations.

Enhance Training for Condominium Boards: Provide training and education programs for condominium board members to help them understand their obligations and responsibilities in granting access to records. This could include providing guidance on the exceptions to the right to access records and the proper procedures to follow when responding to requests.

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