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Emerald PG Holdings Ltd. v. Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 2519 - 2023 ONCAT 188 - 2023-12-04

Corporation:

EPHLTSCC 2519

Date:

Mon Dec 04 2023 05:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Under:

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

Summary:

In the case of Emerald PG Holdings Ltd. v. Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 2519 (2023 ONCAT 188), the Condominium Authority Tribunal ordered TSCC 2519 to provide Emerald with the Aged Receivable Report (ARR), upholding Emerald's entitlement under the Condominium Act, 1998. This marks the third time Emerald sought access to the ARR. TSCC 2519 was found to be unreasonably refusing access without proper redactions. The Tribunal imposed a penalty of $5,000, reimbursed Emerald $200 for Tribunal fees, and awarded $510 for costs. TSCC 2519 must comply with subsection 55(3) of the Act. The decision clarified that TSCC 2519's refusal lacked a reasonable excuse, emphasizing past compliance.

Verdict:

In this case, the Condominium Authority Tribunal ordered Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 2519 to provide Emerald PG Holdings Ltd. with the Aged Receivable Report (ARR) within 30 days, emphasizing Emerald's entitlement to the record with reasonable redactions. The tribunal imposed severe consequences, including a $5,000 penalty, reimbursement of $200 for Tribunal fees, and $510 for Emerald's costs, citing TSCC 2519's unreasonable refusal to comply for the third time. The decision underscores the importance of condominium corporations adhering to statutory obligations and the serious repercussions for repeated non-compliance with access to records requests.

Takeaways:

Persistent Non-Compliance: The case involves Emerald PG Holdings Ltd.'s third application for access to the Aged Receivable Report (ARR) from Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 2519 (TSCC 2519), highlighting a pattern of non-compliance.

Severe Consequences Imposed: In response to TSCC 2519's continued refusal, the Tribunal imposed significant consequences, including a $5,000 penalty, reimbursement of $200 for Emerald's Tribunal fees, and $510 for the costs incurred in the application.

Entitlement to Records Upheld: The Tribunal affirmed Emerald's entitlement to the ARR, emphasizing that while TSCC 2519 can redact specific information, it cannot unreasonably refuse access.

Unreasonable Conduct: TSCC 2519's conduct was deemed unreasonable, causing delays and expenses for Emerald, leading to the imposition of penalties and cost reimbursement.

Compliance Directive: The Tribunal ordered TSCC 2519 to bring itself into compliance with subsection 55(3) of the Condominium Act within 30 days, reinforcing the obligation of condominium corporations to adhere to statutory requirements.

Recommendations: 

Compliance Training for TSCC 2519: In order to prevent further instances of non-compliance with access to records requests, TSCC 2519 should consider implementing compliance training for its staff and representatives. This training should focus on the statutory obligations under the Condominium Act, 1998, particularly emphasizing the importance of timely and reasonable responses to owners' requests for records.

Establish Clear Protocols for Record Requests: TSCC 2519 should develop and communicate clear protocols and procedures for handling record requests, especially those related to the Aged Receivable Report. This should include guidelines on redaction processes, ensuring that any redactions made are reasonable and minimal, consistent with previous Tribunal Orders. Clear protocols can help streamline the response process and avoid unnecessary disputes.

Enhanced Communication Channels: Improving communication between Emerald and TSCC 2519 can contribute to the resolution of disputes more efficiently. TSCC 2519 should explore enhanced communication channels, such as mediation or early dispute resolution mechanisms, to address concerns before they escalate to the level of a formal application. Open lines of communication can foster a more cooperative relationship between condominium corporations and owners.

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