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Garcia v. Peel Standard Condominium Corporation No. 857 - 2021 ONCAT 115 - 2021-12-02

Corporation:

GPSCC 857

Date:

2021-12-02

Under:

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

Summary:

A condominium unit owner and board member sought access to documents related to the insurance policy of a shared parking facility governed by a shared facilities agreement (SFA) between Peel Standard Condominium Corporation No. 857 and Peel Standard Condominium Corporation No. 920. He believed that these documents, signed by both condominium corporations, were required records for his own corporation. However, the Respondent argued they did not possess the documents and doubted their existence. The CAT found it lacked jurisdiction to order the Respondent to initiate a dispute resolution process with the other corporation to obtain these documents. As the records were not demonstrated to be within the Respondent's obligation to maintain, no remedy or penalty was awarded, and neither party was entitled to costs.

Verdict:

The Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) found that it lacked jurisdiction to compel one condominium corporation to initiate a dispute resolution process with another to obtain certain documents. The CAT ruled that the documents the applicant sought were not within the obligations of the Respondent to maintain, ultimately dismissing the case and awarding no remedy or penalty to the applicant. Additionally, no costs were awarded to either party. This decision highlights the importance of jurisdiction and the specific obligations of parties under the Condominium Act in resolving disputes within the condominium context.

Takeaways:

A condominium unit owner and board member requested access to documents related to an insurance policy for a shared parking facility governed by a shared facilities agreement (SFA) between two condominium corporations.

The Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) found that it lacked jurisdiction to order one of the condominium corporations, Peel Standard Condominium Corporation No. 857, to initiate a dispute resolution process with the other corporation to obtain the documents Garcia was seeking.

The CAT determined that the records sought by Garcia, which he believed must have been signed by both condominium corporations, were not within the obligations of the Respondent (PSCC 857) to maintain.

Consequently, the CAT did not award any remedy or penalty to the applicant

Neither party was entitled to costs, and the case was dismissed with no costs to either party.

Recommendations: 

Clarity on Obligations and Records: It is essential for condominium corporations and their members to have a clear understanding of what records and documents are specifically required to be maintained under the Condominium Act, 1998. This can help prevent unnecessary disputes and legal actions over records that may not fall under their obligations.

Effective Communication and Dispute Resolution: Condominium corporations should establish effective communication channels between themselves and with other related entities, such as shared facility agreements. When disputes arise, they should first consider using the dispute resolution mechanisms provided in these agreements to maintain good relationships and avoid costly legal actions.

Legal Costs and Impact Assessment: Condominium corporations should carefully assess the potential costs and impact of legal disputes. In cases where a dispute may have a significant financial and relational impact, it may be wise to consider alternative dispute resolution methods or negotiations before proceeding with legal actions. Understanding the potential costs and benefits can guide decision-making in such situations.

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