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Gingras v. Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 2423 - 2023 ONCAT 155 - 2023-10-17

Corporation:

GTSCC 2423

Date:

Tue Oct 17 2023 00:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Under:

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

Summary:

In the case of Gingras v. Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 2423, a decision was issued on October 17, 2023, under section 1.44 of the Condominium Act, 1998. The Applicant, a unit owner, requested records on two occasions, receiving only partial documentation. Despite ample notice, the Respondent failed to participate adequately, leading to a finding that the Respondent refused to provide records without a reasonable excuse. The decision orders the Respondent to provide specific records, reimburse the Applicant for filing fees, and pay a penalty of $2500 for non-compliance.

Verdict:

In the case of Gingras v. Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 2423, the respondent failed to provide the applicant with requested records without a reasonable excuse. The Tribunal ordered the respondent to provide the outstanding records, pay a penalty of $2500, and reimburse the applicant's filing fees of $200. The lesson highlights the importance of timely and complete disclosure of condominium records, and failure to comply may result in penalties and costs awarded by the Tribunal.




Takeaways:

Incomplete Records Disclosure: Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 2423, the Respondent, failed to provide unit owner Merise Gingras with several requested records, leading to a dispute under the Condominium Act, 1998.

Minimized Participation: Despite multiple warnings and opportunities, the Respondent minimally participated in the Stage 2 – Mediation and did not engage in the hearing, indicating a lack of cooperation.

Penalty and Costs Imposed: The Decision by Member Marc Bhalla orders a penalty of $2500 against the Respondent for refusing records without reasonable excuse. Additionally, the Respondent must reimburse the Applicant's filing fees of $200.

Outstanding Records: The Respondent is directed to provide specific outstanding records to the Applicant without any cost within the stipulated timeframe.

Enforcement Mechanism: Non-compliance with the order may result in the Applicant offsetting the amounts against common expenses attributable to their unit(s), and enforcement can be pursued through the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

Recommendations: 

Enhanced Communication Protocols:

Recommend that Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 2423 (TSCC No. 2423) establishes clear and effective communication protocols for responding to records requests. This includes acknowledging requests promptly, providing regular updates on the status of the request, and offering reasonable explanations if there are delays or challenges in fulfilling the request. Improved communication can help build trust between the condominium corporation and unit owners, reducing the likelihood of disputes and the need for tribunal involvement.
Comprehensive Records Management Training:

Encourage TSCC No. 2423 to invest in comprehensive training programs for its staff, board members, and agents involved in records management. This training should cover the requirements of the Condominium Act, 1998, and its Regulations, emphasizing the importance of timely and complete responses to records requests. A well-trained team is essential for ensuring compliance with legal obligations, minimizing errors, and fostering a culture of transparency within the condominium corporation.
Proactive Review and Compliance Audits:

Recommend that TSCC No. 2423 initiates proactive reviews and compliance audits of its records management processes. Regular self-audits can help identify areas for improvement, ensure adherence to legal requirements, and streamline the records retrieval process. This proactive approach can contribute to a more efficient and responsive system, reducing the likelihood of disputes related to access to records. Consider suggesting the implementation of periodic internal audits or engaging external professionals to assess and enhance records management practices.

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