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Grant v. York Condominium Corporation No. 17 - 2022 ONCAT 88 - 2022-08-19

Corporation:

GYCC 17

Date:

2022-08-19

Under:

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

Summary:

In the case of Grant v. York Condominium Corporation No. 17, the Applicant requested various core records from York Condominium Corporation No. 17 (YCC 17), which is a condominium corporation. The requested records included the Condominium Corporation Declaration, Bylaws, Rules, financial documents, and meeting minutes. YCC 17 failed to provide these records to the Applicant, leading to a dispute.

Despite being aware of the hearing, YCC 17 chose not to participate and did not provide any of the requested records. The Tribunal found that the Applicant was entitled to these records under the Condominium Act, 1998 and its regulations. The Respondent, YCC 17, did not have a reasonable excuse for not providing the records. Therefore, the Tribunal ordered that YCC 17 provide the requested records and imposed a penalty of $4,000 for its failure to provide the records. The Applicant was also awarded costs of $200.

Verdict:

In the case of Grant v. York Condominium Corporation No. 17, the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) ordered that the Respondent, YCC 17, must provide the requested records to the Applicant, pay a $4000 penalty for refusal without a reasonable excuse, reimburse the Applicant's $200 CAT filing fees, and give the Applicant a credit for their common expenses to ensure they don't bear the financial burden. This case emphasizes the importance of adhering to legal obligations, the imposition of penalties for non-compliance, and the CAT's commitment to fair and convenient dispute resolution.

Takeaways:

Entitlement to Core Records: Condominium owners have the legal right to access certain core records of the condominium corporation. These records typically include the declaration, bylaws, rules, financial statements, meeting minutes, and more, as defined by the Condominium Act and its regulations.

No Reasonable Excuse for Non-Compliance: Condominium corporations must provide requested core records to unit owners without a reasonable excuse. Failure to do so may result in penalties, as demonstrated in this case. It is essential for condominium corporations to understand and fulfill their legal obligations regarding record access.

Penalties for Non-Compliance: The Condominium Act provides the authority for tribunals to impose penalties on condominium corporations that refuse to provide core records without reasonable excuse. Penalties can be substantial, as demonstrated by the $4,000 penalty imposed in this case. It serves as a deterrent to non-compliance with record access requests.

Recommendations: 

1. Compliance with Record Requests: Condominium corporations must comply with unit owners' requests for core records as defined by applicable regulations and the Condominium Act. Failure to do so without a reasonable excuse can result in penalties and additional costs.

2. Importance of Participation: Parties involved in disputes, such as condominium corporations, should actively participate in the legal process. Choosing not to participate, especially when obligations are clear, can lead to adverse outcomes.

3. Clear Communication: It's important for all parties involved to maintain clear and professional communication throughout the process. Failing to provide explanations or reasonable excuses for non-compliance can lead to unfavorable decisions. Additionally, requests for unrelated matters should not be used as an excuse to withhold core records. Condominium corporations should be aware of their legal obligations and responsibilities.

4. Consideration of Penalties: The case highlights the potential substantial penalties that can be imposed when a party refuses to provide requested records without a reasonable excuse. Condominium corporations should be aware of the financial consequences of non-compliance with the Condominium Act and its regulations. It is essential to take such obligations seriously and act in accordance with the law.

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