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Jeff Berman v York Condominium Corporation No. 99 - 2018 ONCAT 2 - 2018-05-30

Corporation:

JBYCC 99

Date:

2018-05-30

Under:

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

Summary:

In the case of Jeff Berman v. York Condominium Corporation No. 99 (2018 ONCAT 2), the Condominium Authority Tribunal addressed the applicant's requests for records from York Condominium Corporation No. 99 (YCC99) related to Reserve Fund expenditures and Board meeting minutes. The tribunal found that the applicant had received the required records about the Reserve Fund and YCC99 Board of Directors' meetings. It concluded that YCC99 fulfilled its disclosure obligations, and compensation for alleged delays was deemed inappropriate. The decision highlights the importance of complying with the Condominium Act's disclosure requirements.

Verdict:

In the case of Jeff Berman v. York Condominium Corporation No. 99, the Tribunal found that the applicant had received all the records he requested concerning the Reserve Fund and the YCC99 Board of Directors' meetings. As a result, the Tribunal did not order any compensation or costs, emphasizing the responsive communication and lack of evidence for intentional delays on the part of YCC99 during the proceedings.

Takeaways:

Records Request Outcome: In the case of Jeff Berman v. York Condominium Corporation No. 99, the Tribunal addressed records requests related to YCC99's Reserve Fund expenditures for pool and walkway repairs and minutes of the August and September 2017 Board meetings. The Tribunal found that Mr. Berman received the requested records and additional explanations from YCC99, concluding that YCC99 fulfilled its obligations in disclosing the records.

Timeliness of Records: The decision emphasizes compliance with the Condominium Act's timelines for responding to records requests. The Tribunal notes that YCC99 responded to Mr. Berman's formal request within the required 30-day period.

Compensation Denial: Despite the applicant's claim of delays and incomplete responses, the Tribunal denies compensation, citing no persuasive evidence of intentional error or delay by YCC99 during the proceedings.

Clarity in Minutes: The Tribunal acknowledges concerns about clarity in the minutes but determines that YCC99 fulfilled its obligations regarding the records sought by the applicant.
Discretion in Awarding Costs: The decision highlights the Tribunal's discretion in awarding costs, considering the responsiveness of both parties during the proceeding and finding no evidence of intentional wrongdoing by YCC99.

Recommendations: 

Enhance Communication and Clarity in Minutes:
Recommend that condominium corporations, when preparing and providing meeting minutes, strive for clarity and completeness. This includes ensuring that minutes explicitly reflect decisions made, actions taken, and any subsequent changes in decisions. Clear and comprehensive minutes can contribute to a more transparent record and reduce the likelihood of disputes over the accuracy or completeness of the information provided.

Improve Declaration Accessibility:
Suggest that condominium corporations explore ways to enhance the accessibility and readability of Declarations for unit owners. This may involve digitizing older Declarations with poor print quality, providing additional context or explanations where necessary, and ensuring that unit owners can easily access the latest version of Declarations. Improved access to Declarations can contribute to better-informed unit owners and reduce misunderstandings.

Establish a Clear Protocol for Compensation Claims:
Recommend that the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) develops clear guidelines or a protocol for assessing compensation claims related to delays or non-compliance with records requests. This protocol could include specific criteria for determining when compensation is warranted, taking into account factors such as the timeliness and completeness of the initial response, the complexity of the records requested, and any demonstrated efforts to resolve the issues promptly. Having a transparent protocol can provide consistency in decision-making and help manage expectations of both unit owners and condominium corporations.

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