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Joe Micieli v Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation no. 1753 - 2018 ONCAT 5 - 2018-06-25

Corporation:

JMTSCC 1753

Date:

2018-06-25

Under:

CAT Decisions - Decision
Access to Records
Adequacy of Records

Summary:

In the case of Joe Micieli v Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1753 (2018 ONCAT 5), the Condominium Authority Tribunal addressed the applicant's request for access to specific records under the Condominium Act, 1998. The issues involved audited financial statements, bank drafts, and a contract with the property management company. The Tribunal found that the Respondent was not unreasonably withholding records and acknowledged their efforts to resolve the matter. While some records were not immediately available, the Respondent committed to providing them soon. The Tribunal ordered the Respondent to notify the Applicant about the completion of audited financial statements and to provide bank statements, meeting the Applicant's requests.

Verdict:

In the case of Joe Micieli v. Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1753, the Tribunal determined that the condominium corporation was not unreasonably withholding access to the requested records. The Board of Directors demonstrated a genuine intent to address the outstanding issues related to audited financial statements and bank statements, and the Tribunal ordered the corporation to fulfill its undertaking to provide the required records in accordance with the Condominium Act, emphasizing the importance of transparency and adherence to statutory obligations in record access matters.

Takeaways:

Timely Access to Records: The decision in Joe Micieli v Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1753 highlights the importance of timely access to condominium records under the Condominium Act, 1998. The Tribunal underscores the transparency principles embedded in the Act, encouraging condominium corporations to provide meaningful updates to owners about the status of records, such as audited financial statements.

Cooperative Resolution: The case acknowledges the commendable efforts of both the applicant and respondent in trying to resolve the issues cooperatively. This emphasizes the collaborative nature of the dispute resolution process within the Tribunal framework.

Scope of Tribunal's Jurisdiction: The Tribunal clarifies its jurisdiction, stating that it cannot delve into broader issues related to a director's role or audit practices beyond the specific records dispute under Section 55 of the Act.

Commitment to Open Books Principle: The decision reinforces the Act's strengthened "open books" principle, emphasizing the condominium corporation's obligation to provide access to records to unit owners.

Specific Orders: The Tribunal issues clear and specific orders, directing the respondent to notify the applicant about the completion of audited financial statements and to provide bank statements promptly, demonstrating the enforceability of the Tribunal's decisions.

Recommendations: 

Enhance Communication Protocols:
Encourage condominium corporations to establish and improve communication protocols with unit owners regarding the status of ongoing record requests. Develop standardized processes to provide regular updates on the progress of obtaining requested records, especially in cases where challenges or delays arise. This proactive communication can help manage expectations and foster transparency between the condominium corporation and unit owners.

Training for Board Members:
Advocate for training programs or resources aimed at educating condominium board members on their responsibilities, especially concerning financial matters and record-keeping. Ensuring that board members have a clear understanding of their obligations under the Condominium Act, 1998, can contribute to more efficient handling of records requests and related matters.

Streamline Record Retrieval Processes:
Encourage condominium corporations to review and streamline their processes for retrieving and organizing records. This includes establishing clear procedures for working with auditors, property management companies, and other entities involved in record-keeping. Efficient processes can help prevent delays in providing requested records and contribute to a more transparent and responsive governance structure.

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