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Kerswill v. Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 2595 - 2022 ONCAT 34 - 2022-04-13

Corporation:

KTSCC 2595

Date:

2022-04-13

Under:

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

Summary:

In the case of Kerswill v. Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 2595, the applicant sought access to various records from the respondent condominium corporation, as per the Condominium Act, 1998. The corporation failed to provide some of these records in a timely manner and refused to provide others without a reasonable excuse. Consequently, a penalty of $3,000 was imposed on the corporation for its non-compliance. The tribunal ordered the corporation to provide the requested records and awarded the applicant $200 in costs to cover her tribunal fees. Additionally, the corporation was directed to credit the penalty and costs against common expenses payable by the applicant.

Verdict:

Verdict: The condominium corporation, TSCC 2595, failed to provide requested records to the unit owner as required by the Condominium Act, 1998, without a reasonable excuse. As a result, they were ordered to pay a penalty of $3,000 and cover the unit owner's tribunal fees of $200, in addition to providing the requested records.

Lesson: This case highlights the importance of condominium corporations complying with legal obligations to provide requested records to unit owners in a timely and proper manner. Failure to do so can result in penalties and reimbursement of costs to the unit owner, reinforcing the significance of transparency and accountability within such organizations.

Takeaways:

Request for Records Compliance: The case underscores the importance of condominium corporations adhering to the timelines and format specified in the Condominium Act, 1998 when responding to unit owner requests for records, emphasizing the need for timely and proper responses.

Entitlement to Records: Unit owners have a legal entitlement to certain records, including owner and mortgagee lists, notices related to leased units, financial statements, auditor reports, and more, as mandated by the Condominium Act, 1998.

Refusal to Provide Records: Failure to provide these records without a reasonable excuse can be deemed a refusal, potentially resulting in penalties for the condominium corporation.

Penalties for Non-Compliance: The tribunal may impose penalties, in this case, $3,000, when a corporation unreasonably refuses to provide records, as a signal of non-compliance.

Reimbursement of Costs: Successful unit owners may be entitled to reimbursement of fees associated with bringing the case to the tribunal, reinforcing the idea that the burden of non-compliance may fall on the condominium corporation.

Recommendations: 

Compliance with Legal Obligations: Condominium corporations should prioritize compliance with legal obligations outlined in the Condominium Act, 1998. This includes responding to unit owner requests for records within the stipulated 30-day timeframe and using the mandatory government forms when providing responses.

Transparency and Accountability: Condominium corporations should maintain transparency and accountability in their financial and administrative matters. It's essential to provide unit owners with access to records they are entitled to under the Act, such as financial statements, auditor's reports, and meeting minutes.

Timely Resolution of Disputes: Both unit owners and condominium corporations should work towards the timely resolution of disputes related to record requests. Delays in providing requested records, especially without a reasonable excuse, can lead to penalties and additional costs. Open communication and cooperation can help prevent such disputes from escalating.

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