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Margaret Samuel v Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 979 and Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 989 - 2019 ONCAT 9 - 2019-04-11

Corporation:

MMSMTCC and MTCC 989

Date:

2019-04-11

Under:

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

Summary:

The case of Margaret Samuel v Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No 979 and Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No 989 revolves around the issue of whether email addresses provided to the condominium corporations by unit owners and mortgagees are part of the Record of Owners and Mortgagees. The applicant requested the Tribunal to order the condominium corporations to provide her with the email addresses and to assess a penalty for their refusal, along with requesting costs. The respondents argued that email addresses are not part of the record and are excluded from the corporations' obligation to provide records. The Tribunal ultimately found that the applicant was not entitled to examine or obtain copies of email addresses, and no penalty or costs were assessed. The decision involves the interpretation of the Condominium Act and its requirements for maintaining records of owners and mortgagees.

Verdict:

the decision in the case of Margaret Samuel v Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No 979 and Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No 989 determined that the applicant was not entitled to access or obtain copies of the email addresses of owners and mortgagees. The tribunal ruled that email addresses do not form part of the Record of Owners and Mortgagees and are considered confidential. This case underscores the importance of interpreting the applicable legislation, in this case, the Condominium Act, to determine the scope of records that must be provided by condominium corporations and the confidentiality of certain information.

Takeaways:

Dispute over email addresses: The key issue in this case was whether email addresses provided to the condominium corporations by unit owners and mortgagees should be considered part of the Record of Owners and Mortgagees. The applicant argued that email addresses should be included in the records, while the condominium corporations disagreed and considered them confidential.

Interpretation of the Condominium Act: The tribunal had to interpret the Condominium Act to determine whether email addresses fell within the scope of the Record of Owners and Mortgagees. The Act requires corporations to maintain a record of owners and their agreements for electronic communication, but it does not explicitly state whether email addresses should be included.

Decision: The tribunal ultimately ruled in favor of the condominium corporations, stating that the applicant was not entitled to examine or obtain copies of the email addresses. No penalty or costs were assessed. The decision was based on the interpretation of the Act and its requirements for maintaining records.

Recommendations: 

Review and update records maintenance policies: Condominium corporations should review their policies and procedures regarding the maintenance of records, specifically addressing what information should be included and what should be considered confidential. This will ensure clarity and consistency in record-keeping practices.

Seek legal advice when interpreting legislation: When disputes arise regarding the interpretation of legislation, such as the Condominium Act, it is recommended to seek legal advice to ensure a proper understanding of rights and obligations. Legal guidance can help navigate complex legal provisions and ensure compliance with the law.

Enhance communication practices: In light of the case's focus on email addresses, it is important for condominium corporations to enhance their communication practices. This includes providing owners with clear information on how their contact information will be used, obtaining explicit consent for electronic communication, and ensuring that owners have a convenient and secure method to update their contact information.

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