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Mariam Verjee v York Condominium Corporation No. 43 - 2019 ONCAT 37 - 2019-09-20

Corporation:

MVYCC 43

Date:

2019-09-20

Under:

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

Summary:

In the case of Mariam Verjee v York Condominium Corporation No. 43, the Applicant, a unit owner and former director, requested and received several records from the condo corporation. However, the Applicant was dissatisfied with the accuracy of the Owners' List and claimed that the Respondent did not fully respond to their request regarding the condominium management's policy on unpaid common expenses. The Tribunal found that while there were some inaccuracies in the Owners' List, the Respondent made efforts to maintain an accurate record. Furthermore, the Respondent provided the requested policy, although it was not the exact document referred to by the Applicant. The Tribunal ordered a penalty of $75 for the Respondent's delay in providing the Owners' List but determined that no penalty was warranted for the response to the request regarding the policy.

Verdict:

The Respondent had a legal obligation to keep the Owner's list "as accurate as possible." If the Respondent fails to respond to an applicant's request within the required 30-day timeline, it constitutes an initial refusal without reasonable excuse, which warrants a penalty. Additionally, the listing of any units should only be done if they are identified as part of the condominium and are not just common elements.

Takeaways:

Inaccuracies in the Owners' List: The Applicant claimed that the Owners' List provided by the Respondent was inaccurate and included references to owners who had passed away or moved away, as well as an erroneous reference to ownership of a common area. However, the Tribunal found that these inaccuracies were not necessarily indications of ownership changes and that the Respondent had made efforts to maintain an accurate record.

Response to Request for Policy: The Applicant requested the condominium management's policy on unpaid common expenses, but the Respondent provided a different policy that they considered to be the official one. The Applicant alleged a contradiction between the two policies, but the Tribunal ruled that the issue was not the content of the policy but rather whether the Respondent had fully responded to the request. The Respondent's provision of the official policy promptly after the request was considered a full response.

Penalty for Delay: The Respondent was found to have delayed in providing the Owners' List to the Applicant, contrary to the requirement of responding within 30 days. As a result, the Tribunal ordered a penalty of $75 for the delay, as it was considered an initial refusal of the request without reasonable excuse.

Recommendations: 

Ensure the accuracy of the Owners' List: The Respondent, York Condominium Corporation No. 43, should improve their efforts to maintain an accurate Owners' List by regularly updating it with accurate owner information. This will help prevent any misunderstandings or inaccuracies in the future.

Promptly respond to record requests within the required timeframe: The Respondent should adhere to the legal obligation of responding to record requests within 30 days, as stated in Section 13.3(6) of Ontario Regulation 48/01. This will avoid any penalties or delays caused by initial refusal without a reasonable excuse.

Clarify and communicate the existence of official policies: The Respondent should ensure that official policies, such as the Official Lien Policy of YCC 43, are clearly communicated to unit owners and easily accessible. This can help prevent any misunderstandings or confusion regarding the existence and contents of relevant policies.

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