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Martis v. Peel Condominium Corporation No. 253 - 2021 ONCAT 110 - 2021-11-23

Corporation:

MPCC 253

Date:

2021-11-23

Under:

CAT Decisions - Decision
Compliance with Governing Documents
Indemnification or Compensation
Pets and Animals

Summary:

The case of Martis v Peel Condominium Corporation No 253 revolves around the interpretation of rules and policies regarding pets in the condominium. The applicant sought an exemption from the "No Pets Rule" to allow for the presence of an emotional support animal (ESA) for her son. The dispute primarily focused on the weight restriction imposed by the condominium corporation. The applicant argued that the weight restriction was unreasonable, while the condominium corporation contended that it was a reasonable condition for accommodation under the Human Rights Code. The Condominium Authority Tribunal found that the weight restriction imposed by the condominium corporation was valid, as long as it was not used to amend the "No Pets Rule" or the ESA exemption.

Verdict:

After a disagreement regarding the weight limit imposed on an emotional support animal by Peel Condominium Corporation No 253, a decision was made that while the corporation cannot use its rules to impose a weight restriction on an ESA, a 25-pound weight limit is not unreasonable. The case also highlighted the importance of considering human rights and accommodation in such disputes and the need for a quick resolution to disputes. Therefore, it could be said that the lesson here is that while reasonable restrictions can be imposed on an ESA accommodation, regulations and policies should not be used to impede individuals with disabilities from getting emotional support animals. Also, timely resolution of disputes is urged to ensure an accessible and quick resolution process.

Takeaways:

Dispute over weight restriction: The case involved a disagreement between the condominium corporation (PCC253) and the applicant regarding the weight restriction imposed on emotional support animals (ESAs). PCC253 sought to impose a weight limit of 25 pounds on any animal, while Martis argued that the weight restriction was unreasonable.

Validity of service animal policy: The validity of a service animal policy enacted by PCC253 after the applicant's request for an ESA was also contested. Martis submitted that the policy was unenforceable and irrelevant since it was introduced after her request. The tribunal found the service animal policy to be invalid and unenforceable.

Importance of quick resolution: The tribunal emphasized the need for a quick resolution to the case. It remarked that the duration of the case had been protracted, lasting more than twice the average duration for matters of this nature, and urged lawyers to respect the simplified hearing process and short time limits.

Reasonableness of weight limit: The tribunal concluded that while PCC253 cannot use its rules or service animal policy to impose a weight restriction on an ESA, a 25-pound weight limit was not unreasonable in this particular case.

Relevance of the Human Rights Code: Both the condominium corporation's rules and the Human Rights Code were deemed relevant to the decision, highlighting the importance of considering human rights and accommodation in such disputes.

Recommendations: 

The Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) should uphold the decision that Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No 2519 (TSCC2519) may charge fees for providing access to records.

However, the CAT should revise and reduce the fees claimed by TSCC2519, as it has been found that TSCC2519 inflated the number of hours required for redacting the records.

The CAT should adjust the fees charged by TSCC2519 to reflect a more reasonable reimbursement for labor and consider removing the printing fee, as the requested records are kept electronically and can be redacted in that format.

The CAT should also consider reducing the cost estimate for redacting the general ledger, as it has been previously provided in a redacted version with a lower page count.

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