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Mellon v Halton Condominium Corporation No. 70 - 2019 ONCAT 2 - 2019-02-14

Corporation:

MHCC 70

Date:

2019-02-14

Under:

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

Summary:

In the case of Mellon v Halton Condominium Corporation No. 70, the applicant requested access to certain records from the condominium corporation. The requested records included the most recent approved financial statements and unaudited monthly financial statements. The respondent, Halton Condominium Corporation No. 70, provided the most recent auditors' report and redacted copies of board meeting minutes, but did not provide the unaudited monthly financial statements. The Tribunal determined that the most recent approved financial statements referred to the financial statements approved by the board for presentation at the annual general meeting. While the applicant was not entitled to the unaudited monthly financial statements, the Tribunal ordered the respondent to provide them for other reasons. The respondent was also permitted to charge a fee for providing the unaudited statements. No costs, fees, or penalties were awarded in the case.

Verdict:

it appears that the case of Mellon v Halton Condominium Corporation No. 70 involved a dispute relating to access to records in accordance with the Condominium Act. The Tribunal determined that the most recent approved financial statements referred to the audited financial statements approved by the board for presentation at the annual general meeting. The Tribunal also ordered the respondent to provide the unaudited monthly financial statements for other reasons but permitted them to charge a fee. The lesson from this case is that individuals have the right to access certain records from a condominium corporation, and while there may be limitations on the type of records they can obtain, a balance can be struck between access and reasonable fees.

Takeaways:

The most recent approved financial statements referred to the financial statements approved by the board for presentation at the annual general meeting.

While the applicant was not entitled to the unaudited monthly financial statements, the Tribunal ordered the respondent to provide them for other reasons.

The respondent was also permitted to charge a fee for providing the unaudited statements.

Redaction is not restricted to just unit owners names and unit numbers but the respondent appears to have redacted more information than was necessary to comply with the legislation.

No costs, fees, or penalties were awarded in the case.

Recommendations: 

Improve Compliance: The case highlights the importance of adhering to the forms and procedures outlined in the Condominium Act and associated regulations. To enhance compliance, it is recommended that organizations ensure that all required statements and information are included in their responses to requests for records. This will help avoid any potential non-compliance issues.

Clarify Terminology: There was a dispute regarding the interpretation of "most recent approved financial statements" on the statutory Request for Records form. To avoid confusion and misinterpretation, it is recommended that the condominium corporation provide clear and precise definitions of terms used in their forms and documents. This will help mitigate any potential discrepancies in understanding and ensure consistent interpretation among all parties involved.

Redaction Considerations: The case mentioned that the respondent appeared to have redacted more information than necessary to comply with legislation. It is recommended that organizations review their redaction practices to ensure they are only redacting information that is actually required by law. This will help strike the right balance between protecting sensitive information and ensuring transparency in record access.

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