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Mishibinijima v. Simcoe Condominium Corporation No. 60 et al. - 2023 ONCAT 150 - 2023-10-16

Corporation:

MSCC 60

Date:

Mon Oct 16 2023 00:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Under:

CAT Decisions - Motion Order
Noise

Summary:

In Mishibinijima v. Simcoe Condominium Corporation No. 60 et al. (2023 ONCAT 150), the Condominium Authority Tribunal issued a Motion Order on October 16, 2023, under Rule 4 of its Rules of Practice. The Applicant complained about noise from the unit above and requested an investigation by the Tribunal. The Respondent, Simcoe Condominium Corporation No. 60, requested to add the new owner of the upper unit, Christine Sapsford, as a party. The Tribunal granted the request, directing the Applicant to contact the Tribunal for case re-creation. The hearing was adjourned for six weeks. During this period, the parties were directed to conduct an independent investigation into noise, provide access, maintain a log, and inform the new owner, Christine Sapsford.

Verdict:

In Mishibinijima v. Simcoe Condominium Corporation No. 60 et al., the Tribunal ordered the addition of Christine Sapsford as an Intervenor in a noise dispute case involving the Upper Unit. The hearing was adjourned for six weeks to facilitate the addition of the new party, and during this period, directions were given for an independent third-party investigation into the noise, access to the applicant's unit, and the maintenance of logs by both parties to gather current evidence for the proceeding. The lesson underscores the Tribunal's authority to add parties and its emphasis on fair and efficient processes to address condominium disputes.

Takeaways:

New Party Addition: In the noise dispute case of Mishibinijima v. Simcoe Condominium Corporation No. 60 et al., the Tribunal, under Rule 4 and the Condominium Act, decides to add Christine Sapsford, the new owner of the Upper Unit, as an Intervenor due to the potential impact on the remedies sought by the Applicant.

Adjournment and Directions: The hearing is adjourned for six weeks to facilitate the addition of Christine Sapsford. During this period, the parties are directed to follow specific steps, including an independent third-party investigation by SCC60 into the noise and vibration, the Applicant providing access to his unit, and both parties keeping written logs of relevant activities.

Fair Process Considerations: The Tribunal emphasizes the need for a fair, focused, and efficient process, taking into account the changing circumstances with a new owner in the Upper Unit.

Evidence Gathering: The parties are directed to gather current evidence, including SCC60 investigating the nature of noise, the Applicant maintaining a log of experiences, and informing Christine Sapsford about the proceedings.

Procedural Adjustments: Rule 4.1 is invoked to allow the Tribunal to give directions or make orders for a fair and efficient process in the case, demonstrating the flexibility of procedures to address specific circumstances.

Recommendations: 

Mediation or Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Services:

Recommend that the parties, including the applicant Steve Mishibinijima, Simcoe Condominium Corporation No. 60 (SCC60), and intervenor Christine Sapsford, consider engaging in mediation or alternative dispute resolution services. Mediation could provide an opportunity for the parties to collaboratively address and resolve the noise and vibration issues without the need for a full tribunal hearing. A neutral third-party mediator can assist in facilitating communication, exploring potential solutions, and reaching a mutually agreeable resolution. This approach may lead to a quicker and more amicable resolution, benefiting all parties involved.
Enhanced Communication and Collaboration Protocols:

Recommend that SCC60 and the involved parties establish clear communication and collaboration protocols. This includes regular updates on the progress of investigations, sharing relevant information promptly, and maintaining an open dialogue. Improved communication can contribute to a more efficient resolution process and help address concerns in a timely manner. Encouraging all parties to actively participate and share information can foster a collaborative environment, potentially reducing the likelihood of future disputes.
Educational Initiatives on Noise Mitigation:

Recommend that SCC60 takes proactive steps to educate unit owners, including Christine Sapsford, on noise mitigation measures within condominium units. Providing educational materials or sessions on soundproofing techniques, acceptable noise levels, and respectful cohabitation can promote a more harmonious living environment. This initiative can empower unit owners to take preventive measures to minimize noise disturbances and contribute to a more peaceful condominium community. Education on noise management may prove beneficial in preventing similar disputes in the future.

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