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Missal v. York Condominium Corporation No. 504 - 2022 ONCAT 2 - 2022-01-05

Corporation:

MYCC 504

Date:

2022-01-05

Under:

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

Summary:

In the case of Missal v. York Condominium Corporation No. 504, the applicant sought access to certain condominium records. York Condominium Corporation No. 504 provided the requested records but imposed a fee for copies of certain records. The issues in the case revolved around determining the reasonableness of the fee, whether certain records could be redacted, and whether a penalty or costs should be awarded due to a delayed response.

The tribunal found that the fee estimate was reasonable and that the requested records could be redacted in accordance with the law. The tribunal ordered the respondent to provide certain records and imposed a penalty of $500 on the respondent for refusing to provide records without a reasonable excuse. Costs of $75 were also awarded to the applicant.

Verdict:

In the case of Missal v. York Condominium Corporation No. 504, the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) decided that the condominium corporation should provide the applicant with a redacted General Ledger for repairs and maintenance for a specific period after the applicant pays a reasonable fee. The tribunal also imposed a penalty of $500 on the condominium corporation for failing to provide requested records without a reasonable excuse and awarded the applicant costs of $75 for the CAT process.

Takeaways:

The case of Missal v. York Condominium Corporation No. 504 involved a dispute over access to condominium records, fees, and penalties under the Condominium Act, 1998 in Ontario, Canada.

The Applicant requested access to specific records in electronic format, including the Record of Owners and Mortgagees and the General Ledger for Repairs and Maintenance from YCC#504, the Respondent. The Respondent initially failed to respond within the legislated timeline, leading to the involvement of the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT).

The tribunal determined that the Respondent's fee estimate of $167.60 for providing the requested ledger was reasonable, as it covered actual labor and delivery costs, including the retrieval of records stored offsite.

The tribunal allowed the Respondent to redact the ledger information related to specific units or owners, in compliance with the Act.

A penalty of $500 was imposed on the Respondent for their initial refusal to provide records without a reasonable excuse, emphasizing the seriousness of complying with legal obligations. The Applicant was awarded costs, including the CAT filing fees incurred due to the Respondent's actions.

Recommendations: 

Enhanced Communication and Timely Response: Condominium corporations should prioritize timely communication and response to records requests made by unit owners. In this case, the Respondent's initial failure to provide a timely response led to the involvement of the Condominium Authority Tribunal. To avoid similar situations, condominium corporations should ensure that they promptly acknowledge records requests and adhere to legislated timelines for response.

Clear and Transparent Fee Estimates: Condominium corporations should provide clear and reasonable fee estimates for records requests as required by law. The Respondent in this case was ordered to provide records with specific fees attached, and disputes arose over the reasonableness of these fees. Condominium corporations should aim for transparency in their fee estimation process to avoid disputes and promote a smoother records access process.

Documentation and Records Management: Condominium corporations should maintain clear and comprehensive records management practices, including keeping proper records of specific units and owners. In this case, the issue of redacting the ledger arose because of a lack of clarity in records management. By maintaining thorough and well-organized records, condominium corporations can more efficiently respond to requests and avoid potential disputes over redactions.

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