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Mui v. Ottawa-Carleton Standard Condominium Corporation No. 963 - 2021 ONCAT 63 - 2021-07-14

Corporation:

MOCSCC 963

Date:

2021-07-14

Under:

CAT Decisions - Decision
Parking and Storage
Reasonableness and/or Consistency of Governing Documents
Vehicles

Summary:

In the case of Mui v. Ottawa-Carleton Standard Condominium Corporation No. 963 (2021 ONCAT 63), the dispute centered on the interpretation of condominium parking rules. The applicant wanted to park both a car and a motorcycle in his assigned spot, while the respondent, the condominium corporation, contended that their rules allowed only one vehicle in a parking space. The rules were later amended to clarify this issue, with the amendment taking effect in March 2021. The applicant challenged the rule change, claiming it was improper, inconsistent with the Declaration, and unreasonable. The tribunal ruled that the amended rule was not inconsistent with the Declaration and was reasonable, making it impermissible to park both a car and motorcycle in one spot.

Verdict:

The tribunal addressed an application concerning the interpretation of parking rules within a condominium corporation. The Applicant sought to park both a car and a motorcycle in their designated spot, while the Respondent amended the rule to allow only one vehicle. The tribunal found that the amended rule was not inconsistent with the Declaration, was reasonable, and therefore, the Applicant could not park both a car and a motorcycle in the same parking spot.

Takeaways:

Parking Rule Amendment: The case revolved around a parking rule amendment introduced by the condominium corporation. The rule allowed either a car or a motorcycle to be parked in a single parking space, not both.

Rule Amendment Process: The condominium board followed the legal process outlined in the Condominium Act, 1998 to amend the parking rule. A notice was issued, and a meeting of owners could have been requisitioned to challenge the amendment, but it did not happen, so the amendment came into effect.

Declaration Consistency: The Applicant argued that the amended rule was inconsistent with the condominium's Declaration, specifically section 4.01(a), which was not accepted by the tribunal. The section only specified the types of vehicles that could be parked, not the number allowed in a single space.

Reasonableness Standard: The tribunal emphasized that a rule does not need to be the best or least arbitrary to be considered reasonable. It should only be considered unreasonable if it's clearly contrary to the legislative scheme.

Enforceability: The amended parking rule was deemed enforceable, and the tribunal ruled in favor of the condominium corporation, stating that parking both a car and a motorcycle in one spot was not permissible under the amended rule.

Recommendations: 

Open Communication Channels: It's advisable for condominium corporations to maintain open and effective communication channels with their residents, especially when proposing rule amendments. In this case, the Applicant expressed frustration that there was not more discussion before the rule change was proposed. While the board was within its rights to proceed as it did, fostering a dialogue with residents could lead to more harmonious relationships and potentially avoid legal disputes.

Clarity in Rule Amendments: When making rule amendments in a condominium corporation, it's essential to ensure that the language used in the rules is clear, concise, and unambiguous. In this case, an amendment was made to clarify parking rules. Clarity in the rules can help prevent disputes and ensure that all residents understand their obligations.

Regularly Review and Update Rules: Condominium corporations should consider regularly reviewing and updating their rules to address evolving needs and challenges within the community. In this case, the rule amendment was made to address safety and aesthetic concerns related to parking. Regular reviews can help ensure that the rules remain relevant and in the best interest of the community.

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