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Peel Condominium Corporation No. 214 v. Zimmer et al. - 2023 ONCAT 89 - 2023-07-14

Corporation:

PCC 214

Date:

2023-07-14

Under:

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

Summary:

This case involves Peel Condominium Corporation No 214 v Zimmer et al. The dispute centers around the occasional placement of the respondents' boat on the common elements of the condominium. The respondents have a longstanding tradition of fishing together on weekends and temporarily parking their boat in their unit driveway. While the respondents technically breached the condominium corporation's rules, the tribunal found that the rules did not meet the criteria outlined in the Condominium Act, 1998. Moreover, considering the applicants' long-term acquiescence to the respondents' behavior and the minimal nature of the breach, the tribunal determined that the requested consequences cannot be imposed. Instead, the respondents were allowed to continue keeping their boat on the common elements subject to measures they had already undertaken to minimize the breach.

Verdict:

In the case of Peel Condominium Corporation No. 214 v. Zimmer et al., the tribunal found that the respondents technically breached the condominium's rules by occasionally parking their boat on the common elements of the property. However, the tribunal determined that the rules themselves were not valid and enforceable as they did not satisfy the criteria outlined in the Condominium Act. Additionally, the tribunal considered the long-term acquiescence of the condominium to the respondents' behavior and the minor nature of the breach, leading to a decision that allowed the respondents to continue parking their boat with certain conditions. No costs were awarded to either party.




Takeaways:

Key Takeaways from the Case: Peel Condominium Corporation No. 214 v. Zimmer et al. (2023 ONCAT 89)

Technical Breach with Historical Acquiescence: The case highlights that even if a technical breach of condominium rules is identified, historical acquiescence by the condominium corporation, where the behavior has been allowed for an extended period without enforcement, can create a reasonable expectation of permission.

Rule Validity and Enforcement: Condominium rules must not only be breached but also pass the test of validity. Rules must serve a valid and essential purpose and be consistent with the Condominium Act. Overbroad rules that reach beyond their intended purpose may be deemed unreasonable.

De Minimis Principle: The de minimis principle applies, preventing the imposition of consequences that are disproportionate to the harm caused. In this case, the minor nature of the breach and the absence of any harm played a significant role in the decision.

Recommendations for Parties: The tribunal recommended the parties consider entering into indemnity arrangements and urged the condominium corporation to review and revise its rules in line with the Condominium Act and the corporation's declaration.

Costs: The tribunal awarded no costs to either party, as the Applicant's enforcement of rules that did not satisfy the Act's criteria was deemed unjustified.

This case underscores the importance of valid, reasonable, and just enforcement of condominium rules, taking into account historical practices and the impact of rule violations.

Recommendations: 

Review and Compliance: The Applicant, Peel Condominium Corporation No. 214, should review the ruling and comply with the orders issued by the Tribunal. The rules prohibiting the parking of certain vehicles, including boats, should not be enforced against the Respondents, Rosa Zimmer and Garth Zimmer, for the occasional placement of their boat on the common elements, subject to the specified conditions.

Communication and Collaboration: Both parties should maintain open and respectful communication to ensure continued compliance with the order and to address any concerns or issues that may arise in the future. Collaborative solutions, as proposed during the proceedings, can help maintain a positive living environment within the condominium community.

Documented Agreements: It is recommended that the Respondents and the condominium corporation consider formalizing any indemnity or safety arrangements discussed during the proceedings in a written agreement. This can help clarify the responsibilities and expectations of both parties and provide protection in case of any unforeseen incidents.

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