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Rahman v. Peel Standard Condominium Corporation No. 779 - 2023 ONCAT 46 - 2023-03-21

Corporation:

RPSCC 779

Date:

2023-03-21

Under:

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

Summary:

In Rahman v. Peel Standard Condominium Corporation No. 779, the applicant sought access to incident reports concerning himself from April 2020 to October 2022. However, the condominium corporation, represented by Antoni Casalinuovo, refused to provide the requested records, citing the exemption for records related to contemplated litigation. The core issue in this case was whether the refusal was justified. The Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) determined that the exemption would be justified if the records fell within the scope of the issues in the litigation. Considering multiple legal disputes between the parties, the CAT found that the requested records did fall within the exemption for actual or contemplated litigation, leading to the denial of access. The CAT encouraged the parties to de-escalate their conflict and seek cooperation for successful communal living.

Verdict:

the quick verdict of the case "Rahman v Peel Standard Condominium Corporation No 779" is that the Respondent was justified in refusing to provide incident records requested by the Applicant, citing the exemption for records related to contemplated litigation. The lesson from this case is that the mere existence of litigation does not automatically deny an owner access to all records; the exemption only applies if the requested records fall within the scope of the issues in the litigation.



Takeaways:

Access to Records: The core issue in this case was whether the Respondent, Peel Standard Condominium Corporation No 779, was justified in refusing to provide incident records requested by the Applicant, Aqib Rahman, citing the exemption for records related to contemplated litigation. The decision emphasized that the mere existence of actual or contemplated litigation is not sufficient to automatically deny an owner access to all records. The exemption is only justified if the records requested fall within the scope of the issues in the litigation.

Conflict Resolution: The case highlighted a highly conflictual relationship between the parties involved, leading to multiple legal disputes and tribunal cases. The decision emphasized the need for the parties to move away from a cycle of outrage and blame, and instead seek different ways to de-escalate the conflict. Cooperation was deemed key to successful communal living.

Preliminary Motions: The case involved several preliminary motions, including a request for an adjournment and a motion to remove legal counsel. Ultimately, the motions were denied, highlighting the importance of factors such as the reason for the adjournment, the issues in the application, and the CAT's obligation to adopt an expeditious method of determining the questions arising in a proceeding.

Recommendations: 

Conflict Resolution and Mediation: The case highlights a highly conflictual relationship between the Applicant and the Condominium Corporation. It's recommended that the parties consider engaging in mediation or alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to resolve the underlying issues. A professional mediator can help facilitate a constructive dialogue and work towards an agreement that may be more satisfactory for both parties.

Legal Counsel Communication: The parties should consider improving communication between the Applicant, the Condominium Corporation, and their respective legal counsels. Clear and respectful communication can help reduce misunderstandings and further conflicts. Engaging in direct and transparent dialogue can lead to better cooperation and resolution of disputes.

Educational Initiatives: Given the ongoing disputes and misunderstandings between the parties, it may be beneficial to offer educational initiatives or workshops for both owners and the Condominium Corporation. These educational programs can help owners understand their rights and responsibilities under the Condominium Act, as well as the role and responsibilities of the Condominium Corporation. A better-informed community can contribute to more harmonious communal living.

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