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Ram Shakyaver v Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 971 - 2020 ONCAT 2 - 2020-01-19

Corporation:

RSMTCC 91

Date:

2020-01-19

Under:

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

Summary:

This is a case between a unit owner and former board director of Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 971 (MTCC 971) and MTCC 971. The applicant requested electronic records from MTCC 971 in January 2019, most of which were provided but not the record of owners and mortgagees, minutes of board meetings from January 15 to October 31, 2017, and directors and officers liability insurance from January 16, 2016. The condominium refused to provide the first two items unless The applicant complied with certain conditions, and disputed the proposed $150 fee to produce the insurance documents. This decision outlines the issues and analysis and concludes that Shakyaver is entitled to all requested documents, with a reasonable fee to produce the records of $78.75, and a penalty is not warranted. It is found that the condominium effectively refused to provide access to the records by imposing additional conditions on the right to access.

Verdict:

The condominium was found to have effectively refused to provide requested records by imposing additional conditions, which is against the requester's right to access the records. The condominium's requirement for conditions, such as not sending mass emails and swearing an affidavit, was not justified and did not constitute a reasonable excuse for refusing to provide the records. The proposed fee of $150 for producing certain records was disputed, but no information is given regarding whether the fee was deemed reasonable or not.


Takeaways:

Imposing conditions on the release of records: The condominium insisted on certain conditions before providing the requested records, such as requiring the applicant to refrain from sending mass emails and to swear an affidavit. However, the tribunal found that the condominium effectively refused to provide the records by imposing additional conditions, which goes against the right of the requester to access the records.

Reasonable excuse for refusing records: The tribunal rejected the argument that the condominium had a reasonable excuse for refusing to provide the records. Despite the condominium's claim that the applicant's past conduct justified the conditions imposed, the tribunal emphasized that the purpose of the regulations is to promote transparency between condominiums and unit owners.

Fee for producing records: The applicant disputed the proposed $150 fee to produce the directors and officers liability insurance documents. The tribunal did not explicitly state whether the fee was reasonable or not, but it awarded a reasonable fee of $78.75 for the production of other requested records.

Recommendations: 

Clarity on conditions for releasing records: Condominium corporations should ensure that any conditions imposed for releasing records are clearly defined and within the bounds of the Condominium Act. This will help prevent misunderstandings and potential disputes regarding the provision of requested records.

Consistent application of reasonable excuse: Condominium corporations should ensure that any refusals to provide records are supported by a reasonable excuse as outlined in the Condominium Act. It is important for the corporation to establish a consistent and objective standard for determining what constitutes a reasonable excuse to avoid potential penalties.

Transparent fee structure: Condominium corporations should establish clear guidelines and criteria for determining fees associated with producing requested records. This will help ensure that the proposed fees are reasonable and justified, thereby avoiding disputes and potential challenges from requesters. It is crucial to communicate these fee structures to unit owners in a transparent manner.

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