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Rennick v. Peel Condominium Corporation No. 487 - 2022 ONCAT 61 - 2022-06-03


RPCC 487




In the case of Rennick v. Peel Condominium Corporation No. 487, the applicant sought to maintain a removable wooden barrier in her backyard. The condominium corporation requested its removal, citing a breach of their rules regarding common elements. The tribunal ruled that the barrier did not constitute "debris, refuse, or garbage" and that it was not being stored. However, the tribunal could not make a determination regarding the condominium corporation's authority to order its removal, as this issue fell outside its jurisdiction. As the applicant was successful in the matter that fell under the tribunal's jurisdiction, the condominium corporation was ordered to reimburse her for her tribunal filing fees.


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


The tribunal found that the applicant's removable wooden barrier in her backyard did not constitute the storage of "debris, refuse, or garbage." The respondent's arguments about the barrier primarily related to issues outside the tribunal's jurisdiction, and therefore, the tribunal ordered the respondent to reimburse the applicant $200 for her tribunal filing fees. The case emphasizes the importance of understanding the jurisdiction of a tribunal and focusing arguments on matters within that jurisdiction.


Background of the Case: The case involved a dispute between a unit owner and the Peel Standard Condominium Corporation No. 487 (the Respondent) over the installation of a removable wooden barrier in the applicant's backyard without prior approval.

Jurisdictional Issue: The case began as a "storage" issue related to the condominium's Rule 5, which prohibited the storage of "debris, refuse, or garbage." However, the arguments raised during the hearing primarily focused on whether the applicant had the right to alter exclusive-use common elements, which fell outside the Tribunal's jurisdiction.

Decision on Barrier Classification: The Tribunal found that the applicant's barrier did not constitute "debris, refuse, or garbage." The barrier was not typical household trash, and she did not "store" it in the traditional sense, as it was in constant use.

Question of Respondent's Authority: The Tribunal did not make a determination regarding the Respondent's authority to order the removal of the applicant's barrier, as such matters were outside its jurisdiction.

Award of Costs: The Respondent's arguments related to issues beyond the Tribunal's jurisdiction, and, therefore, there was no basis to award the Respondent costs. The Tribunal ordered the Respondent to reimburse Rennick $200 for her tribunal filing fees.


Clarification of Governing Documents: It's essential for condominium corporations to ensure that their governing documents, including rules and regulations, are clear and specific. This case highlighted the need for well-defined rules and guidelines regarding the use and alteration of common elements, ensuring there's no ambiguity for unit owners.

Resolution and Communication: In condominium disputes, it's beneficial for both parties to maintain open and effective lines of communication. In this case, there was a lack of clear communication between the unit owner and the condominium corporation over several years. Timely communication and resolution of issues can prevent disputes from escalating and reaching legal proceedings.

Awareness of Jurisdiction: Parties involved in condominium disputes should have a clear understanding of the jurisdiction of the tribunal or legal entity responsible for adjudicating such matters. Ensuring that disputes are brought before the correct authority can save time and resources for all parties involved. In this case, some of the arguments made were beyond the jurisdiction of the Condominium Authority Tribunal, which led to a limited scope of resolution.

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