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Richards v. Peel Condominium Corporation No. 27 - 2023 ONCAT 146 - 2023-10-06

Corporation:

RPCC 27

Date:

Fri Oct 06 2023 04:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Under:

CAT Decisions - Decision

Summary:

In the case at hand, an applicant filed a complaint against a condominium corporation (referred to as PCC 27) for failing to provide specific records as mandated by the Condominium Act, 1998. These records pertained to the approved minutes of an owner's requisitioned meeting held on November 22, 2017. PCC 27 had furnished the applicant with unapproved minutes but declined to provide the approved minutes, asserting that they did not exist. The applicant also contended that the unapproved minutes were insufficient in detail, and she claimed that PCC 27 had not followed the requisite procedures, particularly by not utilizing the mandatory board response form as stipulated by regulations.

In the ruling, a Member determined that PCC 27 had indeed refused to provide the approved meeting minutes without a reasonable justification and had also failed to adhere to the mandatory board response form requirement. The subsequent orders included a directive for PCC 27 to ensure the approval of the minutes at the next Annual General Meeting, an imposition of a $200 penalty, and a mandate for PCC 27 to reimburse the applicant $200 for the filing fee.

Verdict:

In this case, the Condominium Authority Tribunal found in favor of the Applicant. The Tribunal determined that the Respondent, Peel Condominium Corporation No. 27, had failed to provide the Applicant with the approved meeting minutes of November 22, 2017, without a reasonable excuse. The Respondent's failure to provide a reasonable explanation for the delay in approving the minutes led to this decision. The Tribunal ordered the Respondent to approve the minutes at the next Annual General Meeting or sooner if another opportunity arises. Additionally, a penalty of $200 was imposed on the Respondent for its refusal to provide the records, and the Respondent was ordered to reimburse the Applicant $200 for the filing fee of the application.

Takeaways:

Background: The case involved a dispute between the Applicant, who is a unit owner in Peel Condominium Corporation No. 27, and the Respondent, the condominium corporation. The dispute centered around the Respondent's failure to provide the Applicant with approved meeting minutes from November 22, 2017, despite her repeated requests.

Request for Records: The Applicant made a request for records, specifically seeking the approved meeting minutes from November 22, 2017. The Respondent provided her with the unapproved meeting minutes but did not provide the approved ones. The Respondent did not use the mandatory board response form to explain why the approved minutes were not provided.

Refusal Without Reasonable Excuse: The Tribunal found that the Respondent had refused to provide the Applicant with the approved meeting minutes without a reasonable excuse. The Respondent's claim that the minutes did not exist was not considered a reasonable excuse. The Tribunal emphasized the responsibility of condominium corporations to maintain and provide records, including approved meeting minutes.

Inadequate Record-Keeping: The Tribunal also found that the Respondent's record-keeping practices were inadequate. This inadequacy was primarily due to the extended delay in approving the meeting minutes. The Tribunal highlighted the importance of maintaining accurate and timely records, particularly for meetings that have a significant impact on the governance of the condominium.

Penalty and Reimbursement: The Tribunal ordered the Respondent to pay a penalty of $200 to the Applicant for its refusal to provide the approved meeting minutes without a reasonable excuse. Additionally, the Respondent was directed to reimburse the Applicant $200 for the cost of filing the application. The penalty and reimbursement were considered appropriate remedies to emphasize the seriousness of complying with the Condominium Act and to provide relief to the Applicant.

Recommendations: 

Based on the decision in Richards v. Peel Condominium Corporation No. 27, here are three recommendations:

Timely Approval of Meeting Minutes: Condominium corporations should establish a reasonable timeline for the approval of meeting minutes, especially for important meetings such as owners' requisitioned meetings. By doing so, they can ensure that approved minutes are available for unit owners in a timely manner. This can help prevent disputes and legal actions related to delayed approval of minutes, as seen in this case.

Compliance with Record-Keeping Obligations: Condominium corporations should be diligent in maintaining accurate and complete records as required by the Condominium Act, 1998. This includes keeping approved meeting minutes and making them accessible to unit owners upon request. Proper record-keeping not only ensures transparency but also helps avoid penalties and legal disputes.

Educating Condominium Boards: It's essential to educate condominium boards and management companies about their legal obligations under the Condominium Act, 1998. This includes their responsibilities related to record-keeping, responding to record requests, and adhering to mandatory board response forms. Proper training and awareness can help prevent non-compliance and associated legal issues, ultimately promoting smoother interactions between unit owners and the condominium corporation.

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