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Russell v. York Condominium Corporation No. 50 - 2021 ONCAT 103 - 2021-11-04

Corporation:

RYCC 50

Date:

2021-11-04

Under:

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

Summary:

This case involves a dispute between a condominium unit owner and the York Condominium Corporation No. 50 (YCC50) regarding the adequacy and provision of several requested records. The applicantl alleged that YCC50 inadequately kept or failed to fully provide him with fourteen records, including contracts, legal advice, and board meeting minutes. Although YCC50 eventually provided some of the records, the Condominium Authority Tribunal found that it did not do so in the required timeframe, and some of its reasons for not providing the records were incorrect. The tribunal ordered YCC50 to provide Mr. Russell with minutes of any in-camera or special meetings it had not already provided, to implement a procedure for disclosing in-camera and special meetings to owners, and to pay the applicant a penalty of $1,000 and recover his filing fees of $200. This case highlights the importance of adequate record keeping and timely provision of records to condominium unit owners.

Verdict:

The quick verdict in the Russell v. York Condominium Corporation No. 50 case is that the Condominium Authority Tribunal found YCC50 to have inadequately kept and failed to timely provide certain requested records to the unit owner. The lesson from this case is that condominium corporations must maintain and provide records in compliance with the Condominium Act, 1998 and associated regulations, and failure to do so may result in penalties and legal action.


Takeaways:

Adequate record-keeping is crucial for condominium corporations to comply with the Condominium Act, 1998 and its associated regulations. Condominium corporations must maintain and provide requested records to unit owners within the required timeframe, as failing to do so may result in legal action and penalties.
Property managers should ensure they are knowledgeable and comply with the regulations of the Condominium Act, 1998 and associated regulations, specifically for requests for records. If records are not provided in the required timeframe, owners are entitled to take legal action to recover their records and receive penalties.
Condominium owners should familiarize themselves with their rights under the Condominium Act, 1998 and associated regulations, including their entitlement to records. They should also be willing to take legal action if necessary to ensure their rights are protected and to enforce compliance with regulations.

Recommendations: 

Improve record-keeping practices: The case highlights the importance of adequate record-keeping for condominium corporations. It is recommended that YCC50 and other condominium corporations develop and implement robust record-keeping procedures to ensure compliance with the Condominium Act, 1998 and its associated regulations. This includes maintaining accurate and complete records, responding to requests for records within the required timeframe, and properly disclosing minutes of in-camera and special meetings.

Provide clear communication to unit owners: To avoid misunderstandings and disputes, it is recommended that YCC50 and other condominium corporations communicate clearly with unit owners regarding the availability of records and the process for requesting them. This includes using the prescribed "Board Response to Request for Records" form as required by the regulations and providing timely and accurate information about the status and scope of requested records.

Ensure adherence to timelines: The case highlights the importance of providing records within the required timeframe set by the Condominium Act, 1998 and its associated regulations. It is recommended that YCC50 and other condominium corporations establish internal procedures to ensure timely responses to requests for records, including setting reminders and following up with property managers or relevant personnel responsible for record-keeping. Adhering to these timelines will help prevent unnecessary disputes, legal action, and penalties.

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