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Sakala v. York Condominium Corporation No. 344 - 2022 ONCAT 11 - 2022-02-02

Corporation:

SYCC 344

Date:

2022-02-02

Under:

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

Summary:

The case Sakala v. York Condominium Corporation No. 344 addresses an owner's request for access to records related to the 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM). The applicant sought access to all instruments appointing a proxy or ballot, unredacted copies of the proxy forms, and a copy of the summary Excel spreadsheet used to record information provided on paper proxies. The tribunal found that the applicant is entitled to the proxy forms she requested but that information identifying other units or owners must be redacted unless they have provided their written consent. Additionally, the summary Excel spreadsheet does not constitute an instrument appointing a proxy, therefore Ms. Sakala must make a separate request for this record. Finally, the tribunal found that the Respondent's estimated fee for producing the requested records was reasonable and must be paid by the applicant if she wished to receive the requested records. No costs or penalties were awarded to either party.

Verdict:

The quick verdict from the case is that the applicant was not entitled to receive unredacted copies of proxy forms and the summary excel spreadsheet she requested. The tribunal found that personal information of owners on proxy forms is excluded from the records that an owner can examine, and the summary excel spreadsheet was not considered an instrument appointing a proxy. The lesson from this case is that unit owners should be aware of the exclusions and limitations to their rights to examine or obtain copies of records held by a condominium corporation, as outlined in the Condominium Act 1998 and the corresponding regulations.

Takeaways:

Right to examine records: The case highlights the rights of unit owners to examine or obtain copies of records held by a condominium corporation, as stated in the Condominium Act 1998. However, there are certain exclusions and limitations to these rights, such as personal and identifying information.

Request for unredacted copies: The case revolves around the applicant's request for unredacted copies of proxy forms and a summary Excel spreadsheet related to an Annual General Meeting. The tribunal found that the applicant was not entitled to unredacted copies of proxy forms as per the Act and regulations. Additionally, the summary Excel spreadsheet was not considered as an instrument appointing a proxy, requiring a separate request.

Reasonable fees for records: The tribunal also addressed the issue of fees for producing the requested records. It found that the estimated fee provided by the condominium corporation was reasonable and must be paid by the applicant if she wished to receive the requested records.

Recommendations: 

Clarify records request: When making a records request to a condominium corporation, it is important to be clear and specific about the types of records you are seeking. In this case, the tribunal found that the applicant should have made a separate request for the summary excel spreadsheet, as it was not considered an instrument appointing a proxy. Therefore, it is recommended to clearly state the specific records being requested to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding.

Understand exclusions and limitations: It is crucial to have a good understanding of the Condominium Act 1998 and the corresponding regulations regarding the rights and limitations of accessing records in a condominium corporation. For example, the tribunal in this case found that personal information of owners on proxy forms is excluded from the records that an owner is entitled to examine. Being aware of these exclusions and limitations can help set realistic expectations and avoid unnecessary disputes.

Discuss fees and costs: When requesting records from a condominium corporation, it is important to discuss and clarify any associated fees or costs for producing the requested records. In this case, the tribunal found that the estimated fee provided by the condominium corporation was reasonable and must be paid by the applicant if she wished to receive the requested records. Therefore, it is recommended to have open communication and understanding regarding the fees and costs involved in accessing the requested records to avoid any surprises or disputes later on.

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