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Shelley Dubois v Algoma Condominium Corporation No. 17 - 2019 ONCAT 47 - 2019-11-18

Corporation:

SDACC 17

Date:

2019-11-18

Under:

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

Summary:

In the case of "Shelley Dubois v Algoma Condominium Corporation No 17," the applicant made requests for records under the Condominium Act, seeking access to paid invoices, payroll records, bank statements, and employment contracts. The Respondent initially agreed on the fees for the records but later changed its position and refused to provide any of the requested records. The Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) concluded that the applicant was entitled to the records, except for payroll records, which are prohibited under the Act. The CAT found that the applicant was not on a fishing expedition and that the Respondent's reasons for refusing to provide the records were not compelling. No penalties were imposed, and the CAT did not determine if the applicant had the right to share the received records with other owners.

Verdict:

the quick verdict from the case "Shelley Dubois v Algoma Condominium Corporation No 17" is that the applicant was entitled to most of the requested records under the Condominium Act, except for payroll records. The Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) found that the respondent's reasons for refusing to provide certain records were not compelling, and no penalties were imposed. Therefore, the lesson learned is that condominium corporations should be aware of their obligations under the Condominium Act to provide requested records to unit owners, unless there are specific legal restrictions or justifiable reasons for refusal.


Takeaways:

The case involved a request for records under the Condominium Act, specifically paid invoices, bank statements, employment contracts, and payroll records.

The Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) found that the applicant was entitled to the requested records, with the exception of payroll records, which are prohibited under the Act.

The CAT also found that the fees agreed upon by the parties were reasonable, and no penalties were imposed.

The Respondent initially agreed to provide the records but later changed its position, alleging that the Applicant was not entitled to receive any of the requested records.

The CAT concluded that the Applicant was not on a fishing expedition and that the Respondent's reasons for refusing to provide the records were not compelling. However, the CAT did not determine if the Applicant had the right to share the received records with other owners.

Recommendations: 

Increase transparency and cooperation: Condominium corporations should adopt a more transparent and cooperative approach when dealing with requests for records from unit owners under the Condominium Act. This includes providing requested records that do not have any legal restrictions, such as paid invoices and bank statements, to ensure compliance with legal obligations and promote trust among unit owners.

Clearly define and communicate fees: Condominium corporations should establish clear guidelines for fees associated with providing requested records. It is important to ensure that these fees are fair, reasonable, and transparently communicated to unit owners. This will help avoid disputes and challenges related to the fees charged for accessing records.

Educate unit owners on their rights and obligations: The case highlights the importance of unit owners understanding their rights under the Condominium Act, particularly in relation to requesting and accessing records. Condominium corporations should provide educational resources, such as guides and FAQs, to help unit owners understand the process, their entitlements, and any restrictions or requirements related to record requests.

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