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Sievewright v. Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1793 et al. - 2023 ONCAT 68 - 2023-05-12

Corporation:

STSCC 1793

Date:

2023-05-12

Under:

CAT Decisions - Motion Order
Noise
Odour
Smoke and/or vapour

Summary:

In the case of Sievewright v. Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1793 et al., a motion order was issued by a member of the Condominium Authority Tribunal, on May 12, 2023. The case involves the Applicant and the Respondents, Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1793 and Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1808. The dispute primarily revolves around allegations of unreasonable noise emanating from a garage door's grate and an industrial generator's vent, as well as issues related to odour, smoke, and vapour.

Verdict:

In the case of Sievewright v. Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1793 et al., the Condominium Authority Tribunal has ruled that it does not have jurisdiction to address the issue of unreasonable noise from the garage door and its associated components as it falls under the responsibility of the condominium corporation for repair and maintenance. However, the Tribunal will hear the case regarding the alleged unreasonable noise, odour, smoke, and/or vapour from the generator exhaust as it may not solely pertain to maintenance and repair but could involve a nuisance issue.




Takeaways:

The case of Sievewright v. Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1793 et al., 2023 ONCAT 68, revolved around allegations of noise, odour, smoke, and/or vapour issues in a condominium complex. The key takeaways from this decision are:

Jurisdiction Determination: The Tribunal had to determine whether it had jurisdiction to address the issues raised by the applicant. In this case, the issue of unreasonable noise from the garage was considered a matter of repair and maintenance of common elements, falling under sections 89 and 90 of the Condominium Act, 1998. As a result, the Tribunal concluded it had no jurisdiction to hear this part of the case.

Jurisdiction Over Nuisance Claims: The Tribunal's jurisdiction was confirmed with regard to issues involving unreasonable noise, odour, smoke, and vapour, which are governed by Section 117(2) of the Act and Section 26 of O. Reg. 48/01, as nuisances, annoyances, or disruptions.

Differentiating Repair and Nuisance: The decision distinguishes between issues related to repair and maintenance (the garage grate) and those related to alleged nuisances (generator vent). The former falls under the responsibility of the condominium corporation, while the latter falls within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal.

Need for Evidence: The Tribunal emphasized that the generator vent issue required further evidence and could not be dismissed based solely on preliminary investigation reports. This highlights the importance of hearing evidence to determine the nature of a complaint accurately.

Reference to Precedents: The decision references other cases, such as Nikolov and Lake v. Bruce Vacant Land Condominium Corporation No. 19, to support the idea that allegations of nuisances in common elements fall within the Tribunal's jurisdiction.

Overall, this case underscores the need to carefully differentiate between repair and maintenance issues and those related to nuisances in condominium disputes and highlights the role of evidence in making jurisdictional determinations.

Recommendations: 

Clearly Define the Nature of the Issue: When bringing a dispute before the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT), it's essential for both parties to clearly define the nature of the issue they are presenting. In this case, the applicant had concerns related to both maintenance and repair of common elements as well as noise, odour, and smoke. Distinguishing between these issues and their potential sources can help streamline the proceedings and avoid jurisdictional disputes.

Review Governing Documents and Condominium Rules: Parties involved in condominium disputes should thoroughly review the condominium's governing documents, bylaws, and rules to understand the scope of the condominium corporation's responsibilities and the limitations of the CAT's jurisdiction. It's important to be aware of which issues are considered common element maintenance and repair and which might relate to nuisance, annoyance, or disruption under subsection 117(2) of the Condominium Act, 1998.

Provide Sufficient Evidence: When filing a case with the CAT, it's crucial to provide sufficient evidence and documentation to support the claims. In this case, the issue related to the generator vent was allowed to proceed because it was not clearly established whether the problem was solely about maintenance and repair of common elements. Parties should present well-documented evidence to help the tribunal make informed decisions.

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