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Simcoe Condominium Corporation No. 104 v. Leary - 2023 ONCAT 52 - 2023-03-30

Corporation:

SCC 104

Date:

2023-03-30

Under:

CAT Decisions - Decision
Compliance with Governing Documents
Parking and Storage
Reasonableness and/or Consistency of Governing Documents
Vehicles

Summary:

This is a decision by the Condominium Authority Tribunal regarding a dispute between Simcoe Condominium Corporation No. 104 and a unit owner, who leases her unit to the intervenors. The issue at hand is whether SCC 104's Rule 4, which prohibits the parking of licensed commercial vehicles and vehicles with signs or advertisements on the condominium property, is reasonable and enforceable. The tribunal finds that the rule is not reasonable and does not prevent unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of the property. Therefore, SCC 104 is ordered to refrain from enforcing the rule against the respondents.

Verdict:

In the case of Simcoe Condominium Corporation No. 104 v. Leary, the tribunal found that parts of SCC 104's Rule 4, which prohibited the parking of licensed commercial vehicles and vehicles with signs or advertisements on condominium property, were unreasonable and unenforceable under the Condominium Act, 1998. The rule was deemed arbitrary and did not promote safety or security, nor did it unreasonably interfere with the use and enjoyment of the property. The tribunal ordered SCC 104 to refrain from enforcing these specific parts of the rule against the respondent and intervenors. This case underscores the importance of ensuring that condominium rules align with the legal criteria and purposes outlined in the Condominium Act.




Takeaways:

Here are 3-5 key takeaways from the decision in Simcoe Condominium Corporation No. 104 v. Leary, 2023 ONCAT 52:

Background: The case involved a dispute between Simcoe Condominium Corporation No. 104 (SCC 104) and a unit owne, who had leased her unit to the intervenors. The dispute revolved around SCC 104's Rule 4, which prohibited the parking of licensed commercial vehicles on condominium property and vehicles with advertisements or signs.

Rule Unenforceable: The tribunal found that parts of Rule 4 were not in accordance with the Condominium Act, 1998. Specifically, the rule did not meet the Act's criteria for a valid rule because it did not promote safety, security, or the welfare of owners and their property. Furthermore, it did not prevent unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of the units and common elements.

Aesthetic Concerns: SCC 104 argued that the rule was enacted to maintain the aesthetic of the community as a "park-like setting." However, the tribunal determined that the impact of parking licensed commercial vehicles or vehicles with advertisements was trivial and did not unreasonably interfere with the use and enjoyment of the property.

Enforcement Refrain: As a result, the tribunal ordered SCC 104 to refrain from enforcing the parts of Rule 4 that prohibited the parking of licensed commercial vehicles and vehicles with signs or advertisements on condominium property.

Encouragement for Rule Amendments: The decision encouraged SCC 104 to consider amending the rule but advised them to align any future rules with the purposes for which rules can be made under the Condominium Act, 1998.

This decision clarifies the enforceability of condominium rules under the Act, emphasizing the need for rules to be reasonable and consistent with the Act's provisions.

Recommendations: 

Review and Revise Condominium Rules: The condominium corporation (SCC 104) should review and revise its rules, especially Rule 4, to ensure they align with the Condominium Act, 1998, and meet the legal requirements for reasonableness and consistency with the Act, the declaration, and the by-laws. The rules should focus on promoting safety, security, and preventing unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of the units and common elements while being mindful of the character of the neighborhood.

Clear and Specific Language: When amending rules, SCC 104 should use clear and specific language to define what types of vehicles or signage are prohibited on common elements or exclusive use areas. The revised rules should be designed to address genuine concerns such as safety, aesthetics, or community standards, rather than overly restricting residents' rights without justifiable cause.

Communication and Community Engagement: SCC 104 should prioritize effective communication with residents and consider their input when making or amending rules. Community engagement can help ensure that rules are reasonable, fair, and align with the expectations of the residents. It is essential to strike a balance between maintaining the community's character and accommodating the evolving needs of residents.

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