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Surinder Mehta v Peel Condominium Corporation No. 389 - 2020 ONCAT 10 - 2020-04-13

Corporation:

SMPCC 389

Date:

2020-04-13

Under:

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

Summary:

The applicant, a unit owner in Peel Condominium Corporation No 389 (PCC 389), submitted a Request for Records to PCC 389 but did not receive a response. As a result, the applicant filed a case with the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT). The main issues in the hearing were whether the applicant was entitled to the requested records under section 55 of the Condominium Act and whether PCC 389 should be penalized for refusing to provide the records without a reasonable excuse. The CAT found that the applicant was entitled to examine and obtain copies of certain records, including board meeting minutes, financial statements, and contracts for specified renovations. The CAT also imposed a penalty of $1,500 on PCC 389 for refusing to provide Mehta with the records.

Verdict:

Condominium corporations must keep certain records that unit owners are entitled to access under the Condominium Act, and they can face penalties for refusing to provide these records without a reasonable excuse.
Failure to respond formally or informally to a Request for Records from a unit owner may result in a case being filed with the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT).
In this specific case, the unit owner was granted access to certain records, including board meeting minutes, financial statements, and contracts for specified renovations, but not to copies of the minutes as they were likely not created. A penalty of $1500 was imposed on the corporation for failing to provide the requested records.

Takeaways:

Condominium corporations are required to keep certain records, such as board meeting minutes and financial statements, that unit owners are entitled to access under section 55 of the Condominium Act. The corporation can face penalties for refusing to provide these records without a reasonable excuse.
Failure to respond formally or informally to a Request for Records from a unit owner may result in a case being filed with the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT). Proper notice of the case must be given to the corporation, and if they do not respond, the case may proceed to a written electronic hearing without their participation.
In this case, the unit owner was entitled to examine and obtain copies of certain records, including board meeting minutes, financial statements, and contracts for specified renovations. However, the tribunal was not able to order the corporation to provide copies of the minutes as they likely did not exist, and they were unable to determine if the corporation was required to solicit bids for the specific renovation projects requested. A penalty of $1500 was imposed on the corporation for failing to provide the requested records.

Recommendations: 

Ensure Compliance with the Condominium Act: Condominium corporations should establish clear processes and procedures for handling requests for records from unit owners in accordance with the requirements outlined in the Condominium Act. It is essential to respond formally and in a timely manner to avoid penalties.

Maintain Proper Record Keeping: Condominium corporations should consistently and accurately maintain all records required under the Condominium Act. This includes board meeting minutes, financial statements, and contracts. Implementing a comprehensive record-keeping system will help ensure accessibility and facilitate the provision of requested records to unit owners when required.

Seek Legal Advice When Necessary: If a condominium corporation is unsure about their obligations or how to respond to a specific request for records, it is advisable to seek legal advice. Consulting with legal professionals experienced in condominium law can provide guidance on compliance, avoiding penalties, and ensuring the rights of both the corporation and unit owners are protected.

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