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Tamo v. Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 744 et al. - 2022 ONCAT 40 - 2022-04-29

Corporation:

TMTCC 744

Date:

2022-04-29

Under:

CAT Decisions - Decision
Pets and Animals
Procedural Issue with Governing Documents
Reasonableness and/or Consistency of Governing Documents

Summary:

According to the case "Tamo v. Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 744 et al.", the applicant alleged that Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 744 (MTCC 744) failed to enforce its pet prohibition by allowing another resident to have a dog in her unit and on the common elements. The applicant claimed that this violated her right to occupancy free of discrimination due to severe allergies and distress. She requested the removal of the dog and costs for the application. However, the tribunal determined that MTCC 744 did not breach its governing documents by approving Clancy's request for an emotional support animal. It found no evidence of failure to accommodate the applicant's disability or undue hardship resulting from the accommodation. Thus, the application was dismissed and no costs were awarded to any party.

Verdict:

the quick verdict is that the condominium corporation did not breach its governing documents by allowing an exemption for an emotional support animal. The tribunal found that the applicant failed to establish that the corporation failed to accommodate her disability or that she suffered undue hardship as a result of the accommodation. The lesson from this case is that condominium corporations have a duty to accommodate individuals with disabilities to the point of undue hardship, and clear and enforceable pet prohibition rules should be in place to avoid disputes.

Takeaways:

Duty to Accommodate: The case highlights the duty of a condominium corporation to accommodate individuals with disabilities to the point of undue hardship. The tribunal found that MTCC 744 did not breach its governing documents by approving another tenant's request for an emotional support animal as an accommodation for her mental health disorders.

Breach of Right to Occupancy: The applicant claimed that MTCC 744 breached her right to occupancy free of discrimination by allowing the other tenant to keep the dog in violation of the pet prohibition. However, the tribunal concluded that the applicant did not establish that her disability or undue hardship resulted from the accommodation made for the other tenant.

Pet Prohibition and Enforceability: The case highlights the importance of clear and enforceable pet prohibition rules in governing documents. While MTCC 744 had a "no pet" policy in its declaration and rules, it made an exemption for other tenant's emotional support animal. The tribunal concluded that MTCC 744 had not breached its governing documents by granting the exemption.

Recommendations: 

Develop Clear Pet Prohibition Rules: It is recommended that condominium corporations develop clear and comprehensive pet prohibition rules in their governing documents to avoid future disputes and inconsistencies in enforcing the rules. The rules should be strictly enforced, but provisions should also be made for reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities to the point of undue hardship.

Conduct Due Diligence on Accommodation Requests: When faced with a request for a disability accommodation, it is recommended that condominium corporations conduct due diligence to determine the necessity of the accommodation, assess the reasonableness of the request, and ensure that the request comports with the applicable law and governing documents.

Maintain Confidentiality of Personal Information: Since condominium disputes can involve personal and private information, it is recommended that parties take steps to maintain confidentiality in accordance with the Condominium Authority Tribunal's Access and Privacy Policy. They should identify and address early on, during the case management conference, any personal information that needs to be protected and, with the Tribunal's approval, take any steps to maintain confidentiality.

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