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Tanner-Kaplash v. Middlesex Standard Condominium Corporation No. 776 - 2022 ONCAT 33 - 2022-04-11

Corporation:

TKMSCC 776

Date:

2022-04-11

Under:

CAT Decisions - Decision
Access to Records
Adequacy of Records
Entitlement to Records
Fees, Costs, Penalties

Summary:

Tanner-Kaplash v Middlesex Standard Condominium Corporation No 776, which is an access to records dispute. The Applicant submitted four Requests for Records to the Respondent, Middlesex Standard Condominium Corporation No 776, some of which contained the same records. The Respondent denied several requests on the basis of actual or contemplated litigation and asked for payment in certain instances. This caused communication challenges between the parties, and the Applicant eventually filed a dispute alleging that the Respondent failed to produce the requested records. The Condominium Authority Tribunal found that the Respondent did fail to produce some of the requested records and improperly withheld others. It also found that the requested payment was reasonable, but the Respondent's demands for payment were in conflict with the Condominium Act. In addition, the Tribunal found that delays occurred due to both parties' failures to follow proper procedures.

Verdict:

The case Tanner-Kaplash v Middlesex Standard Condominium Corporation No 776 could be that clear communication, proper record production, and adherence to legal obligations are crucial in access to records disputes within condominium settings. In this case, the respondent's communication protocol and failure to provide requested records, as well as the applicant's payment issues, demonstrate the importance of following proper procedures to avoid delays and conflicts in accessing condominium records.

Takeaways:

Communication Challenges: The case highlights the presence of communication challenges between the applicant and the respondent due to the implementation of a communication protocol by the respondent's board of directors and management team. This protocol, which limited communication between the parties, likely contributed to the complexity and difficulties in resolving the records requests.

Improper Withholding of Records: The Condominium Authority Tribunal found that the respondent failed to produce some of the requested records and improperly withheld others. This suggests a lack of compliance with the obligations under the Condominium Act regarding access to records.

Payment Issues: The case also involves disputes regarding the respondent's demands for payment for certain records. The tribunal determined that while the requested payment was reasonable, the respondent's demands for payment were in conflict with the Condominium Act's provisions.

Recommendations: 

Improve Communication Channels: Given the communication challenges in this case, it would be helpful for the parties involved to find better ways to communicate effectively, professionally, and respectfully. This might include setting up clear channels for communication that allow for timely responses, as well as avoiding personal attacks and using a neutral tone.

Follow the Condominium Act: There were several instances in this case where the Respondent failed to comply with the obligations and requirements set out in the Condominium Act regarding access to records. Therefore, following the Act's provisions accurately and adequately responding to records requests in a timely manner can help avoid disputes and conflicts.

Develop Fee Schedule for Records Requests: The case also involves disputes over the payment of fees for certain records. To avoid conflicts regarding fees, it may be helpful to develop a reasonable fee schedule for records requests that is consistent with the Condominium Act. This can help establish transparency and predictability in the fees charged, helping to prevent disputes over payment of fees.

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