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Verjee v. York Condominium Corporation No. 43 - 2023 ONCAT 95 - 2023-07-13

Corporation:

VYCC 43

Date:

2023-07-13

Under:

CAT Decisions - Decision
Adequacy of Records

Summary:

The case, Verjee v. York Condominium Corporation No. 43, involves a records dispute between the applicant, and York Condominium Corporation No. 43, the respondent. The applicant submitted a records request, but the respondent did not provide all the requested records and redacted information in some of them. The applicant applied to the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT). After reviewing the records and hearing both parties, the Tribunal determined that the respondent had not overly redacted records and that the redactions were consistent with the law. However, the Tribunal also determined that the respondent had refused to provide the records without a reasonable excuse and ordered the respondent to reimburse the applicant's CAT fees.

Verdict:

the quick verdict from the case "Verjee v. York Condominium Corporation No. 43" is that the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) determined that the Respondent has not overly redacted records, but refused to provide them without a reasonable excuse. However, due to the unique circumstances of the case, no penalty was assigned. The CAT ordered the Respondent to reimburse $200 for the Applicant's CAT fees. The lesson from this case is that while redactions were found to be appropriate, inconsistent practices and lack of trust between parties highlight the importance of good record management and cooperation to prevent similar disputes.

Takeaways:

"Verjee v. York Condominium Corporation No. 43," here are three key takeaways:

Records Request Dispute: The Applicant submitted a records request to York Condominium Corporation No. 43 (the Respondent). The Respondent replied to the request but did not provide the records, leading the Applicant to file an application with the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT). The CAT determined that the Respondent had refused to provide the records without a reasonable excuse.

Redaction Inconsistencies: The Applicant pointed out inconsistencies in the redactions of different records, highlighting situations where the same records received from other owners had been redacted differently. However, the CAT focused specifically on the redactions in the October 21, 2021 In-camera minutes and the unaudited financial statements for July, August, and September 2022, and found the redactions to be appropriate and consistent with the regulation.

No Penalty Imposed: Although the Respondent refused to provide the records without a reasonable excuse, the CAT decided not to impose a penalty in this case due to the unique circumstances. The CAT considered the participation of the condominium corporation with legal counsel and the shared expenses that would result from imposing a penalty on individual owners. Instead, the CAT ordered the Respondent to reimburse $200 for the Applicant's CAT fees.

Recommendations: 

Clarity in Record Requests: Condominium corporations should ensure that they carefully review and understand record requests from unit owners. In this case, the Respondent mistakenly misread the request form, which resulted in a refusal to provide the records. It is essential to communicate clearly with unit owners and seek clarification if there is any doubt about the nature of the request.

Consistency in Record Redactions: Condominium corporations should strive for consistency in their record-keeping practices, especially in terms of redactions. Inconsistent redactions can lead to disputes and mistrust, as demonstrated in this case. Maintaining uniformity in redaction procedures across different records can help prevent conflicts and legal actions.

Cooperative Resolution: Parties involved in condominium-related disputes should attempt to resolve issues cooperatively whenever possible, rather than resorting to formal hearings. This can save time and resources for both the condominium corporation and unit owners. Encouraging a cooperative approach can help foster a better working relationship and minimize disputes.

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