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Waterloo Standard Condominium Corporation No. 435 v. 1719286 Ontario Inc. - 2022 ONCAT 30 - 2022-04-07

Corporation:

WSCC 435

Date:

2022-04-07

Under:

CAT Decisions - Motion Order

Summary:

Waterloo Standard Condominium Corporation No. 435 v. 1719286 Ontario Inc. is a case where the Applicant, a condominium corporation, brought an application against a unit owner for contravention of governing documents regarding the storage of items and parking of vehicles on common elements. The Respondent, represented by new counsel, sought an early dismissal under Rule 19.1, arguing that the Applicant's board lacked quorum and that the issue had been previously litigated and decided by a court. The Applicant consented to the motion based on the board's lack of quorum. The decision grants the dismissal on the basis of the board's inability to commence and continue the application due to the lack of quorum. No determination was made regarding the second ground for dismissal.

Verdict:

In the case of Waterloo Standard Condominium Corporation No. 435 v. 1719286 Ontario Inc. (2022 ONCAT 30), the application was dismissed due to the lack of a board quorum, preventing the Applicant from proceeding with the case. This underscores the importance of ensuring that a condominium board has a quorum when initiating legal actions through the Condominium Authority Tribunal, highlighting the need for proper governance and adherence to the condominium's governing documents.



Takeaways:

Board Quorum Requirement: In this case, the Applicant's condominium board lacked quorum, rendering them unable to commence or continue the application. This highlights the significance of having a sufficient number of board members to make important decisions and initiate legal actions.

Previous Litigation: The Respondent argued that the issue at hand had already been litigated and decided in a prior court case in 2012. The lack of changes in governing documents between 2012 and the present contributed to the argument that the issue had been determined.

Consent to Dismissal: The Applicant consented to the dismissal based on the board's lack of quorum. This demonstrates the importance of adhering to the legal requirements for board composition and decision-making.

Alternative Resolution: The case emphasizes the potential for owners within a condominium to resolve disputes efficiently and amicably without resorting to legal actions. An owners' meeting was scheduled to address both the board director and storage issues.

Dismissal Under Rule 19.1: The Tribunal granted the Respondent's motion for an early dismissal under Rule 19.1, indicating that the lack of board quorum alone justified the dismissal of the application.

Recommendations: 

Clarifying Solicitor-Client Privilege: Given the potential complexities involved in asserting solicitor-client privilege, it is advisable for condominium corporations to establish clear guidelines and procedures regarding the scope and waiver of privilege. This can help prevent misunderstandings and ensure consistency in responding to owners' requests for records.

Enhancing Communication: To avoid any potential confusion or disputes related to solicitor-client privilege, it is recommended for condominium corporations to communicate transparently with owners. This includes providing clear notice and reasons for refusing to provide certain records, as well as proactively updating owners on any changes or developments that may impact the availability of requested information.

Training and Education: Condominium boards and managers should receive training and education on their obligations and responsibilities under the Condominium Act. This includes understanding the open book principle, the limitations and exceptions to solicitor-client privilege, and the process for handling requests for records. By being well-informed and knowledgeable about the legal framework, boards and managers can make informed decisions and effectively address owners' concerns regarding access to records.

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