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Wong v. York Condominium Corporation No. 43 - 2023 ONCAT 71 - 2023-05-24

Corporation:

WYCC 43

Date:

2023-05-24

Under:

CAT Decisions - Decision
Compliance with Settlement Agreement

Summary:

It involves a dispute between the applicant, and York Condominium Corporation No. 43 (YCC 43), the respondent. The applicant alleges that YCC 43 contravened the terms of a settlement agreement between the parties. The agreement required YCC 43 to provide the applicant with unaudited financial statements for February 2022 and issue a $2500 check within specific timeframes. The case was heard through a written online hearing from September 19, 2022, to May 16, 2023. The decision, dated May 24, 2023, was made by of the Condominium Authority Tribunal. The decision addresses the issues of compliance with the settlement agreement and the breach of terms by YCC 43.

Verdict:

Verdict and Lesson:

In Wong v. York Condominium Corporation No. 43, the tribunal found that the Respondent breached the Settlement Agreement by failing to provide complete unaudited financial statements due to inadvertence, but the issues related to redactions were not addressed as they were raised in closing submissions, lacking proper testimony. Additionally, the technical breach of providing cash instead of a cheque for $25.00 was considered de minimis, given the absence of harm or practical significance to the Applicant.

Lesson: This case highlights the importance of effective communication and addressing issues with the other party before resorting to legal action. Parties involved in a dispute should make diligent efforts to resolve their concerns through communication, as this can often lead to more efficient and effective resolutions, potentially avoiding the need for legal proceedings.

Takeaways:

Key Takeaways:

Compliance with Settlement Agreement: The case of Wong v. York Condominium Corporation No. 43 centered around the respondent's alleged non-compliance with the terms of a Settlement Agreement, specifically regarding the provision of unaudited financial statements for February 2022 and a $25.00 reimbursement for filing fees.

Inadvertent Breach: The tribunal found that the respondent breached the Agreement by failing to provide complete unaudited financial statements for February 2022. However, this breach was attributed to inadvertence and not a willful refusal to comply.

Technical Breach: The respondent also technically breached the Agreement by providing cash instead of a cheque for the $25.00 reimbursement, citing a delay in issuing a cheque. The tribunal considered this breach de minimis due to the absence of evidence of harm or practical significance to the applicant.

Communication and Resolution: The case underscores the importance of communication between parties in settling disputes. The tribunal suggested that parties should make diligent efforts to resolve issues through communication before resorting to filing cases, as this can often lead to a more efficient and effective resolution.

Partial Cost Award: The tribunal awarded the applicant a partial reimbursement of $75.00 for her filing fees. This decision considered the applicant's efforts to resolve issues before filing the case and the inadvertent nature of the respondent's non-compliance.

Recommendations: 

Clear and Effective Communication: Encourage open and effective communication between unit owners and condominium corporations. In this case, the dispute could have been avoided or resolved more efficiently if the applicant had raised her concerns with the respondent before filing a formal CAT case. Both parties should make reasonable efforts to communicate and address issues without immediately resorting to legal action.

Enforcement of Settlement Agreements: Parties involved in condominium disputes should be aware of their responsibilities under settlement agreements. The CAT, in this case, focused on the enforcement of a settlement agreement and clarified that penalties for refusal to provide records without a reasonable excuse do not apply to issues related to the enforcement of such agreements. Parties should ensure that settlement terms are clear, and compliance is carefully monitored.

Reasonable Assessment of Breach: When assessing breaches of agreements or obligations, consider the materiality of the breach. In this case, the CAT found that the method of payment (cash instead of a check) was technically a breach but de minimis. Parties should exercise judgment in distinguishing between significant breaches and minor technicalities when pursuing legal action or remedies, focusing on practical consequences.

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