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York Condominium Corporation No. 50 v. Overholt - 2023 ONCAT 123 - 2023-08-31


YCC 50




In the case of York Condominium Corporation No. 50 v. Overholt (2023 ONCAT 123), a decision was issued by the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) on August 31, 2023. The case revolved around allegations of a violation of a smoke-free environment rule in a condominium complex, with the Applicant being York Condominium Corporation No. 50 and the Respondent. The CAT Member presided over a written online hearing that took place from April 13, 2023, to August 13, 2023. The dispute centered on the revocation of legacy status for smoking in a unit and the associated charges. The CAT found that the respondent had not violated the smoke-free environment rule and ordered the reversal of charges related to legal costs and lien, along with the reimbursement of costs incurred by the respondent for legal fees. The case emphasized the importance of proper investigation and reasonableness in such matters.


CAT Decisions - Decision
Compliance with Governing Documents
Indemnification or Compensation
Reasonableness and/or Consistency of Governing Documents
Smoke and/or vapour


Quick Verdict: In this case, the tribunal ruled in favor of the unit owner, the respondent, concluding that her legacy status, allowing her and her sons to smoke in their unit, was still in effect and had not been reasonably revoked by the condominium corporation (YCC 50). The tribunal found that YCC 50's actions were unreasonable, including demanding costs, placing a lien, and providing misleading information. The respondent was awarded $2,000 in legal costs, and any charges related to the lien were to be reversed and reimbursed.

Lesson: This case underscores the importance of proper procedures and fairness in enforcing condominium rules, including a reasonable and fair investigation before revoking a unit owner's legacy status. Additionally, it highlights that unit owners may be entitled to compensation for legal costs if their case results from unreasonable actions by the condominium corporation.


Key Takeaways:

This case involved a dispute over a condominium's smoke-free environment rule. The applicant, York Condominium Corporation No. 50, sought an order that the respondent, Tammie Overholt, was in violation of the rule and demanded payment for costs associated with seeking compliance.

The tribunal found that the respondent and her sons had been granted legacy status, permitting them to continue smoking in their unit. The rule allowed for revocation of legacy status under certain conditions, but the board had not issued written notice to revoke it.

The tribunal ruled that YCC 50's actions were unreasonable, starting with its failure to recognize the legacy status and its inaccurate claims about complaints of smoke odors.

The tribunal ordered that legacy status remains in effect, charges, including legal costs and lien-related costs, be reversed, and money paid related to the lien be reimbursed to the respondent.

The tribunal awarded the respondent $2,000 for legal costs but denied compensation for pain and suffering due to the lack of specific evidence. This case emphasizes the importance of adherence to rules and reasonable actions in condominium disputes


Investigate and address the source of the smoking odors: It is important for the condominium corporation (YCC 50) to conduct a thorough investigation to determine the actual source of the smoking odors complained about by residents. This investigation should be based on verified information rather than assuming unverified and vague allegations are true. By identifying the actual source, YCC 50 can take appropriate action to resolve the issue and ensure compliance with the smoke-free environment rule.

Improve communication and clarity: YCC 50 should review and improve its communication practices and ensure that all communication with residents is clear, accurate, and in line with the governing documents and regulations. The misleading and false information mentioned in the threatening letter from the lawyer can create confusion and strain relationships between the parties involved. Open and transparent communication is crucial for maintaining a healthy and respectful living environment within the condominium community.

Follow proper procedures for revoking legacy status: If YCC 50 intends to revoke the legacy status granted to Ms. Overholt and her sons, they must follow the proper procedures outlined in the smoke-free environment rule. This includes providing written notice to the affected parties and acting reasonably in determining if smoking in the unit is deemed to be a nuisance. It is important for YCC 50 to adhere to these procedures to ensure fairness and avoid potential legal issues.

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