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Zugec v. Wentworth Standard Condominium Corporation No. 566 - 2022 ONCAT 13 - 2022-02-16

Corporation:

ZWSCC 566

Date:

2022-02-16

Under:

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

Summary:

In the Zugec v Wentworth Standard Condominium Corporation No 566 case, the applicant requested records from the Respondent, Wentworth Standard Condominium Corporation No 566, related to condominium finances and the relationship between condominium and commercial units owned by the Declarant. The Respondent failed to comply with several statutory provisions of the Act, including not responding to the Applicant's Request for Records form within the statutory 30-day period and not providing a written document outlining the costs associated with processing the request. The Tribunal found in favor of the Applicant, ordering the Respondent to provide the requested records, properly redacted with accompanying written statements, in accordance with the Act. Additionally, the Respondent was ordered to pay a penalty of $1000 for refusing to provide the records without reasonable excuse.

Verdict:

The condominium corporation failed to comply with the request for records process and was ordered to provide the requested records to the owner, pay a penalty for refusing to provide the records and cover the applicant's fees due to the corporation's non-compliance with statutory provisions.

The lesson from this case is that it is essential for a condominium corporation to understand and comply with the statutory provisions of the request for records process. Failure to do so can lead to legal penalties, financial costs, and damage to the reputation of the corporation. It also emphasizes the importance of promptly providing records in response to valid requests and cooperating with unit owners.

Takeaways:

Failure to Comply with Record Request Process: The condominium corporation failed to comply with the statutory provisions of the request for records process, specifically sections 133 to 138 of Ontario Regulation 4801. The corporation did not respond to the request within the required 30-day period and did not provide a proper index of the records, written statements for redactions, or information on associated costs. This emphasizes the importance of following the designated process to fulfill record requests in accordance with the law.

Owner's Entitlement to Records: The owner, Lynda Zugec, was entitled to access the requested records as per the Act and Regulation. The records included owner and mortgagee records, notices related to leases, periodic information certificates, mutual use agreements, and board meeting minutes. The decision highlights that entitlement to records is established by affirming their existence and proving that statutory exemptions do not apply.

Penalty for Refusal to Provide Records: The condominium corporation was ordered to pay a penalty of $1,000 for refusing to provide the requested records without a reasonable excuse. Non-compliance with record disclosure obligations can result in penalties under section 144 of the Condominium Act 1998. This decision underscores the importance of cooperating and promptly providing records in response to valid requests.

Recommendations: 

Improve Compliance with Statutory Provisions: The Respondent, Wentworth Standard Condominium Corporation No 566, should take steps to ensure compliance with the statutory provisions of the request for records process, as outlined in sections 133 to 138 of Ontario Regulation 4801. This includes timely responding to requests, providing an index of records, and providing written documents and statements when redacting or withholding certain information.

Enhance Communication and Transparency: The Respondent should aim to improve communication and transparency with unit owners. This includes promptly responding to records requests, providing complete and accurate information, and ensuring that relevant documents, such as periodic information certificates and board meeting minutes, are made available to owners in a timely manner.

Implement Proper Record-Keeping Practices: To avoid future issues regarding records access, the Respondent should establish and maintain proper record-keeping practices. This involves organizing records in accordance with the requirements of the Condominium Act 1998 and its regulations, ensuring records are readily accessible, and implementing processes for responding to records requests consistently and efficiently.

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