First Lessons from the CAT
Earlier this week the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) released its first five decisions. The CAT only has jurisdiction over record disputes at this point in time so all five decisions relate to records. The cases are available on CanLII should you wish to read them in full. Here are the highlights:
- Micieli v. Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1753 (written online hearing) - request for audited financial statements, bank drafts and bank statements, and signed contract for manager and their credentials. The parties did not dispute that the owner was entitled to records. The real issue was that the records were not available when requested. The CAT member determined that the owner had all of the records requested by the hearing, or would shortly once the audited financial statements were available. No costs or penalties awarded.
- Sennek v. Carleton Condominium Corporation No. 116 (written submissions) - this might sound familiar as the courts have already determined Ms. Sennek to be a vexatious litigant. The CAT made a similar finding and dismissed her case without a hearing. This is a great decision for condos concerned about owners who may file frivolous claims.
- Mohamed v. York Condominium Corporation No. 414 (written online hearing) - the CAT member found the owner was entitled to all records requested, but the fee demanded by the condo was not reasonable. The member confirmed that owners are entitled to receive a copy of the list of owners and mortgagees. The condo sought a fee of $336.06 for labour and photocopy. The member found the fee of $63/hr to be too high. A fee of $31.50 was more reasonable. The member also found the $0.26 per page for photocopying exceeded the $0.20 maximum established in the regulations. Lastly, the member awarded the owner costs of $125.00 and a penalty of $1,000.00 "due to the lack of early and active participation by the [condo]". The decision is a great review of the principles related to record requests, the process, timelines, and penalties.
- Berman v. York Condominium Corporation No. 99 (writing and teleconference) - the owner requested various records related to the reserve fund and minutes of meetings. The member determined the owner had all requested records and made no order.
- Remillard v. Frontenac Condominium Corporation No. 18 (writing and teleconference) - the owner sought copies of un-redacted copies of invoices from the condo's lawyer. The condo refused on the basis that they related to litigation and were exempt under s.55(4)(b) of the Act. The condo agreed to provide un-redacted copies of other invoices if the owner paid $168.75. This case has a good review of the exemption for records due to actual or contemplated litigation. The member agreed that some records were exempt due to s.55(4)(b), but she ordered the condo to produce other records at a fee of $84.50 (at the hourly rate of $130/hr by the articling student). Both parties sought costs, including over $10,000 by the condominium! Given there was split success, neither was awarded costs.