Condo ordered to amend declaration by court

In Grigoriu v. Ottawa-Carleton Standard Condominium Corporation No. 706 [2014] O.J. No. 2218 two owners of a unit applied to the court for an order amending the condominium’ declaration under section 135 of the Condominium Act, 1998. The owners claimed a recent amendment made to the declaration was oppressive or unfairly disregarded their interests.

The owners owned parking and storage units within the respondent condominium and a residential unit in the adjacent condominium. At the time they purchased their residential unit there were no further parking and storage units in the same condominium so they purchased them in the adjacent condominium. About five years later the respondent condominium amended its declaration to prohibit persons other than owners of residential units from owning the other types of units (i.e. parking, storage, and terrace) within the condominium. The respondent condominium granted the owners an exemption for as long as they owned their residential unit in the adjacent condominium.

At a previous hearing the court ordered the owners to try to sell their residential unit. The owners listed the unit with parking in one listing and without parking in another. They received no offers when parking was not included, but several offers with parking (the offers were conditional on a further amendment to allow the new owners to park in the adjacent condominium). The owners of the respondent condominium refused to consent to a further amendment to give an express exemption to the owners. The owners commenced an application against the respondent condominium alleging unfair prejudice or oppression as a result of the amendment.

The court found that the owners would not have purchased their unit without the parking and storage units. The court also found that the owners would not have purchased if they had known that they would not be able to sell their parking and storage units with their residential unit. The court found that the amendment was oppressive, unfairly disregarded their interests, and severely prejudiced them because they were unable to sell their residential unit without the parking unit given the location of their residence. As a result, the court ordered that the respondent condominium amend its declaration to give an exemption to the owners.

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