Can owners request copies of emails between directors? Can the condominium refuse a record request because the owner’s reason for requesting the records is apparently unrelated to their ownership interests? Must the owner prove their reason is related to their ownership interest, or is the onus on the condominium to prove the reason is unrelated to the owner’s interests? These are only a few of the questions recently answered by the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT).
Kai Sin Yeung v. Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Coporation No. 1136
An owner requested emails related to the renewal of a gas contract referenced in board meeting minutes. The owner wanted a penalty and costs of the hearing. The condominium claimed that the emails do not exist, but even if they existed the owner would not be entitled to them. Continue reading
The CAT released a decision confirming that owners are not entitled to receive email addresses provided by owners and mortgagees to the corporation. The case includes an interesting review of the relevant provisions of the Act and regulations related to the record of owners and mortgages and the exceptions to the right to examine records. The full case can be found on CanLii: https://www.canlii.org/en/on/oncat/doc/2019/2019oncat9/2019oncat9.html?resultIndex=3
Some highlights include: Continue reading
On April 5, 2019 I attended the ACMO / CCI 1-day Conference in Kitchener. I was asked to speak during the round table discussions and on the legal panel. My topic for the round table discussion was the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT). Today I thought that I would share some of the lessons that we have learned so far from the CAT’s first twenty or so decisions. Continue reading
Overall, people seem to be pleased with the CAT. The process is generally much quicker, easier, and cost-effective than Small Claims Court, which was the typical way of resolving record disputes before the CAT. Voluntary mediation was an option to resolve record disputes, but few used the process (despite its many advantages over court).
Many would like to see the CAT’s jurisdiction expanded in the near future to take on other matters, such as proxy and ballot disputes, requisitions, and liens. Unfortunately, the current government has not provided any details about its plans for the CAT. It could expand the jurisdiction, leave it as it is, or eliminate the CAT (the third option seems unlikely). We don’t know at this point. Continue reading
Its already that time of year again! Mark your calendars for the upcoming filing deadline for annual returns, which is only one month away. The filing deadline is March 31st, 2019.
Each year, condominium corporations are required to file an annual return with the Condominium Authority of Ontario (“CAO”). Annual returns must include the following information about the corporation:
- the date of registration;
- the corporation’s legal name;
- the type of corporation;
- the address for service;
- the municipal address, if one is contained in the declaration;
- the total number of units (if not a common element condominium corporation);
- the total number of eligible voting units (i.e. excluding parking/storage units pursuant to section 49(3) of the Act);
- the maximum number of votes that could be counted at a meeting of owners (if a common element condominium corporation);
- the name of each director and date of election or appointment;
- the name and address for service of the management company, if any;
- the start and end date of the fiscal year;
- a statement of whether there has been an inspector appointed pursuant to the Act (and the name and business address of the inspector and the date of appointment, if applicable); and,
- the date of the last annual general meeting.
An annual return may also include an electronic mail address for the corporation if one is available.
For any condominium corporations created on or after January 1, 2019, annual returns must be filed within 90 days of the date the corporation was created. For all other condominium corporations, annual returns must be filed by no later than March 31st, 2019. All returns can be filed online through the CAO’s website.
This year, the CAO will be imposing a $200.00 late filing fee on all overdue returns, effective April 1st, 2019.
So don’t miss this deadline-mark your calendars for the week before March 31st, 2019 to avoid any late filing fees!
The CAT has been busy this month releasing three new decisions. Obviously, the issues relate to record requests. All three cases have some interesting commentary on the circumstances when the CAT will award legal costs and penalties.
Lahrkamp v. Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No.
932, 2019 ONCAT 4
The owner filed a claim with the CAT for records. Previously, the condominium obtained an order from the Superior Court of Justice to declare the owner a vexatious litigant. The CAT member found the owner’s claim vexatious and dismissed it. That was not the end of it. The condominium sought over $12,000 for costs of its involvement in the CAT hearing and $22,000 after further submissions were made! Continue reading
The Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) has been up and running for a little over a year now. It has released 14 decisions so far, but it has handled hundreds of claims based on the last statistics disclosed at the ACMO/CCI-T Conference in November. Despite being a popular topic at condominium industry events, I am regularly asked about the CAT’s jurisdiction to hear disputes. Continue reading
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: Continue reading
Most condo returns were due to be filed by March 31, 2018. Has your condo filed yet? What about any notices of change that you may have been required to file, for instance after a change in directors or managers? Have you confirmed with the person responsible for filing the return that he or she has filed it on behalf of the corporation? A quick reminder never hurt. Continue reading
I don’t know about you, but I sometimes get distracted while reading about all of the amendments to the Act (and the related amendments to twelve other pieces of legislation!). I’ll read a clause in the Act that refers to the regulations. I go to the regulations, then back to the Act, to a condo law blog or magazine, and before I know it I’ve spent hours researching something I had no intention of researching when I started my journey. I’ll usually find something that no one seems to be talking about or that I somehow missed the dozens (?) of times I’ve read through the legislation.
In a previous post (available here: https://ontcondolaw.com/2017/12/12/amendments-coming-january-1-2018/) I wrote about the amendments scheduled to come into force on January 1, 2018. The amendments included:
- Adding some warranty coverage for residential conversion condos;
- Requiring condos to file returns to the CAO; and
- Creating a new compliance order process for the registrar of the CAO.
I have received a few questions about the status of these amendments because there has been very little talk about them. I thought that I would provide an update to you all today. Continue reading