Dispute over sewer stinks for one condo

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A decision was released today from the Court of Appeal regarding another shared facilities dispute. At trial, the appealing party was found liable for a portion of the expenses incurred to maintain a shared sanitary sewer pumping station.

The facts can be briefly summarized as follows. MCC229 is a condominium in London. It was built on the same parcel as three other condominiums (MCC282, 392, and 500) that are now owned by WMJO. The City requires that the sewage from all four condominiums be pumped uphill to connect to the City service. Since the time that MCC229 was created in 1991, it has managed and operated the pumping station for all of the condominiums. In keeping with a Joint Use Agreement, WMJO contributed its proportionate share of the costs for the pumping station for more than ten years. It stopped making payments in 2006 when it took the position that it had no obligation to contribute toward the costs.

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Shared Facilities Dispute Requires Med/Arb Despite Oppression Claim

The Court recently had to determine whether a dispute with respect to a shared facilities agreement must proceed to mediation and arbitration or whether it could be heard in court (see Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 965 v. Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation Nos. 1031 and 1056 (2014) SCJ).

The plaintiff, a condominium, brought an application against two other condominiums claiming they had breached the shared facilities agreement (SFA) they were all parties to. The plaintiff condominium also alleged that the other two condominiums were acting oppressively. The defendants brought a motion asking the court to stay (put a stop to) the action and order arbitration. The defendant condominiums argued that the shared facilities agreement required arbitration of disputes. They also argued that section 132 of the Condominium Act, 1998 required mediation and arbitration of disputes with respect to shared facilities disputes. The plaintiff condominium argued that mediation and arbitration was not required because it was seeking relief under section 135 of the Condominium Act, 1998 (oppression).   Continue reading