The Condominium Authority Tribunal’s (“CAT”) recent decision Datri v. York Region Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1188 confirms that all disputes between corporations must proceed through mandatory mediation/arbitration outlined in section 132 of the Condominium Act, 1998 (the “Act”).
In Datri, the applicant was an owner and director for the respondent, YRSCC No. 1188. The applicant listed YRSCC 1191 as an intervenor in the case. The two corporations were party to a shared facilities agreement (the “SFA”) which governed its visitor parking spaces. The applicant brought the proceeding with respect to a dispute about the intervenor’s implementation of new parking rules, claiming that the changes were implemented without a shared facilities board meeting in contravention of the SFA. The applicant sought an order exclusively against the intervenor.
The intervenor brought a motion to dismiss the case as the applicant was not an owner of a unit in YRSCC 1191 (the intervenor) and thus had no standing to bring a case before CAT. Section 1.36(2) of the Act outlines who can bring a proceeding before CAT and states that “an owner or a mortgagee of a unit may apply to the Tribunal for the resolution of a prescribed dispute with the corporation, another owner or an occupier or a mortgagee of a unit”.
CAT agreed with the intervenor and noted that the dispute is between two corporation on how to manage their shared facilities. CAT noted that the applicant brought the proceeding in her capacity as a director of the respondent and was advocating for the position of YRSCC 1188.
CAT held that it did not have the jurisdiction to deal with disputes between corporations or allow individuals to file cases against corporations where they are not owners. Pursuant to CAT Rule 17(b), CAT dismissed the case.
The Act is very specific about where certain disputes are heard – whether before a Court, CAT or through mediation/arbitration.
As a reminder, any disputes about the following agreements must proceed through mandatory mediation/arbitration under section 132 of the Act:
- An agreement between a declarant and a corporation;
- An agreement between two or more corporations;
- An agreement described in clause 98 (1) (b) between a corporation and an owner;
- An agreement that the corporation has entered into with a condominium management provider or a condominium manager and under which the corporation receives condominium management services.
Whereas CAT has the exclusive jurisdiction to hear disputes pertaining to the following:
- Pets and animals;
- Storage in a unit, the common elements or assets, if any, of a corporation; and
- Chargebacks related to disputes over the above-noted items.
The case serves as an important reminder for corporations and owners to consult their legal counsel before commencing proceedings, whether against its owners or residents or neighboring corporations.