Condo owners should take notice of the recent decision of the Condominium Authority Tribunal (“CAT”), Tonu Orav v. York Condominium Corporation No. 344 (“Tonu”)
In Tonu, the owner requested various records from the condominium including both core and non-core records. The owner asserted that the condominium failed to sufficiently provide certain records and other records were not provided all together. The CAT adjudicator found that the owner was entitled to the records requested and that the condominium failed to adequately reply to the record requests. Costs of $200 plus a penalty of $2,000 were awarded to the owner, all of which the condominium was responsible for.
What makes this case noteworthy is the adjudicator’s admonishment of the owner. The owner submitted multiple and frequent record requests. The record requests were almost monthly. The condominium found the behaviour disruptive. The adjudicator found that the owner’s conduct complicated matters and presented an unfair burden on the condominium. The adjudicator determined that the owner’s conduct appeared to have contributed to the condominium’s (improper) refusal to provide the requested records.
The adjudicator noted that the owner’s conduct of frequent record requests should not be encouraged as it was unreasonable and unnecessarily complicated the case.
Notwithstanding that the owner was entitled to the records, the adjudicator (correctly) cautioned the owner from making such frequent record requests in the future. When awarding the owner a penalty of $2,000 against the condominium, the adjudicator took into account the owner’s conduct and awarded the owner only 40% of the $5,000 penalty award being sought against the condominium.
The Tonu decision should serve as a reminder to all owners that while they are generally entitled to records of their condominium corporations (subject to certain exceptions beyond the scope of this blog post), it does not necessarily provide them with carte blanche to make incessant and demanding record requests. Should they do so, it could impact their case at CAT.