A recent CAT decision has raised the eyebrows of certain condominium lawyers.
In Decoste v. Halton Condominium Corporation No, 134, 2022 ONCAT 52, the Tribunal enforced a rule which prohibited dogs of any size, residing in or visiting the condominium corporation.
The reason that eyebrows were raised is that it has been settled law in Ontario at the Court of Appeal level (see York Condominium Corp. No. 42 v. Melanson, 1975 CarswellOnt 844) that provisions prohibiting pets (as opposed to restricting pets, e.g. size, number, etc.) must be contained in a condominium corporation’s declaration. If such a provision is contained in a rule or in a by-law, it is invalid.
Condominium corporations and their lawyers be warned: the Decoste decision is not precedent for the legal principle that dogs can be prohibited by a rule.
Why? Because in Decoste, both parties agreed that the rule itself was not in dispute. Therefore, the Tribunal did not consider the Court of Appeal’s ruling in Melanson. The primary issue in front of the Tribunal was whether Ms. Decoste was entitled to legacy status for the dog since she placed a deposit on the dog prior to the rules being in force. Spoiler alert: her dog was not entitled to legacy status.