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CAT decisions

Robert Remillard v. FCC No. 18
Shaheed Mohamed v. YCC No. 414
Joe Micieli v TSCC No. 1753


Robert Remillard v. Frontenac Condominium Corporation No. 18
Case: 2017-00051R
Adjudicator: Mary Ann Spencer
Date: 04 May 2018

Costs
The award of costs is at the Tribunal’s discretion. Rule 31.1 of the tribunal's Rules of Practice states “The Tribunal will not order one User to pay to another User any fees charged by that User’s lawyer or paralegal, unless there are exceptional reasons to do this.”

Both the Applicant and the Respondent requested the Tribunal award costs if the decision were to be in their favour. The Applicant requested $200, the total of the fees he filed with respect to his application to the Tribunal. The Respondent requested reimbursement of $10,619.29, the legal costs it incurred.

The condo corporation submitted that the Applicant brought “this action unnecessarily against the Corporation and needlessly complicated the proceedings with his allegations of bad faith and impropriety.”

It further submitted that the owner unnecessarily complicated the proceedings throughout the three stages by raising issues that had been previously litigated or had no relevance to the application. And, it submitted that “The Corporation is entitled to its costs because it would be inequitable and unjust for the uninvolved unit owners to bear the Corporation’s cost in successfully defending this meritless application.”

The adjudicator ruled that: "The Tribunal’s online dispute resolution system was developed to help people resolve disputes conveniently, quickly and affordably. The issues before me were not complex and therefore I question the quantum of the Respondent’s costs. I also do not find that the Applicant’s conduct complicated the proceedings, although, necessarily, I have no knowledge of what transpired during the first two stages."

I find two items of interest here. One is that if you want costs, you have to ask for them. Two, if the condo corporation hires a lawyer, if the owner acts reasonably, he or she most likely will not be hit with the corporation's legal costs.

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Shaheed Mohamed v. YCC No. 414

Case: 2017-00011R
Adjudicator: Michael Clifton
Date: June 7, 2018

YCC 414 is a high rise condo at 2645 Kipling Ave, Etobicoke.

The Applicant, Shaheed Mohamed, is a unit owner and identified himself as president of a “Homeowners Committee” of unit owners, but that position was not recognized by the adjudicator.
 
Three issues need to be determined in this case:
1.
is the Applicant entitled to all of the records requested, including the record of owners and mortgagees?
2.
is the Respondent’s demand for a fee for the requested records in compliance with the law?
3.
should an award of costs and/or a penalty be ordered in favour of the Applicant?

On the first issue, the adjudicator concluded that the Applicant is entitled to all requested documents. The Applicant is entitled to receive the condo’s record of owners and mortgagees as requested, as well as all of the other Requested Core Records and requested Non-Core Records

On the second issue, the adjudicator found that although the condo corporation is entitled under the law to demand a fee, the actual fee demanded was not in compliance with the law. An analysis of what constitutes a more appropriate fee is set out in this decision.

On the third issue, the adjudicator found that costs and a penalty in favour of the Applicant were appropriate in this case.

Award
The Respondent shall:
a.
immediately and in any event no later than one business day after payment of $110.25 by the Applicant to the Respondent, deliver to the Applicant the financial records that the Respondent states it has already copied and prepared for pick-up by the Applicant;
b.
within seven (7) days of the date of issuance of this order, deliver to the Applicant in electronic format (either uploaded to the Applicant’s Dropbox account or on a flash drive, at the Applicant’s direction) and at no cost to the Applicant, all the Requested Core Records (other than the financial records);
c.
within thirty (30) days of the date of which the Applicant pays $378.00 to the Respondent, deliver to the Applicant in electronic format (either uploaded to the Applicant’s Dropbox account or on a flash drive, at the Applicant’s direction) all of the Requested Non-Core Records (other than the financial records); and
d.

within thirty (30) days of the date of issuance of this order:

i.
pay to the Applicant costs in the amount of $125; and

ii.
pay to the Applicant a penalty in the amount of $1,000.

In my opinion, there are two important rulings in this award. First, the adjudicator deeply discounted the corporation's costs for providing the non-core documentation. Secondly, the fees for records were to be paid to the condo corporation, not to the manager or condo agent.

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Joe Micieli v TSCC No. 1753
Case: 2018-00025R
Adjudicator: Patricia McQuaid, Member
Date: 25 June 2018

TSCC No. 1753 is a mid-size mixed-use condo at 935 Sheppard Ave. West.

The owner asked for eight records and only three were still outstanding.

 Mr. Micieli clarified during the hearing that with respect to Lux’s credentials (Lux being the Respondent’s current property management company), he was seeking information regarding how long Lux had been providing management services, whether Lux was properly insured and whether its place of business was properly secured for retention of the Respondent’s records and, finally, whether it carried WSIB coverage.

Prior to this Decision, the owner recieved the signed contract between TSCC #1753 and Lux Management Inc. (“Lux”) and Lux’s credentials.

TheTribunal ordered that:
1.
TSCC No. 1753, in accordance with the undertaking given at this hearing, shall notify the Applicant about the completion of the 2016-2017 audited financial statement as soon as these are available.
2.
TSCC No.1753, in accordance with the undertaking given at this hearing, shall provide the 2016 and 2017 (to November 30, 2017) bank statements, with copies of cheques written on the account, to the Applicant free of any charge for photocopying, by no later than June 30, 2018.

The weakness of CAT is shown here by the owner having to wait until until the year-old audited financial statements are released by the board. In my experience, that can take a very long time indeed.

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