Those who have followed our blog for a while have come to expect our “Top 10 cases of the year” to be posted in late December.  This is a natural time to reflect on the year gone by, spot trends, make predictions and look forward to the next year’s challenges.

This year, we vary our year-end tradition by posting a single round-up of all the condo-related cases we tweeted about since January 1 and will publish our “Top 10” list following a special educational luncheon hosted by the Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario on January 22, 2016.  There, GMA’s Bob Gardiner will moderate a panel of legal experts presenting their top 10 picks and the important lessons they hold.

The job of selecting the top 10 will not be easy.  This year’s crop includes more than 40 cases, of which the following are among the most notable.  Admittedly, this list is imperfect, as it excludes unreported cases and is Ontario-biased in that it includes very few cases decided by courts outside Ontario.

Ladies and gentlemen, here are your contenders for Top 10 Condo Law Cases of 2015:

ONSC gives condo compliance order but awards 1/4 of requested costs. Corp buttressed case with historical evidence.
ONCA: Member’s bid for inspector and compliance orders for housing co-op refused b/c complaints are vague & generic.
ONSC: No injunction for condo mgmt firm without proof that fmr emplyee solicited clients. Clients solicited emplyee!
ONSC confirms that whether mediation & arbitration is mandatory in any given condo dispute is judge’s discretion.
ONSC: Condo’s terms for owner’s common element changes are oppressive, but not election to deem them as substantial.
ONSC: No reviving expired condo liens or equitable liens, even where director self-dealing, fraud and negligence.
ONSC: Condo, unit owner bear own costs of >$100k each for mushroomed, disproportionate case re smoke infiltration.
ONSC: Condo to pay $15k for oppressive handling of rule enforcement case, with bogus fines, liens, no mediation.
ONSC: Costs of $9K (of $30K claimed) awarded in contested condo compliance case. Extraneous costs not recoverable.
ONSC: Commercial condo to repay costs it overcharged to certain unit owners, but no oppression remedy awarded.
ONSC: 3-day lockout of shared mgmt office costs feuding condo corp $50K.  Why was this case not mediated/arbitrated?
SKQB reduces condo’s legal cost recovery when unit owner counterclaims for unrelated damages and withheld payments.
ONCA: Judge’s castigation of director unclear as to whether condo must pay that guy’s legal costs.
ABQB: Unit owners have no counterclaim for set-off vs. common expenses they owed (but withheld from) their condo corp
ONSC permits late amendment of owners’ water infiltration claim into condo unit.
BCSC rejects hare-brained argument that condo corporations collecting common expenses is unconstitutional.  #trite
HRTO: Fired condo supers’ complaint dismissed because she signed a release in exchange for 2 wks termination pay.
ONSC won’t dismiss for delay a 12-yr old lawsuit about a condo unit toilet overflow in 2002. No prejudice proven.
ONSC conveys equitable title of condo parking unit mistakenly excluded from suite sale.  Good fix for a common error.
ONSC: Neighbouring condo owner must pay towards maintaining/operating jointly-owned sewer.  Clear SF Agreemt lacking.
ONSC: Unit owner to pay condo’s costs of $47K for unsuccessfully resisting 25lb dog rule with thin medical evidence.
ONCA confirms condo dwellers’ right to privacy from police surveillance.  Cops shld’ve asked bd to enter bldg first!
ONSC: Owner to prepare unit for bedbug treatment or allow condo to do so at his cost.  2nd such case this month.
ONSC: ‘Strike 2’ for unit owners blocking access to cockroach extermination,  breaching court order.
ONSC: Dispute re assessm’t of condo common expenses to be mediated not litigated. Arrears >2 yrs are statute-barred.
ONSC: Big dog evicted after ‘service animal’ claim by owner and her doctor discredited. No human rights violation.
ONSC: Condo corp releasing its construction deficiency claims vs developer doesn’t bar unit owner’s separate lawsuit.
ONCA orders new hearing for oppression remedy application dismissed for scant, contradictory reasons.
ONSCDC: Homeowners cannot pursue Tarion claims after home sale, so must agree on a workaround with the purchaser.
ABQB: Condo bylaw mandating pooled mgmt of tenancies held invalid; enforcement of that bylaw was not oppressive.
ABQB: Challenging condo rule requiring criminal & credit checks for tenants no excuse to withheld common expenses.
ABQB: Bd evicting previously-approved cats was oppressive & unfair, given sloppy records and inconsistent treatment.
ONCA: Pillar blocking restaurant storefront not a material change. Condo disclosure not intended as a structural plan
ABQB: Condo bylaw mandating rental pool mgmt of leased units is illegal restriction on owners’ rights.
ONSC strikes 5/15 challenged portions of unit owner’s affidavit for small nit-picky stuff in smoke infiltration case.
ONSC: 10yr limitation period applies to condo shared facility disputes where pymt obligation secured by lien.
ONSCDC: Owner’s claim re condo corp’s special ass’mt statute-barred.  IMHO, this case would fail even if made in time.
ONSCDC affirms purchaser’s right to cancel condo purchase after good faith status certificate review. Bookmark this.
ONSC: Condo can’t switch which director testifies mid-discovery absent agreement. Weird facts.  #headscratcher
ONSC: Unit owner may pursue construction claims vs developer. Weird facts but good obiter re Condo Act, s.23.
ONSC decides tiny part of 20-yr condo blood feud that will likely continue clogging our courts for many more years.
ONSC borrows condo concept re alterations for housing co-op arbitration case but uses different standard of review.
ONSC: Std of review for arbitral rulings on 1st yr budget shortfalls under Condo Act s.75 is ‘correctness.’