The CAO is investigating if legal costs should be awarded in CAT cases.  The effect of CAT’s Costs Rule No. 45 has generally resulted in no costs awards in records cases except in exceptional circumstances.  Condos should take advantage of this opportunity to convince CAO to award legal costs to the successful party, for the following reasons.

CAT’s jurisdiction was expanded beyond records cases to include disputes regarding pets, vehicles, parking and storage cases as of October 2020, with some mixed results applicable to recovery of legal fees in some CAT cases.  CAT will also assume jurisdiction for noise, odours, smoke, vapour, light or vibration disputes as of January 2022.

Compared to owner-initiated records cases, nuisance cases enforced by Corporations would often involve many kinds of legal concepts.  Condos and their lawyers have already developed systems to process various types of scenarios, having careful regard to previous court precedents.

After a manager’s initial efforts have failed to persuade an offending occupant to cease creating a nuisance, a condo’s  lawyer issues a demand compliance letter to the offender and often educates boards and managers how to assemble conclusive evidence.  Over 90% of rules breaches are resolved (to the relief of neighbours), usually immediately upon receipt of the lawyer’s letter, or through a negotiating process.  If lawyers will no longer be encouraged to warn owners and occupants of their obligation to bear legal fees in cases of proven nuisances, then CAT can expect an avalanche of cases.


Continue Reading CAT should award legal fees

A recent CAT decision about smoking rules contained the following in its introduction:

“ … this Tribunal has identified concerns with the use of the term “grandfathering” generally, as its origins are problematic, notwithstanding its long-standing social usage. The Tribunal believes that the term “grandfathering” is better understood as creating “legacy” provisions. However, the term

The Divisional Court of Ontario recently considered a condo corporation’s application for judicial review of a CAT decision.   However, the court dismissed the application because the corporation did not exhaust its right of appeal under the Condo Act

Judicial review is a process where courts make sure that the decisions of administrative bodies (such as

The Condo Authority Tribunal’s decision in Rahman v. PSCC 779 is the first of its kind under the Tribunal’s expanded jurisdiction.  The case provides a strong warning against condos seeking to unilaterally impose costs against unit owners.

The Tribunal held that it had authority to hear this matter – a dispute concerning parking and indemnification

Unit owners occasionally request records about past and current litigation.  This can happen in the context of a condo’s AGM, a debate with management or a seemingly benign records request.  When is it okay to provide such records?

The CAT recently clarified that when litigation is settled or fully concluded and the record is not solicitor-client/settlement privileged, a record may be examined and produced:  the fact that the record relates to litigation is not a reason to refuse access.


Continue Reading Condo litigation records may be produced after litigation ends

Approximately two months have passed since the CAT’s jurisdiction expanded beyond condo record requests to include disputes regarding, pets, parking, vehicles and storage and chargebacks related to such issues.  However, the CAT has yet to release a decision dealing with these new topics. It may  take some time for cases involving expanded jurisdiction issues to wind through the CAT’s online dispute resolution system.  In the meanwhile, enjoy Part 2 of our deep dive into record disputes (Part 1, here).

Continue Reading Key take-aways from the CAT’s record request decisions – Part 2