A declaration’s owner-to-condominium corporation indemnity provision cannot authorize legal costs, incurred by the corporation for compliance and enforcement, to be added to an owner’s common expenses without prior authorization by court order. Otherwise section 134 (5) of the Act is contravened.
By not negotiating in good faith as called for by its constating documents and trying to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number, refusing to explore practical solutions, and defeating an owners reasonable expectations of it, a Corporation acts oppressively as sanctioned by section 135 (2) of the Act and may be sanctioned by a punitive judicial costs award (Amlani v. YYC 473, 2020 ONSC 5090 (CanLii)
Where work is done on exclusive use common elements by the Corporation without first notifying the effected owners and giving them the opportunity to do the work first, cannot retroactively attempt to make the owners responsible for the cost of the repairs. Those costs are the corporations'. (Beswick et al. v. York Region, 2020 ONSC 2785 (CanLii))
The effective date of the sending of written notice of a condo. Corporation’s intent to register a lien for common expense arrears was the date of mailing. Accordingly a notice dropped in the mail on day one can be the subject of the registration of a lien on day 11. The rules of civil procedure have no application to the determination of the effective date of service. Carleton Condominium Corporation No. 476 v. Wong ONCA 2020 263
A condominium corporation whose declaration restricted each residential unit only for occupancy and use as a private, single family residence and for no other purpose and which also declared there were no restrictions on the minimum or maximum length of the lease of a residential unit acts reasonably in introducing a new rule which prohibited the occupation of the residential units for short-term, transient, hotel like use. Provided the use complies with the requirement of a private, single family residence, there is no restriction on the length of the lease. However transient our hotel lake uses are not consistent with this requirement. Kapoor v. Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 24502019 ONSC 3461 (CanLII)
The Courts will apply the business judgment rule where the decision of a condominium board is challenged. The rule provides that as long as a director’s decision is found to of been within the range of reasonable choices that could’ve been made in weighing conflicting interests, the court will not go on to determine if the decision was a perfect one. As long as a board asked fairly and reasonably court will not second-guess its decision. These principles were applied to a case where condominium unit owners challenged a condominium rule which prohibited leases having terms of less than six months. Kumar v TSCC No. 2492 2020 ONSC 956 (Canlii)
Minutes of a board meeting must be written documents that record at least the date of the meeting, members present, proposition(s) or issues considered, and the decisions made. Where “meetings” constitute a series of discussions between board members, the totality of which amount to quorum, a written record should be created to reflect the discussions and decision made. (Turner v. Peel Condo. Corp. 42. See 2020 ONSC 738 (Canlii)
Section 23 (2) of the Condominium Act requires a condominium corporation to give written notice of the general nature of any legal action contemplated by the corporation before commencing an action. Ontario’s Court of Appeal recently decided, reversing its own 1983 decision, that the failure to give such notice does not render the legal action a nullity. Such an omission is simply a procedural irregularity that can be cured. See YRSC 1206 v 520 Steeles 2020ONCA63.
Generally an action against the deceased person or their estate must be commenced within two years of the date of death. However, as Wilkinson v. The Estate of Linda Robinson 2020 ONSC 91 (Canlii) makes clear this does not apply to an action in respect of real property. In the latter case the 10 year limitation set out in the Real Property Limitation Act applies in an action claiming rights over such property may be commenced at any time within that 10 year window. This creates some clear problems for the administration of a person’s estate given the uncertainty as to whether a valid, unknown claim exists and may be subsequently exercised, leading to hesitancy on the part of executors/trustees in winding up the estate.
A recent case reminds us that the mediation and arbitration process set out in Ontario’s Condominium Act must be engaged before going to court, but only if the dispute is between one or more owners and the Condominium Corporation. If the dispute arises between a tenant and the Corporation because of the breach, for example, of a bylaw or rule, the interested parties can go directly to court to have the dispute resolved. This does not prevent interested parties, including a tenant, to volunteer to enter the mediation and arbitration process, whether as a precondition to a court action or as a final resolution. See MTCC 933 v Lyn 2020ONSC196 (Canlii).