As we head into 2024, it is a fitting time to look back. In our first post of 2024, we provided case summaries of the top five condominium cases from the Small Claims Court and Superior Court of Justice.
We would be remiss if we did not provide similar summaries from the Condominium Authority Tribunal (“CAT”). Below are our top five noteworthy CAT cases from 2023, in no particular order.
In Rahman, the Applicant complained that there were odours, vapours, smells, smoke and other airborne contaminants entering his unit through faulty vent covers. The CAT found that this was not a case about nuisance, annoyance, or disruption, as he claimed, given that the Applicant was not able to give evidence that the faulty vents contributed to unreasonable odours, smells, vapour or smoke in his unit. Rather, the CAT determined that this was a maintenance and repair issue, which is not within the CAT’s jurisdiction to make a decision about, and subsequently dismissed the application.
In Sharma, the Applicant was a unit owner and director of the condominium corporation. The Applicant sent an extensive request for records to the condominium corporation. The Applicant disputed the corporation’s response, which indicated that some records would be made available upon the payment of a fee and others would not be released at all because the Applicant was not entitled to them. The application was dismissed because the CAT found that the Applicant filed the request for records in his capacity as a director, and the CAT does not have jurisdiction to consider decisions regarding applications made by a director for records.
In Micoli, the CAT concluded that the tenants were highly disruptive and caused nuisances that unreasonably interfered and disturbed the comfort or quiet enjoyment of other residents and the condominium staff. The impugned conduct included leaving debris in the halls, noise incidents, and being verbally abusive to condominium staff. The CAT found that the unit owner did not take any steps to ensure that the tenant complied with condominium rules or to evict the tenant. Costs were awarded against both the unit owner and the tenants, with the tenant being ordered to cease all disruptive conduct and the owner ordered to ensure compliance. Of interest, the CAT awarded the corporation “compensation” for legal expenses incurred from the opening of the file to the end of Stage 2, in addition to costs incurred during Stage 3.
In Chakravarty, complaints were made by a resident against the resident occupying the Applicant’s unit. The condominium corporation sent a compliance letter to address the misconduct. The Applicant claims that the condominium corporation in their response to the complaints and by sending a compliance letter, engaged in activities that were a nuisance, annoyance or disruption. The CAT held that a finding of nuisance requires that there is a substantial interference in the rights of others and that there is frequency and duration in the conduct. The conduct here did not rise to the level required for a finding of nuisance, rather, was more akin to harassment. The application was dismissed given that there was no provision against harassment in the condominium governance documents, and the CAT did not otherwise have jurisdiction to consider it.
In York, the CAT held that the conduct of a complainant can be found to be a nuisance, even if their complaint is valid. The condominium corporation rules stated that the transmission of smoke from one unit to another was prohibited if the smoke or odour was an annoyance, nuisance, or disruption to other owners. The condominium corporation settled the dispute with a resident who was transmitting smoke. However, the CAT found that the resident who initiated the complaints had consistently harassed the resident of the unit she believed the smoke to be coming from, their family, and the condominium staff. The complainant’s conduct was found to be a nuisance, and costs were ordered against her.
Should you have any questions regarding this article or related matters, please feel free to reach out to a member of Miller Thomson’s Condominium & Strata Group for more information.