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ADMINISTRATIVE LAW | SPPA / Fairness (Administrative)

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Condominiums - Condominium Appeal Tribunal (CAT)

. Sarros v. York Region Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1445

In Sarros v. York Region Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1445 (Div Court, 2022) the Divisional Court considered an appeal under the Condominium Appeal Tribunal (CAT). As the tribunal's jurisdiction is quite limited and hasn't resulted in much appeal litigation, I link the case here even though it doesn't make any doctrinal points. It's just interesting to see how the CAT and the Condominiums Act, 1998 work, at least in part.

. Peel Standard Condominium Corporation No. 779 v. Rahman

In Peel Standard Condominium Corporation No. 779 v. Rahman (Div Ct, 2021) the Divisional Court considers, perhaps for the first time, the novel but limited online Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT):
Statutory Scheme

[5] The CAT is a relatively new administrative tribunal, and there are no reported decisions from this Court about the CAT. The CAT was established in 2017 under section 1.32(1) of the Condominium Act, 1998, S.O. 1998, c. 19, (the "Act"). Under sections 1.36(1)-(2) of the Act, the CAT is empowered to resolve prescribed disputes between unit owners and condominium corporations on application of either party, as well as prescribed disputes involving unit occupiers, mortgagees, and purchasers.

[6] The disputes that the CAT may resolve on an application under section 1.36 of the Act are prescribed by the Condominium Authority Tribunal Regulation, O. Reg. 179/17 (the "CAT Regulation"). Since October 1, 2020, these have included disputes with respect to provisions of the declaration, by-laws or rules of a condominium corporation that govern pets, vehicles, parking or storage, and indemnification or compensation regarding such disputes. However, disputes that are "also with respect to section 117 of the Act" - which prohibits dangerous activities in units and common areas - are excluded from the CAT's jurisdiction.

[7] The CAT has exclusive jurisdiction to exercise the powers conferred on it under the Act and to determine all questions of fact or law that arise in proceedings before it, except questions regarding the constitutional validity of statutes or regulations.

[8] The CAT is the first Ontario tribunal to adopt a completely online dispute resolution process. There are three stages, comprising negotiation; mediation with the assistance of a CAT mediator; and an adjudicative hearing by a CAT member assigned to conduct a written, online hearing and issue a decision and final order. This is a model which is designed to minimize legal costs and delay and maximize accessibility to self-represented parties. This is a unique response to issues – pets, vehicles, parking, and storage – that should be resolved in an expeditious and low-cost manner which avoids resort to the courts.

[9] A party to a proceeding has a right to appeal a decision of the CAT to this court on a question of law pursuant to section 1.46(2) of the Act, which provides:
1.46 (2) A party to a proceeding before the Tribunal may appeal the order to the Divisional Court on a question of law in accordance with the rules of court.

(3) On the appeal, the Divisional Court may affirm, reverse or vary the order of the Tribunal.
[10] Subject to this right of appeal, section1.46 provides that "an order of the Tribunal in a proceeding is final and binding."


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