Effective October 1, 2020, the Ontario Government expanded the Condominium Authority Tribunal’s jurisdiction to include new types of disputes. Owners, mortgagees, and condominium corporations will be able to file applications at the CAT for disputes about provisions in the declaration, by-laws, or rules that deal with:
- Pets and other animals
- Parking and storage
- Indemnification or compensation charges related to disputes about the items above
Examples of disputes that may come before the CAT include:
- Condominium corporation/owner against owner/occupant for failure to comply with the above provisions in the declaration, by-laws, or rules
- Owner against condominium corporation for failure to enforce the above provisions in the declaration, by-laws, or rules
- Owner against condominium corporation for an order that one or more of the above provisions in the by-laws and/or rules is unreasonable and/or inconsistent with the Condominium Act, 1998 or that one or more of the above provisions in the declaration is inconsistent with the Condominium Act
- Condominium corporation/owner seeking indemnification or compensation charges related to the above disputes as per the indemnification/compensation provisions in the declaration, by-laws, or rules
The CAT has exclusive jurisdiction over these disputes. The CAT has ruled that this jurisdiction may extend to related disputes that arise in the context of the case before it. Examples include:
- How a condominium corporation applied pet rules in response to an owner’s request to accommodate a disability under the Human Rights Code (Ontario) [Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 1195 v. Solomon, 2021 ONCAT 20 ]
- Whether a condominium corporation complied with the process under Section 107 of the Condominium Act for effecting an Amendment to Declaration dealing with pets [TW Cross Investments Ltd. v. Peel Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1052, 2021 ONCAT 58 ]
Notwithstanding the above, the Condominium Act expressly prohibits applications to the CAT with respect to certain types of disputes. Examples include a dispute with respect to Sections 85 (lien upon default), 98 (changes made by owners), and 117 (dangerous activities) of the Condominium Act. The CAT has also ruled that it has no jurisdiction over shared facilities disputes between condominium corporations [Datri v. York Region Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1188, 2021 ONCAT 47 ].
I expect that there will be more motions before the CAT to clarify its jurisdiction. Potential issues that may require clarification include:
- CAT or mediation/arbitration? Example: separate disputes involving the same owner/occupant’s behaviour, one listed above (e.g. pets) and the other not (e.g. cannabis).
- CAT or court? Example: a dispute about vehicles (CAT) involving dangerous activities (Section 117 of the Condominium Act – court).
The CAT’s jurisdiction will likely expand in the near future to include more disputes. The Condominium Authority of Ontario recently announced that it will launch public consultations on jurisdiction expansion of the CAT. I look forward to more legislative and case law updates as the Ontario Government continues to implement the amendments to the Condominium Act enacted under the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015.
Mark Willis-O’Connor, JD
Lawyer, McCarter Grespan Lawyers