CAT Decision on Record-Keeping Requirements: Notices of Leased Units
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Condominium corporations often receive requests from unit owners to obtain the record of notices relating to leases of units (“Record of Notices of Leased Units”) under Section 83 of the Condominium Act, 1998 (“Act”). But what documents or information are condominium corporations required to provide when such a request is made? Must copies of the lease agreements be provided to the unit owners making the request, or simply a list of the unit numbers that are leased at the time of the record request? A recent decision by the Condominium Authority Tribunal has clarified the extent of information that is required to be provided to unit owners.
In Chai v. Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 2431[RH1] , the applicant unit owner claimed, among other issues, that the Record of Notices of Leased Units provided by the respondent condominium corporation was inaccurate and inadequate since the record only contained unit numbers and addresses, and the document contained duplicate information. While the Condominium Authority Tribunal found the condominium corporation’s explanation for the duplicate information reasonable, the Condominium Authority Tribunal otherwise agreed with the applicant and held that the Record of Notices of Leased Units produced by the condominium corporation did not include the information that was required under the Act. Particularly, the Condominium Authority Tribunal found that in order to be an adequate record, the Record of Notices of Leased Units should, at minimum, contain the following information:
- A list of each unit in the condominium corporation for which one or more notices under Section 83 of the Act has been received; and,
- For each unit in that list, an indication of:
a. The type of each notice received (i.e. a notice of lease, a notice of renewal, or a notice of termination); and
b. The date on which each notice was received by the condominium corporation.
Remarkably, the Condominium Authority Tribunal held that the Record of Notices of Leased Units must not only include units that are currently leased at the time of the record request, but must include all units for which one or more notices of lease have ever been received by the condominium corporation since its creation. This finding is in line with the retention period for the Record of Notices of Leased Units under the Act, which requires condominium corporations to keep such records for an indefinite period.
The Condominium Authority Tribunal ordered the respondent condominium corporation to review and update its Record of Notices of Leased Units and to provide the applicant with an updated copy of the record.
The takeaway from Chai v. Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 2431 is that condominium corporations should ensure that their form of Record of Notices of Leased Units contains the necessary information required under the Act and that historical records are readily available to be provided to owners when requested. We note that lease agreements or details of the lease are generally not producible and may be exempt from examination under the Act.
Also - don’t forget that Records of Notices of Leased Units are core records and, accordingly, if this record is kept electronically, then it must be provided to the requesting owner together with the Board’s Response to Request for Records form!
Please note that the information provided in this article does not constitute legal advice, and you should always consult with your legal counsel for fact-specific legal advice.