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Great news for condo communities in the GTA. The new CAO disputes policy has made it easier to resolve disputes for condo communities across the province. An amendment to the Condo Act expands jurisdiction to the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) to resolve disputes quickly.
Expansion to the list of disputes came into effect on October 1, 2020. Up until now, dispute resolution came through mediation/arbitration or by requesting a compliance order before the Superior Court of Justice. The amendment allows for the swift processing of disputes online.
In fact, the new list of disputes will now be handled completely by the Condo Authority Tribunal (CAT). Here’s an overview of what the CAT can now handle.
The CAT Online Resolution System
The new online resolution system, CAT-ODR, is the first fully online tribunal in Canada. You now have access to an online tool that works to expedite disputes more affordably and effectively. Boards and condo corporations can learn how to use the system here. Once an application is filed, the CAT system produces legally binding decisions.
CAT’s Jurisdiction Expansion
In hand with the expanded jurisdiction according to Reg. 179/17, owners, mortgagees and condo corporations can submit applications related to the following online:
• Pets and animals
• Parking and Storage
• Non-compliance of Settlement Agreements from past cases
Other disputes handled by the CAT can be found here.
What Applications Can Be Filed?
The following applications must be related to the above list:
Failure to Comply
Condo corporations can file an application against owners who fail to comply with rules surrounding the new list of disputes. Owners can also use the system to file applications against fellow owners or people occupying units who don’t comply with condo rules and bylaws.
Disputes About Condo Provisions
Owners who find discrepancies in the consistency and/or reasonableness of governing document provisions can file applications against their condo corporation. This remains consistent with the current Condo Act sections ensuring condo by-laws and rules don’t interfere with an owner’s right to enjoyment of their unit.
Applicability of Provisions
Additionally, as part of the new CAO disputes policy condo owners can file applications against condo boards and corporations that amend or implement changes to their condo corporation bylaws without following proper procedure. This relates to the existing process governing amendments. Boards should keep in mind if they don’t follow the process it makes it easier for owners to ignore amendments. It effectively provides an excuse for owners to claim amendments are not enforceable.
Both owners and condo corporations can file applications relating to a failure to comply with a past tribunal settlement agreement. If either party is not following these provisions, the CAT can step in to enforce compliance.
These changes to the new CAO disputes policy can serve to help condo boards and corporations. However, they can also increase disputes sent your way. Being prepared to manage disputes, while also understanding how to file them through the CAT will help you resolve issues efficiently.
Finding effective, efficient resolutions helps keep boards and owners satisfied. CPO Management Inc, Toronto property management company specializing in condo management services, can help your condo board avoid conflict. For more information about the new CAO disputes policy and how it applies to your condo, or for any other questions reach out to us today.