As with any type of business or residential community, sometimes problems arise that require a resolution for condo owners and corporations. Luckily, the Ontario Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) exists to help condo owners and corporations resolve issues.
The Purpose of the Ontario Condominium Authority Tribunal
The Ontario Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) helps condo owners and corporations resolve issues. As Canada’s first online tribunal, it created as a cost-effective way to assist owners and corporations quickly resolve issues in a condominium environment while avoiding expensive court costs. The condominium authority tribunal offers fast, affordable, and convenient resolutions for different types of condominium authority tribunal disputes that include the following common problems that are frequently dealt with.
Types of Disputes That Can Be Filed with the Condominium Authority Tribunal
The Condominium Authority Tribunal accepts applications for a variety of disputes related to bylaws, rules, and provisions outlined in a condo corporation’s governing documents. Initially, they were limited to disputes about compliance, consistency, applicability, and compensation related to those issues. But more recently, the CAT authority expanded to include nuisances. Now, the tribunal deals with the following issues:
- Annoying noise/vibrations such as loud music, heavy footsteps, yelling, and vibrations caused by the operation of common elements like elevators and plumbing systems
- Vehicles that are speeding, abandoned, suspicious, etc.
- Smoke and vapour from doorways or balconies
- Unpleasant odours from cooking, candles, garbage, incense, etc.
- Lighting issues that include insufficient lighting in parking areas and unwanted light entering a unit
- Pets and animals unleashed, barking, destroying property, etc if related rules are included in corporation documents.
- Condo Record issues that need attention or corrections
- Compliance with CAT settlement agreements
The CAT process is not applicable if the issues are not part of the condominium’s documented guidelines which may require private arbitration.
How the Condominium Authority Tribunal Resolves Disputes
Created so condo owners and corporations can avoid costly court cases and lengthy arbitration, CAT helps resolve disputes collaboratively. The condo authority tribunal provides:
- Information concerning condo owner’s responsibilities and rights under the law
- Easy steps to resolve common issues with ease
- Letter template samples that can be used as a guide when contacting owners, the board, or contractors
3-Step Dispute Resolution Process
The Condominium Authority Tribunal offers a three-step online dispute resolution process. It has been very successful in assisting with a variety of disputes that can be filed with the Condominium Authority Tribunal regarding condominium owners and corporation issues that arise. Before the 3-step CAT process begins, applicants must file an application and deliver a notice to the respondent. Then the respondent joins the case and it automatically begins the first stage of the resolution process, Owners may choose to represent themselves when using the Condo Authority Tribunal’s three-step negotiation, mediation, and adjudication process.
Stage 1 – Negotiation
The applicant and respondent must initially work together to try to resolve their issues.
Stage 2 – Mediation
A Condominium Authority Tribunal mediator joins the case to assist in resolving issues with the applicant and respondent.
Stage 3 – Tribunal Decision
A member of the tribunal joins the case and makes a binding decision both the applicant and respondent must follow.
Based on the mediation process, the condominium authority tribunal can make the following rulings:
- Require that an owner or corporation take an action or cease an action
- Demand via a Settlement Agreement that money is paid to another owner
- Rule that the expenses/cost of another owner are paid
- Agree that money is to be paid to CAT
The decision of the tribunal is final and binding, however, a case can be reopened or appealed for good reason.
Choose Larlyn Property Management as Your Property Management Partner
Do you need help resolving disputes with the Ontario Condominium Authority Tribunal? Larlyn Property Management excels at problem solving by fostering close working relationships with each of our clients across Canada. We understand the challenges that condo board members encounter. Allow us to share our knowledge and offer support when you partner with us for condo management services.