Moran v Peel Condominium Corporation No. 485, 2022 ONSC 6539
This case is a good reminder that, in all decisions and actions, “reasonableness” must be adhered to.
The recent Ontario case of Moran v Peel Condominium Corporation No. 485, 2022 ONSC 6539 is a good reminder that, in all decisions and actions, “reasonableness” must be adhered to. In Moran, the Board of Directors of the Condominium Corporation imposing unreasonable requirements on an Owner’s request to carry out renovations in their unit led to a $35,826.93 award against the Condominium Corporation (the “CC”).
The Unit owner, Mr. Moran (the “Owner”) proposed to install new tile in the kitchen and washrooms, replace the kitchen counter and cabinets, and supply new bathroom vanities within his Unit. The Board approved the work with various terms and conditions, including a requirement that construction must be completed within four days, and that the service elevator could only be used twice for a maximum of 20 minutes to bring in and remove materials and equipment.
The Owner explained that the timelines established by the CC were unreasonable and could not be adhered to in the circumstances. He requested that the CC reconsider the terms and conditions of its approval of the renovations. Despite requests of the Owner, the Condominium’s property manager never provided copies of any written rules, policies, or procedures that would apply to the Board’s requirements, including anything supporting a 20-minute time limit for the use of the service elevator.
The Owner’s contractors began construction during the scheduled time period, but quickly ran out of time. At this time, the Owner submitted two more requests for additional days to complete the renovations and additional time for use of the service elevator. However, the CC never replied to these additional requests.
After waiting almost three months for a response from the CC, which never came, the Owner made an application to the court. Justice Marie-Andrée Vermette of the Superior Court of Justice in Ontario concluded that the Owner had a reasonable expectation that the CC would consider his renovation requests in a fair manner, and further that they would take his concerns seriously regarding the construction schedule and the access to the service elevators, and further to provide timely responses and decisions to the Owner. The Judge found that the CC failed in this, and they did not consider his renovation requests fairly, take his concerns seriously, and provide timely responses and decisions.
The Judge set out a new construction schedule and ordered the CC to pay the Owner $35,826.93 in damages, plus $15,000 in costs.
This case highlights that condominium corporations must reasonably balance the interests of an Owner with the interests of other residents in the building. Specifically in respect of renovation requests, while condominium corporations can impose deadlines and conditions to minimize disruptions to other residents, these restrictions cannot be decided arbitrarily (the condominium corporation must consider, amongst other things, the scope of work, the specific written rules, policies or procedures and support for any conditions or deadlines adopted) and must always be reasonable.
For assistance with any condominium matter, please contact Dionne Levesque, John McDougall, Kate Kozowyk, Stuart Gray or Kendra Barlow of SVR Lawyers. Case write up by Chloe Campbell, Articling Student.