Condo Law Digest – November 2013

Water meter
Ottawa-Carleton Standard Condominium Corporation No. 671 v. Friend, 2013 ONSC 5775 (CanLII)
Decision Date: October 9, 2013

At a meeting of owners in November 2008 it was decided that the water meters would be replaced with energy meters, so that the energy costs for each unit could be fairly determined.  The condominium agreed to pay for the purchase and installation of the new meters.  After about a year meters had been replaced in 49 of the 50 units.  The owners of the remaining unit, Mr. and Mrs. Friend, advised the corporation that they would allow access to their unit only under certain conditions.  The condominium found these conditions unacceptable and informed the Friends that if they did not provide access for the purpose of installing the new meter they would ultimately be required to pay the installation costs themselves.  Over the next 18 months the corporation continued to request access to the unit and warned the Friends about the possibility of bringing a court application.  The Friends continued to refuse access, a court application was brought, and a case conference was held in November 2012.  At that time it was agreed that a new water meter would be installed, and that payment for the installation, obligations to pay outstanding water charges, legal costs and various bylaw violations related to storing sports equipment on the unit’s balcony, would be the subject of a future hearing.

At the hearing, Judge Maranger found that the condominium acted in a manner that was “fair and reasonable” and that the respondents (particularly Mr. Friend), “simply decided that the rules of the condominium were not going to apply to him.”  He ordered the Friends to comply with all bylaws, and to pay for installing the meter, for outstanding water charges as calculated by the condominium, and for $15,000 in legal costs incurred by the corporation.

Comment:  I can only quote the judge: “That a matter such as this ended up in Court is unfortunate, the cost consequences here are 5 to 10 times the value of the claim.”

A follow-up to two cases I reported in the September Condo Law Digest:

In Green v. York Condominium Corporation No. 834 and ThyssenKrupp Elevator (Canada) Ltd. the plaintiff was ordered to pay to the defendant $20, 000 in legal costs and over $8000 in disbursements.

In 673830 Ontario Limited v. MTCC 673 the plaintiff was ordered to pay the defendant costs in the amount of $15 000.


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