Ryan v York Condominium Corporation No. 340, 2016 ONSC 2470
Decision Date: April 13, 2016
Mr. Ryan owns a unit in YCC 340. Since the corporation’s establishment in 1977 construction deficiencies have lead to intermittent water penetration problems, depending on the weather. Over the years various Boards have attempted to fix the problems. In spring 2010 a storm caused water damage in Mr. Ryan’s unit. Mr. Ryan informed the Board who hired a contractor to begin repairs. Over the next few years (until all work was finally completed in the fall of 2014) there followed more water damage, more contractors, mould growth in the unit, Mr. Ryan’s move from the premises to live at his family’s farm, interior and exterior repairs, and a special assessment to pay for the work needed.
In this action, Mr. Ryan requests about $79,000 in special damages, $150,000 in general damages for psychological distress, and a declaration that YCC 340 breached its maintenance and repair obligations under the Condominium Act and that its conduct amounted to oppression towards him. Justice Perell awarded Mr. Ryan about $69,000 in special damages but declined to make an award for general damages. He also dismissed the claim for an oppression remedy, saying that YCC 340’s conduct was “ineffective until recently” but not abusive or oppressive.
Comment: Justice Perell previously (Feb 2016) rejected YCC 340’s request that the matter be settled by mediation/arbitration, on the grounds that the core of the matter was the oppression claim.
York Region Condo. Corp. No. 922 v Frank Lu et al, 2016 ONSC 2565
Decision Date: April 15, 2016
Mr. Lu is the owner of a unit in YRCC No. 922. In January 2014 flooding was discovered in the basement of the unit. A few days later a contractor was permitted entry to investigate and provide a quote for repair work. About a month later, YRCC No. 922 contacted Mr. Lu’s counsel to request entry to the unit in order to do repairs. Mr. Lu refused permission to enter and continued to refuse or block a number of requests for entry for the next ten months. In November 2014 counsel for YRCC No. 922 informed Mr. Lu that if he didn’t allow the contractors to enter the unit and carry out repairs, they would commence a court application. Mr. Lu refused and this application is the result.
Justice Gilmore found that Mr. Lu’s reasons for refusing entry to his unit “defy logic” and granted YRCC No. 922 an order permitting them to inspect and carry out repairs to the unit. She also ordered Mr. Lu to pay legal costs in the amount of $12,000.
Comment: An owner can refuse entry to a condominium corporation’s contractors, but only on reasonable grounds.
Elena Balland v York Condominium Corporation No. 201, 2016 ONSC 2405
Decision Date: April 8, 2016
In December 2015 Ms Balland was ordered to pay $9344 ($9000 in legal costs and $344 for a plumber’s visit) to YCC No. 201. This is a successful appeal of that costs endorsement.
In May 2014 YCC No. 201 required access to Ms Balland’s bathroom to carry out plumbing repairs to a neighbour’s unit. Ms. Balland refused access, on the grounds that she had not received a satisfactory guarantee to cover damages. She had recently renovated the bathroom and was concerned that it might be marred. After counsel for YCC No. 21 got in touch, Ms Balland agreed to provide access at a time when she could be present. The inspection was carried out and the bathroom was (apparently) left in disarray, with a hole in the ceiling covered over with scotch tape. Lawyers’ letters went back and forth. YCC No. 201 scheduled a plumber to repair the damage on March 3, 2015, despite knowing that Ms Balland was not available on that date. When the plumber arrived he could not gain access. (This was the $344 in costs for a plumber’s visit.)
At the costs hearing, YCC No. 21 requested costs of just under $28,000 (full indemnity) or $19,500 (partial indemnity). The judge awarded $9000. The appeal judges found that the trial judge made an error in principle, as this amount was “wholly disproportionate” to the facts and circumstances of the case.
Comment: Among the reasons given, the appeal judges stated that the costs claimed by YCC No. 21 “result largely from the fact that [they] engaged in protracted litigation by commencing legal proceedings prematurely, using legal counsel to address daily practical issues that could and should have been dealt with by management, and thereafter, prolonging the proceeding by adding many unnecessary steps.”