Condo boards should not be bullies
A few words of caution for condo boards from Justice Myers.
In Couture v. TSCC No. 2187, (2015), Myers J. states:
 Life would be much neater if all
disputes could be terminated unilaterally. The board somehow satisfied
itself that it did not need to comply with the condominium’s mediation
and arbitration bylaw or the provisions of section 132 of the
Condominium Act, 1998 concerning mediation and arbitration. Rather than
following the statutory prescription to attempt to resolve matters
without resort to formal litigation and within the body of the
condominium, the board was inviting a lawsuit against the condominium
 The condominium corporation offers no good faith
explanation for its refusal to engage in mediation and arbitration as
required by its bylaws and the statute. This matter could have been
resolved before the end of 2012 had the parties sat down in good faith
to work out their issues. So much of the escalated hostilities
could have been avoided had the condominium corporation engaged in
mediation I response to the applicant’s notices. If mediation did not
yield a settlement, arbitration could have quickly ensued. As with the
administration fees/fines issue, this issue may be relevant to an
assessment of the oppression remedy below.
In a footnote, Justice Myers notes:
Perhaps the board had an eye toward
subsection 134 (5) of the statute that entitles a condominium
corporation to full indemnity costs in litigation against a unit owner
in which the condominium corporation obtains any award of damages or
costs. This subsection performs an important role to protect
innocent unit owners from paying the price of unmeritorious litigation.
However, it also provides a skewed incentive to boards of directors and
their advisors who can wield a heavy sword over the heads of unit
owners. In this case, for example, by rejecting the applicant’s common
area expense cheques, the board could have a high degree of certainty
that it would be entitled to obtain a judgment at least in the amount
of outstanding common expenses. Were that the case, it would then
attach a lien to the applicant’s unit for its full indemnity costs.
This section unfortunately incentivizes recalcitrant, litigious
behaviour by condominium boards of directors and their advisors whom
may be so inclined.
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