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Condo Directors Have a Limited Right to Privacy

Last week, we blogged on whether owners are entitled to access the email address list of other owners.  Judging by the popularity of the blog, it seems that we struck a chord.

One of our readers asked me to elaborate on how this right to privacy may apply to condo directors.  Are they entitled to have the same expectation of privacy or is it all “fair game” considering that they have stuck their neck out by volunteering on the board? At a different scale, when one consider the bad press that some politicians get, one wonders if it is all par for the course? Well, for better or for worse, condo directors attract more visibility and must accept to be identified as directors of the condominium corporation.

Specifically, the Condominium Act provides that the name and address of service of the directors of the corporation must appear on the Status Certificate.  In Ontario, a Status Certificate is accessible to anyone requesting it.  A corporation can charge up to $100, inclusive of all tax, to issue a Status Certificate.  This is not the end of it. The name and address of service of the directors must also be disclosed, at no cost, to anyone (owner, tenant or not) requesting it.  Having stated this, the address of service of a director could be any address the director so chooses to use as his or her address of service, and could even be the address of the property manager.

Interestingly, even candidates wishing to be elected on the board of directors must also be prepared to provide some information about themselves. Indeed, the Condo Act provides that the notice of meeting for the election of directors shall contain the name and address of service of anyone who has notified the board in writing of his/her intention to be a candidate.  Such a notice is sent to all owners and, in certain cases, to mortgagees, but it is not given to tenants or to third parties.

In my prior blog on this topic, I discussed the recent Ottawa decision where Deputy Judge Whitehall Q.C. concluded that the address of service of owners does not include their email address. I would tend to be of the view that the same is true for directors.  I am also of the view that a director’s email address does not form part of the corporate records to which owners, purchasers and mortgagees may be entitled.  Releasing this information could raise privacy issue.

One must keep in mind that we expect the regulations to be adopted under the “new” Condo Act to impose further disclosure obligations on the part of condo directors.  We do not know as of yet the exact nature and scope of this disclosure obligation.

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