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Condo Tribunal Expands Jurisdiction to Deal with Pets, Parking, Lockers and Chargebacks!

The Province has announced that, starting October 1, 2020, the jurisdiction of the Condo Tribunal will be expanded to deal with disputes related to:

  • pets or other animals (are there non-pet animals in units ?!),
  • parking,
  • vehicles (there is a long list of what constitutes a vehicle, including bikes, kayak, drones and aircrafts….),
  • storage, and
  • chargebacks related to disputes over these items (this will trigger mixed-feelings for many).

This would be a significant (but expected) expansion of the CAT’s powers. While, for the most part, such expansion is welcome, I’m left to wonder if this will result in more adjudicated disputes. The fact that the CAT does not award legal fees to the successful party may lead to more owners “taking their chances”. Corporations may not be able to easily rely on existing indemnification provisions found in their governing documents as the CAT will also acquire jurisdiction over disputes pertaining to these.  This may make sense since the compliance dispute often leads to a dispute over whether the defaulting owner should compensate the corporation and to what extent.

The expansion of this jurisdiction will require amendments to Ontario Regulation 179/17.

In addition to this, the province will “turn on” two unproclaimed sections (section 132 (4.1) and 134 (2.4). All that these new sections do is redirect these new disputes to the CAT, away from mediation, arbitration and the courts.  Don’t be concerned about the fact that mediation will no longer apply to these disputes: the CAT has its own dispute resolution process!

The announced changes (which were initially schedule to kick in on July 1st) are a significant expansion of the Tribunal’s jurisdiction. So far, since its launch in November 2017, the Tribunal only dealt with disputes related to records requests.