A recent decision out of the CAT has helped clarify what types of matters corporations and owners can bring to this tribunal.
As a brief reminder, the CAT can now adjudicate cases dealing with pets, parking, vehicles, storage, and chargebacks related to disputes over these items. We blogged about the newly expanded jurisdiction of the CAT in greater detail here.
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Facts of this case
In Rahman v PSCC 779, the CAT was faced with a number of novel issues (novel for the CAT, not so novel to our condo geek readers). The facts of the case are summarized as follows:
- An owner was parking in the condo’s outdoor accessible parking space;
- The owner had an “accessible parking permit” from the city and a doctor’s note;
- The Corporation argued that the outdoor parking space was reserved for visitors;
- The Corporation also argued that the owner was not truly disabled (based on security footage showing his activities around the complex);
- The Corporation began compliance enforcement, sought a chargeback for legal costs, and was proceeding with a lien and sale process; and,
- Both sides accused the other of harassment.
The CAT’s ‘new’ jurisdiction
As our readers know, the CAT is permitted to hear cases dealing with “parking.” The precise language of the regulation is
“a dispute with respect to… provisions [of the declaration, by-laws or rules of a corporation] that prohibit, restrict or otherwise govern the parking.”
Excluded from the jurisdiction of the CAT are cases (including parking cases) that are “also with respect toof the ” (dangerous activities). The latter type of disputes has to proceed to the Superior Court of Justice.
On a preliminary motion reported here, the Corporation attempted to have the CAT’s claim thrown out, arguing that the CAT did not have jurisdiction over disputes related to “dangerous activities” (the harassment).
The CAT disagreed.
In its view, this was truly a case “with respect to” parking. The harassment portion of the case really dealt with compliance and chargebacks related to that parking issue.
The CAT cautioned against the practice of adding “extra” allegations and “mere mention” of safety concerns to broaden the dispute in an attempt to exclude it from the tribunal’s jurisdiction.
The CAT sees itself as an access to justice forum and will not be so quick to decline to hear cases that are – at their essence- really about parking, pets, storage, etc.