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Are condo owners entitled to get the name and address of other owners

You’d be surprised how often we’re asked whether condo owners are entitled to get the names and addresses of other owners. I was surprised we didn’t have a blog post on this (our existing posts having focused on the other pesky question of whether owners can get their neighbour’s email address).   So here it is, in all of its snail-mail glory: a post on whether you can get your neighbour’s names and addresses.

Before we dive in, how about you take our 2-question survey on what info you feel should be given to your condo neighbours!

Records of the corporation

In Ontario, condo corporations are mandated to maintain various records. Amongst these records, condo corporations must maintain the following two:

  • The list of registered owners (under section 46.1(3) of the Act);
  • The list of tenants under section (83(3) of the Act).

List of owners

The list of registered owners must include:

  • The name of the owner;
  • The identification of the unit (which includes the legal description and the municipal address); and,
  • The owner’s address for service (which means an address in Ontario capable of receiving mail).

What is not included in this formal record are phone numbers and email addresses.  Naturally, corporations collect and hold this information as well for all sorts of practical reasons, but this information does not form part of the formal section-46.1 records.

List of tenants

The list of tenants must include:

  • The name of the tenant and
  • The owner’s address (with the owner presumably residing off site).

Owner’s right to access records

Owners are entitled to examine and obtain copies of the records of the corporation. [Mortgagees and purchasers of units also have this right].  This would lead our readers to conclude that owners are entitled to access the name and addresses of their neighbours.  But read on.

Exceptions to an owner’s right to access records

The Condo Act expressly provides a list of exceptions to an owner’s right to access the records of the corporation.  An owner is not entitled to access:

  • Records relating to an employee of the corporation (except the employment contract);
  • Records relating to actual or contemplated litigation or insurance investigations;
  • Records relating to specific units or owners;
  • Other exceptions as set by regulation.

This would lead some of our readers to conclude that owners are therefore not entitled to the list of owners and their address.  But read on.

Owners can access the list of owners and their address

Subsection 55(5) of the Condo Act expressly provides an exception to the exceptions. [I know. I know.  Why do simple when you can do complicated].

This exception provides that owners are entitled to access the section 46.1 records or – stated otherwise – owners are entitled to access the list of owners and their mailing address.

Locker and parking info

Please note that the above information is also applicable to parking and locker units. If these are unitized, they should also be part of of the records – even though in most cases owners are more interested about residential units.

What owners are not allowed to access

While owners are allowed to access the list of registered owners and their mailing address for service, they are not allowed to access:

  1. Other’s email addresses
  2. Other’s phone numbers
  3. The list of tenants

How to access the list of owners

Owners wishing to access the list of registered owners must make a formal request, using the prescribed form. The Condo Authority of Ontario has more info on the process to access core records.

Can owners access the list of owners of another condo?

Can an owner access the list of owners of a neighbouring condo, for instance when two condo corporations share amenities?

The answer is no. Owners, mortgagees and purchasers can only access the list of owners of their own condo corporation. If you are not an owner at the neighbouring condo tower, you cannot access their records.

Keep in mind an odd twist to this classic, if an owner has their residential unit in “Condo A” but their parking unit or locker unit in “Condo B” (imagine a shared garage), they could technically ask for the list of owners of “Condo B”.

What the future holds

Call me a fortune teller, but I suspect we will see changes to item #1 above. I would expect that the province will look into whether owners should be entitled to access their neighbour’s email address.  There is something tremendously antiquated to only grant owners access to the mailing address of their neighbours.  One would expect that whatever justifies giving one’s mailing address to the neighbours requires nowadays the giving of one’s email address. Long gone are the days of the telegraph and pony express.

I realise that not all agree with this and many fiercely keep their email address private. Some may argue that email is subject to more abuse than snail mail. Indeed, having to buy an envelope and a stamp may be a barrier to protect privacy. Having said that, it is also incredibly easy to delete an unwanted email and to even put rules automatically deleting emails from a tenacious neighbour.

Still, not being able to contact neighbours by email, nowadays, is out of the dark ages.  Any ways, time will tell (sooner rather than later, I would imagine).

Tell us where you feel the privacy line should be drawn by taking our 2-question survey on what info you feel should be given to your condo neighbours!

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