Condowise Learning - Caselaw Summary


Moran v. Peel Condominium Corporation No. 485, 2022 ONSC 6539

Although PCC 485 conditionally approved his application, it imposed an arbitrary deadline to complete the work and would not allow reasonable access to service elevators. The Applicant explained that it would not be possible to adhere to the requirements given the scope of work and estimated timelines. PCC 485 would not reconsider its decision.

The Applicant proceeded with the renovations, which were estimated to take approximately two to three weeks. Unsurprisingly, it was not possible to complete the work within the four-day deadline imposed by PCC 485. PCC 485 would not grant the Applicant additional time, which resulted in the Applicant retaining counsel.

After appearing in Civil Practice Court, two case conferences, and the Application hearing, followed by another case conference, the Applicant was finally permitted to re-commence the work by way of court order. By this time, approximately ten months had passed.

Over the course of those ten months, PCC 485 and its counsel ignored numerous communications and requests from the Applicant and his lawyers. The responses it did provide were tone-deaf and/or non-responsive. PCC 485 did not change its attitude and conduct, even after it was advised that the Applicant would be homeless if he could not resume renovations. Subsequently, the Applicant was homeless for approximately six months.

The Applicant tried to negotiate a work schedule and more flexible terms for elevator usage, but PCC 485 was insistent upon limiting the Applicant’s service elevator usage to only two 20-minute bookings. PCC 485 would not change its position, even in light of evidence from the Applicant’s contractor that other condominiums in close proximity permitted windows for service elevator usage between two and three hours on average. 

The Court found that PCC 485 breached the Applicant’s reasonable expectations, namely the expectation that PCC 485 would (i) consider the Applicant’s renovation requests in a fair manner; (ii) take his concerns seriously regarding the construction schedule and the access to the service elevators, (iii) provide timely responses and decisions; and (iv) seriously consider his request to have access to the service elevator for windows longer than 20 minutes. As a result, the Applicant was entitled to $33,996.45 for moving, storage, and Airbnb accommodation costs, plus an additional $1,830.48 as a result of the renovations not being completed by the end of October 2022.

The Court offered insight as to when it is appropriate to award general damages in the amount of $30,000, or any amount, for oppression under Section 135 of the Act. Despite PCC 485’s conduct, the Court declined to award the Applicant general damages. There was no medical evidence supporting any medical issue with the Applicant and no evidence of loss of value with respect to the condominium unit. The Applicant did not have to live in his Unit for an extended period of time with recurring issues, such as noise and vibration, as was the case with the oppressive conduct in Wu v. Peel Condominium Corporation No. 2452015 ONSC 2801 and Wong v. Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 19182022 ONSC 3409.

This decision signals to condominium corporations that they must reasonably balance the interests of an owner who wishes to renovate their respective unit with the interests of other residents in the building. While there is merit to imposing deadlines and conditions to minimize disruptions from noise and vibrations, they cannot be decided arbitrarily. Condominiums must consider the scope of the work and point to specific rules where they lack flexibility on a particular issue.

Read full decision here.