Rules of Practice
These Rules outline how the Condominium Authority Tribunal operates, and what you need to know or do when you are involved in a dispute that comes to the Tribunal. The current rules are in effect as of July 1, 2018.
Since the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) launched the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) in November 2017, we have continued to work hard to make the dispute resolution process simpler for Ontario’s condominium communities.
The CAO has been refining the functionality of CAT’s Online Dispute Resolution System (CAT-ODR) and expect to launch an update to the platform in January 2020.
The CAT is taking this opportunity to update its Rules of Practice.
The Draft Revised Rules of Practice have been updated based on a review of the Rules for other adjudicative bodies and after consultation with both the CAT’s Members and counsel.
Now we want to hear from you!
The Draft Revised Rules of Practice have been updated to:
• Clarify what happens in each Stage of the dispute resolution process;
• Clarify the responsibilities of Users; and,
• Address new features that will soon be added CAT-ODR system, which have been developed in response to User feedback and observations from cases to-date.
Importantly, the Rules have been updated to describe how cases involving three or more parties will work. A copy of the draft revised rules is available here:
• Download a Word copy of the Draft Revised Rules of Practice
• Download a PDF copy of the Draft Revised Rules of Practice
Please send your feedback to CATinfo@condoauthorityontario.ca with the words “Rules Feedback” in the subject line.
In particular, please let us know if:
• You think there are there any portions of the Draft Revised Rules that require clarification
• As a User, you:
o Don’t think the Rules clearly explain what you’re required to do
o Have any questions that haven’t been answered
o Think there is any additional information that should be included.
These Rules outline how the Condominium Authority Tribunal (the CAT) operates, and what you need to know or do when you are involved in a dispute that comes to the CAT.
The CAT is part of the Condominium Authority of Ontario. The CAT provides a forum for people to resolve condominium-related disputes through a convenient online system that produces negotiated settlements or legally binding decisions that everyone must follow. The CAT's legal powers come from the Condominium Act, 1998.
CAT is committed to operating in a way that:
This is who can file a Case with the CAT (called “Applicants” in the Rules):
The Tribunal process begins when an Applicant files a Case to ask the Tribunal to resolve a dispute with another person or condominium corporation (called the “Respondent”). This is done through the CAT’s online dispute resolution system (CAT-ODR). The CAT-ODR system is part of the CAT’s website. The Applicant and Respondent are the parties to the case (called the “Users”).
The CAT-ODR system allows everyone to communicate by exchanging offers to settle the Case, and sending and receiving documents and messages.
There are three stages to the CAT’s dispute resolution process:
For more information about the laws and procedures that relate to the CAT, please visit the Condominium Authority Tribunal website.
1.1 These Rules outline how the Condominium Authority Tribunal (the CAT) operates, and what Users need to know or do when they are involved in a Case at the CAT.
(a) promotes the fair, just and efficient resolution of disputes;
(b) recognizes the Users’ needs for a clear and easy to use process; this includes Users with no legal representatives;
(c) encourages the Users to settle disputes without a hearing;
(d) supports fair, focused and efficient processes, that are flexible depending on the complexity of the case is and how much the outcome could affect the Users or others; and
(e) ensures that, if a hearing is needed, Users have a reasonable opportunity to be heard by an independent and unbiased decision maker.
(a) “Application” (requête) means an application to the CAT under section 1.36 of the Condominium Act, 1998 to resolve a dispute, or under section 1.47 of the Act about a Settlement Agreement that has not been followed.
(b) “Applicant” (requérant) is the User who files a Case with the CAT. This could be the owner, mortgage holder or buyer of a condominium unit, or a condominium corporation.
(c) “Business day” (jour ouvrable) means a day when offices are open for business and does not include Saturday, Sunday or statutory holidays.
(d) “Case” means the CAT’s proceeding, under section 1.36 of the Condominium Act, 1998 to resolve a dispute, or under section 1.47 of the Act about a Settlement Agreement that has not been followed. Case refers to everything that happens from the filing of the Case to a final resolution or decision.
(e) “Consent Order” means an Order that the CAT makes with the Users’ agreement.
(f) “Document” (document) means a written document, image, audio recording, or any file with information recorded or stored by any means.
(g) “Hearing” (audience) means a process where the Users have an opportunity to present evidence and make arguments to support their position in the dispute before a CAT member who will then make a legally binding decision. A hearing may be held through the CAT-ODR system, telephone conference call, videoconference, or other methods.
(h) “Mediator” (médiateur) means a person who is assigned by the CAT to help Users explore ways to settle the Case without a Hearing.
(i) “Member” (member) means a person who is appointed to the CAT to mediate and decide Cases.
(j) “Order” means the part of a CAT decision that all Users must follow.
(k) “Representative” (représentant) means a person who acts for a User in a Case.
(l) “Respondent” (défendeur) is the User who is the person or corporation who has the right to respond to the Applicant’s Case.
(m)“Settlement Agreement” means a written agreement by the Users to resolve all or part of a Case by agreeing on what the User or Users must do resolve the Case.
(n) “Tribunal” (tribunal), or “CAT” (TASC) means the Condominium Authority Tribunal of the Condominium Authority of Ontario.
(o) “User” (usager) means a party under the Condominium Act. This is an Applicant or Respondent, or any other person or corporation who has the right to participate in the Case.
4.1 The CAT may give directions or make Orders to provide a fair, focused and efficient process in each Case.
4.2 In each Case, the CAT may decide not to apply a Rule or to change a time limit or other requirement in a Rule.
4.3 The CAT may give directions or make Orders after a User has made a request, or without a request from a User.
5.1 Unless the CAT allows another method, all Users must use the CAT-ODR system to communicate, and exchange documents and messages.
16.2 All communications and documents that are part of Stage 1 - Negotiation or Stage 2 - Mediation are private and confidential. Settlement communications or documents that were given to try to reach a Settlement Agreement must not be made public or used in Stage 3 - Tribunal Decision, unless the Users agree or the CAT allows it.
16.3 The public may have reasonable access to the public parts of Stage 3 - Tribunal Decision, including documents and messages that are on the CAT-ODR system. This public access may be delayed until after the Case is closed.
16.4 A User may ask that the CAT close all or part of a Case to the public, or restrict public access to documents or communications.
16.5 The CAT may take any steps and make any directions or Orders that are needed to protect the confidentiality of any parts of the Case. This may include using initials for names or any other action needed to anonymize a Case. The CAT may do this after a request from a User or on its own initiative.
Stage 1 – NEGOTIATION: Users are provided with a forum and tools to help resolve the dispute on their own.
In this first stage, Users exchange settlement offers, documents and messages to try to settle the dispute. No CAT staff or Member is involved. If Users agree to settle the dispute, the CAT-ODR system will automatically create a Settlement Agreement that sets out all the terms that they agreed upon. If the Users do not agree to settle the dispute, the Applicant can choose to pay a fee and move the Case to Stage 2 - Mediation.
Stage 2 – MEDIATION: A Mediator guides the Users’ discussions and helps them to resolve the dispute.
In this stage, the CAT assigns a Mediator to work with the Users to find ways to resolve the dispute. If Users agree to settle the dispute at this stage, the CAT-ODR system will automatically create a Settlement Agreement form or a Consent Order. If they do not settle the Case, the Mediator will discuss with the Users how to prepare for a hearing in Stage 3 - Tribunal Decision. If the Users do not agree to settle the dispute, the Applicant can choose to pay a fee and move the Case to Stage 3 - Tribunal Decision.
Stage 3 – Tribunal Decision: A Member considers evidence and arguments from the Users and makes a final decision about the Case.
In this stage, the CAT assigns a Member to consider and decide the Case. The Member uses the CAT-ODR system to manage the written hearing by creating and scheduling different events for Users to exchange messages and documents. This gives each User the chance to give evidence and make arguments to the Member. The Member applies the law and makes a final and legally binding decision that all Users must follow.
b) a Case that the CAT has no legal power to hear or decide;
c) the Applicant using the CAT for an improper purpose;
d) the Applicant has filed documents with the CAT that the Applicant knew or ought to have known contain false or misleading information; or
e) the CAT has found that the Applicant has abandoned their Case because the Applicant no longer wants to continue with the Case or is no longer actively involved in the Case.
19.2 The CAT may review a Case to identify possible problems to the Applicant. The CAT will inform the Applicant what they can do to try to fix any problems. These problems may include the Case being:
b) late; or
c) about a dispute that the CAT may have no legal power to hear or decide.
19.4 When the Case is allowed to continue, the CAT will give the Applicant a Notice of Application with instructions about how to deliver this Notice to the Respondent. The Notice of Application has information about how the Respondent can join the CAT-ODR system to participate in the Case.
b) the Respondent did not complete the actions required in the Notice within the required time limits.
22.1 During this stage, the Users will use the CAT-ODR system to negotiate, by exchanging settlement offers, documents and messages. Users will negotiate without assistance from the CAT, but User can notify the CAT if another User is behaving improperly or not following a CAT direction or Order.
b) the Applicant has properly informed the CAT that they are withdrawing their Case, or that the Users have settled the Case; or
c) when there has been no settlement offer made by any User in the CAT-ODR system for more than 30 days.
b) what witnesses and evidence they want to use;
c) how to simplify the issues;
d) anything else that may help the Stage 3 - Tribunal Decision process be fair, focused and efficient.
b) the Users agree to the CAT making a Consent Order that ends the Case;
c) the Applicant has properly informed the CAT that they are withdrawing their Case, or that the Users have settled the Case; or
d) the Mediator finds that the Applicant has abandoned the Case because there has been no discussion between the Users for more than 30 days, or the Applicant has not paid the Stage 3 fee even though they have had more than 30 days to do this.
b) include any Orders about the procedures the Users must follow to make Stage 3 fair, focused and efficient.
27.2 If two or more Members are assigned to hear and decide a Case in Stage 3, one of the Members shall be assigned as the Presiding Member, and this Member will be responsible for managing the Stage 3 process.
27.3 If three Members are assigned to hear and decide a Case in Stage 3, the decision of a majority of Members shall be the Decision of the CAT. If two Members are deciding a Case and they do not agree on a decision, the decision of the Presiding Member shall be the decision of the CAT.
a) all documents that the User will use as evidence in Stage 3; and
b) a list of witnesses whom the User wants to give evidence in Stage 3, together with a short summary of each witness’s evidence.
28.2 Users must follow the CAT’s Orders or directions about what, how and when any documents, information or evidence must be delivered.
28.3 If a User fails to follow these Rules or the CAT’s Orders or directions about disclosure of documents, information, or evidence, that User may not use that document or information or call the witnesses to give evidence, unless the CAT otherwise allows.
29.1 Unless the CAT allows another method, witnesses must give their evidence in writing. The CAT will give directions about:
(a) how and when the witnesses may give evidence;
(b) how and when Users may disagree with any evidence from another User’s witness; and
(c) how and when a witness may receive or answer questions from a User or the CAT.
29.2 A User must say how they want their witness to give evidence. For example, this may be by using the CAT-ODR system, e-mail, telephone, video conference, or any other method. The User must also deliver a brief summary of the evidence that their witness is expected to give.
29.3 The CAT will allow the other Users to respond about how a User’s witness may give their evidence and be questioned by the other Users and the CAT.
29.4 If the CAT allows a User’s witness to give their evidence in a written document, or an audio or video recording, the CAT may accept as true any facts in that witness’s evidence that the other Users have not clearly disagreed with.
30.2 The CAT may at any time make minor changes to an Order or decision to clarify wording that is unclear or incorrectly stated.
30.3 A User has 30 days after receiving the Order or decision to ask the CAT to make this kind of minor correction or clarification. The User must deliver their request to the other Users and the CAT.
b) failed to respond to a request or communication from the CAT.
a) why the User failed to appear or participate, or failed to respond; and
b) why it is unfair for the User if the Case is not reopened.
c) the other User’s or the CAT’s expenses or other costs that were directly related to a User’s behaviour during the Case that was unreasonable or for an improper purpose, or that caused an unreasonable delay.