Condo community members may face disputes from time to time despite best intentions. Here are some options to resolve them:
- Review CAO’s Steps to Solve Issues, which include tips on resolving common condo living issues before they escalate as well as letter templates that can be used to communicate with other parties in your condo.
- Raise the issue at an owner’s meeting or AGM.
- File an application with the Condominium Authority Tribunal. The CAT is a quick and cost-effective dispute resolution system that uses a three-stage process. Condo owners don’t need a lawyer to file a case.
- File an application with the courts to address disputes outside the jurisdiction of the CAT.
Legal Expense Insurance
Condo owners may be able to access legal assistance through their personal insurance. This type of insurance protects against costs associated to lawyer’s fees, court fees and more. Access to legal advice may help resolve a potential legal conflict in its early stages.
Make sure to check your homeowner’s insurance by speaking to your broker to see if your policy includes legal expenses and if so, what kind of legal related costs it protects against.
Condo owners can still access low-cost legal advice without having legal insurance though the following organizations:
- The Law Society of Ontario can help you get 30 minutes of free legal advice for a lawyer or paralegal in your area through their referral service.
- Pro Bono Ontario provides up to 30 minutes free legal advice to individuals who are dealing with civil legal issues.
- JusticeNet helps people with a net annual family income of less than $59,000 but whose income is still too high for legal aid.
Condo owners and corporations alike can access legal information for free through the following:
- Legal Line provides free legal answers in plain language.
- Community Legal Education Ontario provides practical legal rights education and information to people who face barriers accessing the justice system.
Note that these websites do not provide actual legal advice.