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Summary of Changes to the Condominium Authority Tribunal’s Rules of Practice

The Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) revised its rules effective January 1, 2022. 

The CAT has also developed a new Practice Direction to provide more clarity about how it will approach ordering costs under the revised rules.

The table below provides an overview of the important CAT rule changes. These changes include clarifications, new rules, and changes to address the CAT’s expanding jurisdiction.

#

Change

Type

Rationale

1

Definitions: Consent Order and Settlement Agreement

Clarification

The definitions were clarified to specify that consent orders are published, and settlement agreements are private and confidential.

2

Definitions: Intervenors

Change

Under the former rules, an Intervenor became a party when they joined a CAT case. 

Under the revised Rules of Practice, Intervenors become parties once named in a case, regardless of whether they join the case or not. This change gives us the CAT the ability to issue orders involving intervenors when they choose not to join or participate in the case. 

See also: Change #11 in this table.

3

Rule 4.3 

New Rule

This new rule sets out the CAT’s authority to issue interlocutory orders (e.g., orders during a proceeding). 

4

Rule 4.6 

Clarification

The update to this rule gives the CAT the ability to address problematic behavior without requiring that we designate parties as vexatious litigants. 

The CAT can also require a Party with a history of problematic conduct to agree to an undertaking that they will comply with the CAT’s Rules and our orders. 

5

Rule 4.7 

New Rule

This new rule gives the CAT the ability to require proof of identification in the event there are concerns about the identity of participants in a case. 

6

Rule 5.1 + 5.2

Clarification

The former version of this rule was unclear and could be read to mean that any document shared in Stage 1 and/or Stage 2 is automatically inadmissible in Stage 3. 

These changes clarify that only documents related to settlement discussions are confidential, and other documents that are unrelated to the settlement discussions are potentially admissible in Stage 3 – Tribunal Decision.

7

Rule 6 

New Rule

This new rule provides clarity about how the CAT calculates time. 

8

Rule 9.3 

New Rule

This new rule sets out the CAT’s authority to require a condominium corporation to provide evidence that it has quorum and that its representative is properly authorized to represent it. 

The CAT has already dealt with situations in which owners have raised issues that their boards do not have quorum / that the corporation’s representative is not properly authorized – see:

9

Rule 16 

New Rule

Unit occupiers (including tenants) may be named as Respondents or Intervenors in CAT cases. The CAT has already dealt with several cases involving tenants. 

This rule serves the same purpose as rules 14 and 15 and ensures that the CAT is notified if a party involved in a proceeding moves out of the unit.

10

Rule 17.4 

New Rule

This new rule ensures that all parties to a shared facilities agreement (SFA) are identified as intervenors and have an opportunity to participate in the case, as required by s. 1.39 of the Condo Act. 

The CAT has already dealt with cases involving shared facilities agreements and has ensured that all parties to the SFA are notified and able to participate in the case – see:

11

Rule 17.5

Clarification

Under the former rules, an Intervenor became a party when they joined a CAT case. 

Under the revised Rules of Practice, Intervenors become parties once named in a case, regardless of whether they join the case or not. This change gives the CAT the ability to issue orders involving intervenors when they choose not to join or participate in the case. 

See also: Change #2 in this table.

12

Rule 19.1 (b)

New Rule

This new rule adds “whether a case has a reasonable prospect of success” to the list of criteria CAT can consider when dealing with an early dismissal. 

This is a common consideration in dismissal processes of other dispute resolution bodies. 

13

Rule 20.1

Clarification 

Minor clarification to specify that a summons must be personally delivered (as is required under the Rules of Civil Procedure for court summons). The CAT’s Summons to a Witness form also clearly indicates this requirement.

14

Rule 21.3

Clarification

This clarification provides a list of the types of adjudicative records that may be contained within CAT Case files for easy reference, without having to refer also to the CAO’s Access and Privacy Policy.

15

Rule 24.2

Clarification

This clarification makes explicit the CAT’s authority to require accompanying documentation to determine whether a case falls within the CAT’s jurisdiction. Examples of the types of documents we may require under this rule include: 

  • Copies of the condominium corporation’s governing documents (in Governing Documents disputes). 
  • Copies of Requests for Records and/or Board’s Response to Request for records forms (for Records disputes). 

16

Rule 34.3

Change

The CAT has shortened the timeframe to request to move to Stage 3 – Tribunal Decision at the conclusion of Stage 2 from 30 days to 15 days. 

This change will ensure that cases proceed expeditiously and that there are no undue delays.

17

Rule 41

Clarification

The previous version of these rules is wordy and unclear. These changes were made to clarify the witness identification process.

18

Rule 42.2

Removal

The CAT removed this rule as it was redundant and repetitious. The information required to be provided for all witnesses is set out under rule 41. 

19

Rule 43.1

Clarification

We have clarified this rule to indicate that cases may also resolve by way of settlement agreement in Stage 3 – Tribunal Decision. This will likely occur more frequently in the future in light of the new rule 44 below.

20

Rule 44

New Rule

This rule introduces Mediation-Adjudication (Med-Adj) to the CAT process. Med-Adj is a hybrid approach to dispute resolution that begins with mediation and, if that does not result in a settlement, sees the mediator assume the role of adjudicator and issue a binding decision. 

Adding this rule will allow the CAT to be more flexible in resolving cases. We anticipate that this will allow the tribunal to resolve minor issues at the end of Stage 2, without requiring a formal hearing; and will allow the CAT to explore mediation at the start of Stage 3 – Tribunal Decision if the Member and parties feel it is appropriate. 

Med-Adj is used by other dispute resolution bodies, such as the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal; Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario; Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada. 

21

48-49

Change

Under the CAT’s current rule 46.1, the CAT will not order a party to pay another party’s legal fees “unless there are exceptional reasons to do so.” 

The CAT’s current costs rules do not provide either CAT Members or parties with clear guidelines about what types of conduct might be considered “exceptional,” or what criteria the CAT might consider when determining if conduct has been “exceptional.” 

The new rule 48 clarifies that the CAT may order a Party to pay to another Party or the CAT any reasonable dispute-related expenses or other costs that are directly related to a User’s behaviour that was unreasonable, for an improper purpose, or that caused a delay or expense.

To provide greater clarity, the CAT has also developed a new CAT Practice Direction: Approach to Ordering Costs.

This Practice Direction provides additional clarity on the criteria the CAT might consider when deciding whether to order costs, and, if so, the amount of costs to be ordered.