Jeff Morris Mediation

 

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 Condo

Condominium Disputes    

    I act as an experienced mediator and neutral third party to help unit owners and condo corporations settle disputes under Section 132 of the Ontario Condominium Act. I do not act for or represent one side against the other. Some of the issues that can be addressed are:   

  • Special assessments, charges and expense allocation to a unit
  • Noise issues
  • Construction deficiencies
  • Pet complaints
  • Satellite dishes
  • Parking and common area problems
  • Maintenance delays or refusals
  • Colour and decorating disputes
  • Balcony and patio restrictions
  • And more.....

    It is important to note that Section 132 of The Ontario Condominium Act requires that any disagreement between the condo corporation and condo owner with respect to the declaration, by-laws or rules may be submitted to mediation and arbitration for resolution. The legislation is set out below. The Courts have recently held that almost all disagreements must first be resolved by mediation and arbitration before any action is taken in court.

    This means that the parties are required to sit down, face to face, with a neutral mediator to try and work out a solution that they both can live with. This takes place outside the court process. While a lawyer need not be involved, you may wish to obtain legal advice or representation to assist you in the process.

    This process saves the parties the very large expense, inconvenience, risk and time involved in a protracted court case. It is aimed at finding a "win-win" solution. In the mediation phase of the process, the parties are in full control of the outcome and nothing is forced upon them. However, it should be noted that there is always a risk that an agreement acceptable to both sides cannot be found and the parties are then left with being required to proceed to an arbitration, where a decision is made by a neutral arbitrator, after a hearing, ending the dispute.

    In the condo mediation process, each side to the dispute explains their concerns in front of the mediator and each other. Everyone then has an opportunity to ask questions and discuss the issues that are on the table. Usually, the mediator will then meet separately with each side in private to talk about their concerns at a deeper level. Then, the parties will reconvene to begin to think about and brainstorm options for resolution. When a number of possibilities are determined, the parties discuss the viability of each solution until they see eye-to-eye. The goal is to have everyone's needs and interests met with a solution. The atmosphere is informal and collaborative.

    If you are a condo owner and are having a disagreement with the Board or management, simply make a written request to the Manager or Board and put forward the name(s) of an experienced condominium mediator and propose some dates, day or evening, for the mediation. The cost of the mediation, for a half day, is $600 and this cost is usually split equally between the parties, unless the mediator otherwise provides or the parties otherwise agree.

       Call without obligation to discuss availability for your condo issue. Because of the requirement to maintain neutrality, I cannot discuss or advise you what to do, or what your rights are. It's always better to talk to a lawyer first if you need to know what the legal considerations are in your problem or whether you have a strong case or not.

    We have mediation facilities at Avenue Road, 1 block south of the 401 that we offer for no charge when you book a mediation with our firm.   

Phone: 416.518.8774

Legislation from the Condominium Act Requiring Mediation and Arbitration

132. (1) 132.   (1)  Every agreement mentioned in subsection (2) shall be deemed to contain a provision to submit a disagreement between the parties with respect to the agreement to,

(a) mediation by a person selected by the parties unless the parties have previously submitted the disagreement to mediation; and

(b) unless a mediator has obtained a settlement between the parties with respect to the disagreement, arbitration under the Arbitration Act, 1991,

(i) 60 days after the parties submit the disagreement to mediation, if the parties have not selected a mediator under clause (a), or

(ii) 30 days after the mediator selected under clause (a) delivers a notice stating that the mediation has failed. 1998, c. 19, s. 132 (1).

Application

 Subsection (1) applies to the following agreements:

1. An agreement between a declarant and a corporation.

2. An agreement between two or more corporations.

3. An agreement described in clause 98 (1) (b) between a corporation and an owner.

4. An agreement between a corporation and a person for the management of the property. 1998, c. 19, s. 132 (2).

Disagreements on budget statement

 The declarant and the board shall be deemed to have agreed in writing to submit a disagreement between the parties with respect to the budget statement described in subsection 72 (6) or the obligations of the declarant under section 75 to mediation and arbitration in accordance with clauses (1) (a) and (b) respectively. 1998, c. 19, s. 132 (3).

Disagreements between corporation and owners

  Every declaration shall be deemed to contain a provision that the corporation and the owners agree to submit a disagreement between the parties with respect to the declaration, by-laws or rules to mediation and arbitration in accordance with clauses (1) (a) and (b) respectively. 1998, c. 19, s. 132 (4).

Duty of mediator

  A mediator appointed under clause (1) (a) shall confer with the parties and endeavour to obtain a settlement with respect to the disagreement submitted to mediation. 1998, c. 19, s. 132 (5).

Fees and expenses

 Each party shall pay the share of the mediator’s fees and expenses that,

(a) the settlement specifies, if a settlement is obtained; or

(b) the mediator specifies in the notice stating that the mediation has failed, if the mediation fails. 1998, c. 19, s. 132 (6).

Record of settlement

 Upon obtaining a settlement between the parties with respect to the disagreement submitted to mediation, the mediator shall make a written record of the settlement which shall form part of the agreement or matter that was the subject of the mediation. 1998, c. 19, s. 132 (7).

 

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