Disputes between condo corporations and unit owners are settled under section 132 of the Ontario Condominium Act, 1992. This act states that all disagreements must be submitted to mediation and arbitration for resolution before action is taken in court.
Mediation is a cost-efficient and effective means of resolving disputes between condominium owners, between board members, and between owners and boards.
Living in a condominium is a difficult adjustment for many people and disputes are common. Condominium residents come from different backgrounds and cultures with different expectations of what condominium life will be like. The cultural differences are greater in the Toronto area than most places. People who do not know each other are put together in a situation where consideration for others and co-operation is a necessity. It is a more close living arrangement than when you live near others in a neighbourhood with fewer common issues. Many condominiums contain in one building or group of buildings, greater cultural and ethnic diversity than exists in most neighbourhoods.
Unlike judges or arbitrators, mediators do not impose solutions or make judgments. Instead they help parties reach their own resolutions. Mediation offers the parties in a dispute control over the outcome of their conflict. This is important, because research indicates that people are more likely to respect a settlement if they have had a hand in crafting it.
For owners: Many people find conflict unpleasant, and it can be particularly unpleasant when it is close to home. Mediation is less stressful than other forms of resolution for a number of reasons. You can have a say in the selection of a mediator. Unlike litigation, mediation is a confidential process. Mediation is also faster than litigation. You don’t have to work around the court’s availability. A mediation can be scheduled as soon as all parties can agree on a date. The atmosphere is informal. There is less uncertainty because the mediator is not there to judge anyone. Instead, the parties have control over their own outcome.
For property managers: You may feel “caught in the middle” between different board members or between board members and owners. In mediation, there are no “winners” or “losers.” Everyone is able to walk away with their dignity intact. Mediation can preserve and even strengthen relationships – making your job easier.
For lawyers: Mediation isn’t right for every dispute. If it is the right process for your clients, you can help them save the time, aggravation and uncertainty of a court battle. Working together with one of our mediators, you can help your clients create a novel resolution quite different from that imposed by a court or arbitrator. Save your clients the personal and emotional consequences of a prolonged dispute. They will thank you.
Real Estate Disputes
- Residential and Commercial Purchase and Sale Agreements
- Homeowner Associations
- Partnership Disputes
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims
- Design & Construction Defects
- Boundary Lines and Easement Rights
- Environmental Matters
- Repair and Inspection Issues
- Claims of misrepresentation about the condition of the property