Dispute resolution can be time consuming and legal costs can be expensive. As such, one of the goals of the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015 is to provide a faster, more effective, less expensive and fairer dispute resolution process through the formation of a new,online Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT). The Tribunal would have the exclusive jurisdiction to hear and to make legally binding and enforceable decisions about certain condominium disputes to be prescribed by the government in regulation. The Divisional Court would hear appeals from Tribunal findings on questions of law, and existing dispute resolution mechanisms will still apply to disputes outside the Tribunal's jurisdiction.
In a condo community, sharing common elements and following community rules can lead to disagreements. The CAO's goal would be to help resolve issues early before they become legal disputes. The Condominium Authority Tribunal would have exclusive jurisdiction to resolve certain condo disputes.
Once it is designated, the CAO will oversee the establishment of the Tribunal, which will help to resolve issues using alternative dispute resolution. This will include online guided pathways of information and a collaborative tool that will offer guided negotiation, mediation and adjudication. The types of disputes that can be brought before the Tribunal will be set out in regulations by the government. It is anticipated that the Condominium Authority Tribunal will begin accepting applications for resolution of certain disputes in late 2017.