A Condominium Corporation’s Access Rights

The rights of a condominium corporation to access owners’ units were addressed in a recent case of the Ontario Superior Court. In the case of MTCC 1328 v. 2145401 Ontario Inc., the condominium corporation sought access to one of the units.  The owner of the unit below had complained about noise and vibration allegedly emanating from a spiral staircase in the unit.  The corporation sought access in order to inspect and investigate the alleged noise and vibration.  The owner refused. The Court granted the requested access.

The Court said:

Under s. 19 of the (Condominium Act, 1998), MTCC 1328 has a right to enter the Unit upon giving reasonable notice at any reasonable time to perform its duties and objects or to exercise its powers.  Section 35(a) of the declaration provides a similar right of entry to MTCC 1328, on reasonable notice, for the purposes of making an inspection or to carry out any duty imposed on it. 

Does MTCC 1328 have to satisfy the respondents and/or the court that Franklin’s complaints are justified or that there has been interference with Franklin’s reasonable use and enjoyment of her unit 402 in order to gain the right of entry to the Unit?  No.  The request for entry must be reasonable but that assessment may be predicated on the fact of the complaint (or in this case, series of continuing complaints) and need not be predicated on an assessment of whether there has, in fact, been a breach of the declaration or the Act at this stage.

The bottom line is as follows: When a condominium corporation has reasonable cause for concern about possibly problematic conditions in a unit, the condominium corporation has the right (and in many cases the duty) to enter the unit (on reasonable notice) in order to investigate and, if necessary, resolve the problem.

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