CAT Orders Smoker to Pay for Air Purifier Required by Neighbour

In the case of Baker v. Pecarski, one of the residents was smoking in contravention of the condominium corporation’s “no smoking” rule. The neighboring owner was forced to purchase an air purifier “to alleviate the impact of the second-hand smoke which was migrating into and interfering with their use and enjoyment of their home”.

The CAT ordered the smoker to pay damages of $2485.99 (being the cost of the air purifier) to the neighbour.

The Tribunal said: “I am ordering the Respondent to pay damages in this amount pursuant to s. 1.44 (1) 3 of the Act.” Section 1.44 (1) 3 of the Condominium Act empowers the CAT to make “an order directing a party to the proceeding to pay compensation for damages incurred by another party to the proceeding as a result of an act of non-compliance up to the greater of $25,000 or the amount, if any, that is prescribed”.

In my view, this is an interesting case that shows the sorts of “practical remedies” that may be considered in some cases, and the rights of the CAT to award compensation in the form of related damages incurred to implement those practical remedies.

In an appropriate case, I think that a condominium corporation (pursuant to the corporation’s objects and duties under Sections 17 and 119 of the Condominium Act) could consider covering the “up front” cost for an air purifier required by one of the residents (due to a neighbour’s non-compliant smoking), whereupon the condominium corporation might consider an application to seek recovery of the related costs (from the smoker). Again, this might be worth considering in some cases.

As always, stay tuned to Condo Law News to keep up to date on the latest developments in condominium law!