Complaints Must Be Reasonably Expressed

In the case of YCC 444 v. Ryan, an owner (Ms. Ryan) made complaints about another resident who was smoking. The condominium corporation dealt with the smoker, and the smoker ultimately agreed to use reasonable efforts to prevent the smoke from being transmitted to the common elements and other units.

But the condominium corporation was also concerned about the actions of the complainant, and applied to the CAT for remedies in relation to alleged nuisances caused by the complainant.

The Tribunal agreed that Ms. Ryan’s complaints were a nuisance. The Tribunal said: 

Ms. Ryan has consistently and for an extended period, harassed Ms. Powell (the smoker) and her children and the management and staff of YCC 444. In the course of this, her conduct constituted a nuisance, annoyance or disruption. While I believe that Ms. Ryan genuinely feels threatened by the smoke and odour she alleges is coming from Ms. Powell’s unit, she has chosen a completely inappropriate course of action to deal with it. 

The Tribunal held that the owner’s behaviour violated numerous provisions in the condominium corporation’s governing documents which were intended to prevent unreasonable nuisances or disturbances, and accordingly fell within the Tribunal’s jurisdiction to deal with such violations. 

The Tribunal ordered the owner “to cease and desist in that conduct which I have  found to be a nuisance, annoyance or disruption, specifically, the nuisance of  noise under subsection 117 (2) (of the Condominium Act), the verbal and written abuse to which she has  subjected Ms. Powell, her children and the management of YCC 444, in particular the condominium manager and the on-site supervisor, the posting of abusive and insulting notices on Ms. Powell’s door and on a common element bulletin board of YCC 444 and the hanging of sheets over her front door and posting notices on the sheet or front door.” 

This case shows that complaints – even when justified – must be reasonably expressed.

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