Five Months Considered a Reasonable Timeframe to Adopt Policy Under A Human Rights Settlement

A recent decision by the Human Rights Tribunal, Luk v. York Condominium Corporation No. 382, recognizes that it can take some time for a condominium board to implement a policy to investigate complaints about owners.

In this case, five months was considered a reasonable timeframe for the board to implement the policy, because the Condominium Corporation addressed complaints while the policy was being prepared.

The dispute began with a settlement agreed to by the parties, under which the Condominium Corporation was required to institute a policy “pursuant to which it would investigate any complaints that owners or residents have violated any of the condominium’s rules, and if substantiated, take what it deems to be appropriate action in accordance with the Human Rights Code, the Condominium Act and any other applicable statutes or law.” No deadline for doing so was set in the settlement.

The complainant brought a further application in the Human Rights Tribunal (less than two months after the minutes of settlement were signed) that the Condominium Corporation had breached the minutes of settlement by failing to implement the policy in a reasonable period of time.

The policy was adopted five months after the minutes of settlement were implemented.

The Tribunal was sympathetic to the owner’s position that, because of verbal threats experienced by some residents, the Condominium should have adopted the policy on an urgent basis. However, the Tribunal accepted the Condominium’s position that it took residents’ complaints seriously and acted on them, thus mitigating the need to adopt the policy urgently.

The Tribunal found that the Board adopted and implemented the policy within a reasonable timeframe.

The Tribunal also stated that the Condominium was diligent in developing its policy, especially given the election of a new Board during that period, the fact that the Board only meets monthly, and also that the process included a review by legal counsel.

This decision recognizes that the process of a Board of Directors in managing the affairs of the Condominium Corporation can often take time, and instantaneous results should not be expected.