Condominium Disputes – Applying for Dispute Resolution
Who can make an application under the new condominium dispute process?
- If you are an owner of a condominium unit, you may apply for an order against your condominium corporation if the corporation has failed
- to keep or give you copies of condominium corporation records as required by the Condominium Act, or
- to enforce one or more of the condominium corporation's common element rules
- If you are the authorized representative of a condominium corporation, you may apply on behalf of the condominium corporation for an order against an owner of a unit in the corporation if the owner is breaching a condominium bylaw made about – the use of units, to prevent unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of the common elements and other units, or – the use of the condominium common elements
- Other kinds of condominium disputes may be resolved through arbitration.
Before you apply:
- Find out the address of the other party (the respondent). If the respondent is a condominium corporation, then you need the name and address of the corporation's recognized agent. (This information can be found online at the Registry of Joint Stocks website.)
- Make three copies of any documentation that supports your application for the order. These may include, for example,
- letters sent to the respondent
- relevant excerpts from the condominium declaration or bylaws
- Complete the application using Form 26. You may download it from http://www.smartconsumers.ca/ under the "Condominiums" tab or get a copy from an Access Nova Scotia office.
Making the Application
- You must bring all of the following to an Access Nova Scotia office:
- a completed application form (the office will assign the file number and the date of the hearing)
- three copies of your supporting documentation
- payment of $124.60 (cash, credit card, or debit)
- Access Nova Scotia staff will process your application and give you a copy to deliver to the respondent. They will also give you a copy to return later to the Access Nova Scotia office once you have delivered the document and can complete an affidavit of service.
Delivering the Application
- You must deliver a copy of the application and all supporting documentation to the respondent by the deadline on the application.You must send these by registered mail or have them delivered personally to the respondent. If the respondent is a condominium corporation, you must deliver them to the corporation's recognized agent.
- You must return a copy of the application and supporting documentation with the affidavit of service completed. The affidavit must state when and how the application and supporting documentation were delivered to the respondent, within 10 days after serving the respondent. If needed, the person who delivered the document can have their affidavit of service properly witnessed at the Access Nova Scotia office. If you delivered the document by registered mail, you should attach a copy of the signature confirmation from Canada Post stating that it was delivered and received.
- If you are having difficulty delivering the documents, then you should contact the condominium dispute officer at the phone number or e-mail address on the application to ask for an extension of time or directions on how else you can deliver the document. Otherwise, your application could be considered to be withdrawn.
- The respondent must send a written response to both you and the condominium dispute officer within 10 days of receiving the application, or an order can be made without the respondent's input. The respondent may attach additional documents to this response.
- A condominium dispute officer, who is a Service Nova Scotia employee assigned to consider your application, will hold the hearing.
- The condominium dispute officer may choose to hold a hearing in person or by teleconference, or to decide the dispute based on the written submissions of you and the respondent.
- The condominium dispute officer will issue a written decision and order, which you can have made an order of the Supreme Court, unless it is appealed.
- The order may:
- direct the condominium corporation to perform its duties under the Condominium Act, including providing records or enforcing common element rules
set the fees that can be charged for providing records
- direct the owner to comply with the bylaw
- order one of the parties to pay apenalty of up to $500
- order which party or parties should pay all or part of the application fee
- The condominium dispute officer's decision will be issued within a reasonable amount of time (typically between 14 and 30 days) and will be mailed to you, unless you have made other arrangements with the condominium dispute officer.
When can a party appeal?
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your hearing, Service Nova Scotia has appointed condominium appeals officers to hear appeals of orders made by condominium dispute officers.You may appeal the order of the condominium dispute officer if you can show that the condominium dispute officer made an error of law or jurisdiction.
This means that:
- there will not be a new hearing about the facts in dispute
- you must have a specific example of where the condominium dispute officer misinterpreted the act or regulations, or where they overstepped their authority in making the order.
Filing the Appeal
- To appeal the order of the condominium dispute officer, you must submit within 20 days of the date of the condominium dispute officer's order – a notice of appeal in Form 27 – an application fee of $62.30
- Send the notice of appeal and fee by mail or courier to:
The Registrar of Condominiums
Service Nova Scotia
PO Box 1003
- The Registrar of Condominiums will date the notice of appeal and assign a condominium appeals officer to hear your appeal and return to you completed copies of the notice of appeal.
- You will be responsible for payment of the condominium appeals officer's fees for hearing and deciding the appeal, unless the condominium appeals officer orders the other party (the respondent) to pay all or part of the fees. The fees may be as much as $1,000 per day for hearing and deciding the appeal, and $150 per hour for writing the decision.
Delivering the Notice of Appeal
- You must deliver a copy of the notice of appeal and all supporting documentation to the respondent by the deadline on the noticeof appeal.You must send these by registered mail or have them delivered personally to the respondent.
- You must return a copy of the notice and supporting documentation, with the affidavit of service completed, to the condominium appeals officer within 10 days after delivering them to the respondent. Otherwise, your application could be considered to be withdrawn. If you are having difficulty delivering the notice, then you should contact the condominium appeals officer to ask for an extension of time or directions on how else you can deliver the document.
- The respondent must send a written response to both you and the condominium appeals officer within 10 days of receiving the notice of the appeal. Otherwise, the condominium appeals officer may decide the appeal without the respondent's input. The respondent may attach additional documents to the response.
The Hearing and the Decision
- The condominium appeals officer may choose to hold a hearing in person, or by teleconference, or to decide the appeal based on the written submissions of you and the respondent
- The condominium appeals officer will issue a written decision and order that will
- confirm, change, or overturn the decision of the condominium dispute officer, and
- indicate whether you or the respondent must pay all or part of the application fee and the condominium appeals officer's fee