Canada: The Oppression Remedy

Last Updated: November 16 2011
Article by Rod Escayola

Originally published on July 18, 2011 on the Condo Reporter blog.

A complaint that we often hear from condominium owners is that they feel they are being treated unfairly by the Board. Conversely, many owners or the condominium corporation may feel that the conduct of a single individual is so intolerable that it is oppressive to the community as a whole. Section 135 of the Condominium Act2 provides an extraordinary remedy to both owners and condominium corporations in such cases of oppression or unfair treatment.

The oppression remedy serves the purpose of protecting everyone's legitimate expectations from conduct that is unlawful or from conduct that, while technically authorized, is considered unfair or oppressive. In such cases, the Act grants the courts "awesome" powers to make any order it deems proper, including an order prohibiting a specific conduct or requiring the payment of compensation.

Section 135 of the Act deals with three different kinds of conduct:

  • Oppressive conduct;
  • Conduct that is unfairly prejudicial; and,
  • Conduct that unfairly disregards someone's interest.

What remedy is available when a condominium corporation treats owners unfairly?

Oppressive conduct usually requires an element of bad faith, meaning that the respondent took an action knowing that it was wrong or unfair. Lack of diligence, abuse of power and failure to cooperate are examples of bad faith. A recent case3 dealt with a corporation's application against a unit owner who had engaged in significantly aggressive behaviour towardsother unit owners and management. Relying on the oppression remedy and on the court's wide discretionary powers, the judge concluded that the owner's behaviour was coercive, abusive and oppressive. Acknowledging that the measure was drastic, the judge ordered the departure of this owner from the condominium, the sale of his unit and the recovery from the proceeds of the sale of the unit of the Corporation's costs in returning the unit to a state of fitness for occupation. The Court also ordered that the owner pay the Corporation's costs on a full indemnity basis and that all costs be deemed to be common expenses collectible from the sale of the unit.

Conduct that is unfairly prejudicial only requires that the complainant's rights be limited in an unfair or inequitable manner. It includes situations where two groups of owners in a similar situation receive different treatment by the Board. To illustrate this, one only has to think of a situation where the Board is allowing some owners to benefit from a privilege while refusing this same privilege to others.

Claims that conduct is unfairly prejudicial are often raised together with allegations of conduct that unfairly disregards someone's interests, the latter being found when one's interests are unjustly ignored or treated as being of no importance. An example of this was discussed in a case4 where a condominium complex was comprised of both commercial and residential unit owners. Although the "commercial directors" were removed from the board in a legal majority vote, the commercial directors sought and successfully obtained a declaration that their removal from the board was unfairly prejudicial to them and unfairly disregarded their interests.

There are however limits to recourse to the oppression remedy, as this remedy only protects legitimate expectations as opposed to "wish lists." For instance, the courts will balance the owner's objectively reasonable expectations with the Board's statutory authority to govern and duty to exercise judgment in making decisions. The court discussed the requirement to strike this balance in a 2009 case5 where an owner made an application for the removal of a new walkway servicing the parking lot, arguing that it was unnecessary, oppressive and interfered with his privacy. The court held that the decision of the Board was not oppressive because the old walkway presented legitimate safety issues and that all other options had been carefully considered by the Board.

The oppression remedy is aimed at balancing reasonable expectations and conflicting interests, often in order to protect individuals when the rule of majority is unfair to them. The oppression remedy can also serve to give relief to a corporation dealing with recalcitrant owners. In light of the existence of this remedy, it is paramount that condominium corporations treat everyone fairly and apply the same rules to everyone. A corporation cannot, for instance, allow some owners to disregard the rules and only enforce them against other owners. It is important for the Board to be consistent and fair.


2 htm#BK163




The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions