Failure to Meet Fiduciary Obligation – Ontario Human Rights Tribunal Decision

November 2017

Condo board directors have a fiduciary responsibility to govern fairly, manage the affairs of the corporation and to make decisions in the best interest of the community.

A fiduciary duty is a legal duty to act solely in another party’s interests.  It is a special  obligation to act in the broad interest of a larger group of people that generally does not apply to individuals.

This responsibility should not be taken lightly.

In early 2016 the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal awarded $30,000 in damages to 10 residents who were treated unfairly by their building’s board of directors.  The board failed to promptly deal with offensive posters anonymously posted on the property.  These posters, 17 in total over a period of months, made rude and offensive comments about a number or residents including one with a disability.

The tribunal determined that the board was not responsible for this harassment.  It also determined that the board failed to act promptly to address the problem.  The board failed to promptly communicate what actions were being taken to ensure that residents were free from harassment.

At some point the board did arrange for security cameras in the building to be repositioned at which time the harassment stopped.

The tribunal ruling also ordered that its ruling be posted on bulletin boards in the building.