Karen Phung, a litigator with Miller Thomson LLP, succeeded in Court on behalf of MTCC 659 in the corporation’s claim against a unit owner for over $19,000 in unpaid water bills. The defendant unit owner ran a legal marijuana grow operation out of his unit and used 20 times more water than the average unit in the condominium (as confirmed by separate metering). The unit owner claimed that he produced marijuana for his personal use only, and therefore his use of water to run the grow-op was also personal. 

MTCC 659’s Declaration provides that the corporation is responsible for paying for water usage, except for commercial /industrial use. Although the unit owner argued that his water usage was personal, the Court found him liable to pay all of the excessive water bills that were attributable to his unit. This is because the personal use contemplated by his government-issued production license (which is directed at marijuana producers) isnot the same personal use of water contemplated by MTCC 659’s Declaration. As such it would be unfair and disproportionate for the other unit owners of MTCC 659 to bear the cost of the defendant’s water usage.

The Court awarded MTCC 659 the full amount of its claim and the maximum amount of costs allowable. Check out the decision here: Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 659 v. Chris Truman, [2015] O.J. No. 4500 (Small Claims Ct.).