The provincial government is moving forward to better protect condo owners and residents by increasing consumer protections in local condo communities.
Ontario continues to be at the centre of North America’s condominium boom. But this success has been a double-edged sword.
Condominiums, which were not so long ago considered a niche form of ownership, have grown to play a major role in providing a housing option of choice for millions of Ontarians. Local condo communities offer convenient, accessible and affordable living that caters to a wide range of different lifestyles.
Many condominiums are clearly well-managed and maintained and meet the expectations of owners and residents. However, the rapid growth of the condo sector has also led to challenges and conflicts that threaten the well-being and investment of condo owners.
It’s important to keep in mind that as the market goes through growth and transformation, the province must also grow and adapt to ensure that we meet the needs of this large and ever-changing housing sector. The huge growth in condominium development occurring in our province means that we need new, updated laws now more than ever.
The Condominium Act review marked a truly collaborative approach to consultation and is a prime example of open government — government that engages its citizens to improve outcomes. And it’s a way of boosting public confidence in government and of building a stronger province.
I’m proud of the innovative methods used to create this legislation and truly believe that it has led to an act that will provide a framework to address the needs of today’s condo owners and residents now and into the future.
New rules for local condominiums
Taking effect this fall, changes will include:
• Regular mandatory updates about the condo corporation to help improve communication between boards and owners;
• Improving condo corporation governance and addressing conflicts of interest by introducing new disclosure requirements for directors, including whether they are not owners or occupiers of units in the condo or if they have interests in contracts involving the corporation;
• Mandatory training for condo directors to improve how condos are managed and operated;
• Clearer rules to make it easier for condo owners to access records of their condo corporation;
• New notices, quorum and voting rules to make it easier for owners to participate in owners’ meetings;
• Mandatory education requirements for condo managers applying for a general license.
The government will also designate two new administrative authorities.
The Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO), designated on Sept. 1, will provide education and promote awareness of condo owner rights and responsibilities, as well as provide important information for condo corporations.
On Nov. 1 it will also be responsible for managing the Condominium Authority Tribunal which will resolve disputes about access to condo records. Going forward, Ontario will consult with the public to identify other disputes the Tribunal could resolve. http://www.condoauthorityontario.ca/
The Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO), when designated on Nov. 1, 2017 will regulate and license condo managers and providers. Visit online at www.cmrao.ca.