Condominium Act Reform
On May 27, Ontario plans to introduce new legislation to better support and strengthen condominium communities: The Protecting Condominium Owners Act.
The proposed changes come after a three-stage public consultation process aimed at modernizing the Condominium Act, 1998. More than 2,200 submissions from condo owners, developers, managers, and industry experts were reviewed. The process revealed five key areas to be considered for reform: governance; dispute resolution; finances; consumer protection; and condo management.
If passed, the legislation will focus on the following changes:
- Establishing an independent, not-for-profit “Condominium Authority” with a view to providing quicker, lower-cost dispute resolution for condo owners and corporations. (This may be known as the “Condo Office” or “Quick Decision Maker”);
- Enhancing consumer protection initiatives by creating comprehensive rules to prevent unexpected costs after buying a newly built condo, creating regulations for standard disclosure statements, and making warranty protection available to certain condo conversion projects;
- Introducing new rules for condo corporations which the province says are aimed at decreasing fraud and financial mismanagement;
- Improving communication channels so that condo owners may remain current on relevant news and legal proceedings affecting their community; and
- Lastly, a separate piece of legislation will be created, the Condominium Management Services Act, which establishes a compulsory licensing system for condo managers and management firms.
This proposed legislation is important to Ontario residents because the size and complexity of Ontario’s condo market has significantly changed since the Condominium Act, 1998 came into force in 2001. There are 1.3 million Ontarians that live in condos and more than 50 per cent of new homes being built in Ontario are condos. It’s a huge segment of our population.
Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP has spoken with the office of David Orazietti, Minister of Government and Consumer Services, and confirmed that the new Bill is intended to be introduced in the Ontario Legislature today. Once the Bill is made publically available, we will be circulating a link for our readers to view the legislation right away.