July 16, 2015
The province of Ontario has announced a review of the 16 year old Condominium Act back in June 2012. From the review over 200 recommendations; collected from owners, management companies, developers, and industry professionals, were made.
These recommendations consisted of reforms and amendments to strengthen consumer protection.
Here is a short list of key changes / proposals. For more information and explanations on the proposed changes go to Ontario’s website Proposed condo changes- Ontario.
- Creation of an two administrative bodies to administer owner education, dispute management, condo registration roster, and licensing of condominium managers.
- The creation of a consumer guide explaining how condos are governed, owners’ rights and duties, maintenance, & how owners can request meetings. It would be mandatory for Developers to give this guide to all buyers of new condos at the time of sale.
- Stringent qualifications for board directors of condominiums (criminal record check, legal disclosures, etc..)
- Mandatory licensing, qualifications, & code of ethics for condominium managers and management firms.
- Change to the sale or leaseback of common elements & units.
- Better tracking of utility and common element shared costs between condo corporations, developers and parties who share services.
- Creation of rules for standard disclosure statements & declarations to be mandated for developers making these statements easier to understand for buyers
- Change to the Ontario New Warranties Plan Act so that most of the warranty protections for new condo constructions would apply to certain condo conversion projects.
- Require developers to include proposed declaration, by-laws, key documents, search ability, & rules on the condo project website.
- Redefine “material change”.
- Require/expand the information included in the status certificate
- Noise and creation of quiet enjoyment rights
- Give owners better control and information over financial matters
- Condo corporation changes without notice to owners.
- Condo boards will have to notify owners if a proposed expense is higher than what is budgeted by a set amount.
- Improved dialogue and information, in particular on finances, between owners and the condo corp.
- Clarification of “Repair” and “Maintain” and who’s responsibility it is.
- Reserve fund provisions (adequacy, purpose, expert opinion, first year contribution, accountability)
- Re-define and clarify the meaning of a “standard unit” for insurance purposes.
- Clarification of owner’s liability for damage to common elements, assets, & other units.
- Clarity on charge-backs and rules surrounding when they can be charged.
- Disclosure of operating cost within a set period of time after the corporation’s first year.
- Training and support of board directors.
- More accountability from condo boards.
- Require regular information to be relayed to unit owners on insurance, legal proceedings, etc… by the condo board.
- Creation of a sealed-bid contract procurement process for maintenance companies.
- Provision to make it easier for unit owners to call condo board meetings.
For more information and explanations on the proposed changes go to Ontario’s website Proposed condo changes- Ontario.