Over 1.3 million Ontario condo dwellers will be better protected and have more rights under long-awaited new provincial legislation that has passed unanimously at Queen’s Park. With over half of Toronto re-sales being condominiums, this is good news for the consumer.
Ontario has 700,000 condominium units — and 10,000 different condo corporations for their residents.
The Condominium Act has not changed in ten years, so it was time for an update.
1) There will be mandatory licensing and education requirements for condominium managers.
2) A new Condominium Authority will be established in 2017 to prevent common disputes and serve as a cheaper alternative than the court system to resolve problems. It will be an independent, not-for-profit corporation.
3) The new Condominium Authority will be funded by a $1-per-unit monthly fee and will fall under the oversight of the provincial auditor general. At $12 a year, this money well spent for condo owners.
4) The new administrative authority will regulate condo managers and property management companies and include a code of ethics.
5) Governance requirements for those on condo boards will also include training of directors.
6) Boards would no longer have to pass a by-law in order to hold a conference call or virtual meeting online.
7) Boards will also be required to update owners regularly on insurance and any legal proceedings.
8) There will be clearer rules to protect owners from sticker-shock costs after purchasing newly built units. Developers will be required give buyers a guide to condominium living at the time of sale and the Ontario new home warranty will soon also apply to some condo conversion projects in older buildings.
Improved regulation for condo corporations should help curb financial mismanagement and organizational bungling and reduce fraud. It will also forbid condo corporations from finalizing some maintenance contracts unless they have sought competing bids for work and give owners more information about their corporation’s finances and clarify rules about reserve funds.
– Chip Barkel, MCNE, SRES, Toronto Real Estate. Extraordinary Service. Top Results.