The long-awaited, and much-anticipated, changes to Ontario’s condominium laws are finally here. The Ontario Legislature unanimously passed Bill 106, Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015, bringing with it significant changes for the adjudication of disputes, improved management of condominiums, and required training of board members, to name a few.
There are approximately 1.3 million condominium owners in Ontario, and some would argue an equal number of disputes among them.
The current Condominium Act has been around since 1967, and of course, has been amended time and again due to the incredible explosion of condominiums and the evolution of the condominium market.
The current Act, and its regulations, sets out some of the primary ingredients necessary for a condominium corporation, from its inception (creation), its day-to-day management, to its potential termination. These include the creation of the condo corporation, ownership of units and common elements, structure of the corporation, financial management and requirements, and so forth. You can read the entire Act here.
Some of the most important new changes are the following, with more information to follow as things materialize from the changes:
-Establishment of a Condominium Authority Tribunal: “A corporation, owner, mortgagee or purchaser can apply to the Tribunal for a resolution of particular disputes prescribed by the regulations”, although some disputes are excluded, such as ownership and liens.
-Mandatory Training of Directors, as well as disclosure requirement of them: as it stands, no training is required to be a director of a condominium corporation.
-Additional common fees required by the condo corporation may be disputed by the owner at the Tribunal.
-Management service providers and managers (individuals)must be licensed (licensees); the manager and provider must comply with a contract with the condo corporation, as well as the Act and its regulations, and owners may file a complaint against a licensee.
-board of directors must enter into contracts for any work by utilizing a proper procurement process.
The changes passed by Ontario were desperately needed and will drastically change the landscape of the condominium ownership, management and dispute settlement.
For basic principles of a condominium, please see Ontario government’s fantastic summary here.