16 years is a long time to wait for change, but condo owners across Ontario no longer have to wait for new changes in the Condominium Act.
We can’t go over all the details, but here’s some of the most important changes you should know about if you own or live in a condominium in Toronto and other parts of Ontario, or are thinking about it.
Introducing the Condominium Management Services Act, a new piece of legislation put in place by the province of Ontario to introduce new condo authorities and regulations to enhance protection of the consumer.
More protection for the consumer? We like the sound of that!
Some of the benefits of the changes in the legislation include:
- Streamlined dispute resolution
- Improved communication between boards and owners
- Enhance owner participation in meetings
- Consumer protection
- Simplify access to financial records
- Mandatory training for condo directors
- Mandatory education and licensing of managers
Changes to the Act will allow for flexibility and consumer input in a rapidly changing industry by permitting the development of regulations.
Let’s discover in more detail.
Streamline Dispute Resolution
Not everyone gets along, and often this rings true for condo owners and the condo board. The revised Act will split the functions between two new administrative authorities, delegating these functions to two independent, self-funded bodies:
- a Condo Authority that would be responsible for administering condo owner education, dispute resolution and a condo corporation registry
- a separate Administrative Authority to administer licensing of condo managers and condo management providers
New safeguards will be put in place to protect new condo buyers so they make the best and most informed decisions before buying. One of the main things will be the development of a new guide that will be required for the developer to provide during the time of sale. Buyers will then have 10 days to review, learn and make the best decision for themselves and their family. This guide will clearly outline facts about the roles and responsibilities of living in a condo, including owner’s rights, care and maintenance of common areas, and how owners can request an information meeting at any time.
Strengthen Financial Management
The changes will give condo owners more information and transparency about financial matters affecting their investment, along with more control over important changes. This includes owners needing reliable information and access to corporate financial records, rules for insurance requirements, notice of off-budget spending, more communication and education on financial matters, greater clarity regarding maintenance and repair issues, and revisions on necessary reserve funds, plus much more.
Condo Manager Licenses
Currently, Ontario has no minimum requirements for setting up a condo management firm or working as a condo manager. The Stage 2 Solutions Report urged the province to set clear, mandatory standards to ensure a reasonable level of competence and integrity. More training requirements for managers will be needed, a mandatory licensing system for managers and management providers, and a code of ethics are a few of the new amendments outlined.