Ontario Government Proposes Condo Act Overhaul

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TORONTO – Originally introduced in 1998, Ontario’s Condominium Act may soon be updated once again, with the aim of more effectively protecting condo buyers across the province.

Developed following an 18-month review of the existing Condominium Act, the Protecting Condominium Owners Act to amend it was officially unveiled on May 27 by Sault MPP David Orazietti, the province’s Minister of Government and Consumer Services.

The proposed amendment includes various policy changes that could significantly (and positively) impact the way in which Ontario’s (increasingly numerous) condos are bought, sold, and managed. A number of the proposed changes are designed to benefit and protect the buyers of both new and used condos. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Establishment of a provincial Condo Authority, whose primary role would be to resolve (via tribunal) disputes between condo owners and boards. (Notably, an additional administrative body would be responsible for licensing condominium managers.)
  • Forbidding condo corporations “from acquiring an interest in property unless the particular post-turnover owner-elected board agrees,” in order to curb increasing development of such interests by condo developers.
  • Extending the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act (ONHWPA) so that it covers certain “conversions” (e.g. church and industrial conversions) in addition to brand-new buildings.
  • New regulations which would standardize disclosure statements, provided by a community’s developer to the buyers of its condos. The aim is to ensure that key details (e.g. unit boundaries; insurance requirements) are not only included, but explained clearly enough for any buyer to fully understand.

The full list of proposed policy changes, viewable here, also articulates new responsibilities not only for condominium boards, but also for providers of condominium insurance.

“This new legislation is a tremendous step towards protecting and overseeing the rights of condo owners in Ontario,” explained Anne-Marie Ambert, founder of the Condo Information Centre.

“It would be a great source of security to owners, would give them a place to turn to when their rights are violated, and it would also provide them with easier access to information […] It is a ‘great insurance policy’ for all owners, now and in the future.”

While the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services has not yet provided an anticipated timeline for rolling out the update (there will first be opportunities for the changes to be debated at Queen’s Park), GTA Real Estate News will continue to monitor emerging details of the new act as it makes its way through the legislative process.

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