Yesterday the Ontario Government announced new laws to “build healthy and sustainable condo communities”. These changes come after many years of the Province looking at the simple and complex issues condo corporations and the residents have. Disputes end up festering in the system being resolved via the courts or by private mediator and become very expensive and time consuming.
The result from this review is the Protecting Condominium Owners Act which looked to overhaul the provinces condo laws. Most of the Acts provisions are not in forced yet, but come this fall Mississauga condo residents will see these new rule changes as per the Ontario Government website:
- Regular mandatory updates about the condo corporation to help improve communication between boards and owners
- Improving condo corporation governance and addressing conflicts of interest by introducing new disclosure requirements for directors, including whether they are not owners or occupiers of units in the condo or if they have interests in contracts involving the corporation
- Mandatory training for condo directors to improve how condos are managed and operated
- Clearer rules to make it easier for condo owners to access records of their condo corporation
- New notices, quorum and voting rules to make it easier for owners to participate in owners' meetings
- Mandatory education requirements for condo managers applying for a general license.
There will also be two new administrative authorities.
- The Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO), when designated on September 1, 2017 will provide education and promote awareness of condo owner rights and responsibilities, as well as provide important information for condo corporations. On November 1, 2017 it will also be responsible for managing the Condominium Authority Tribunal which will resolve disputes about access to condo records. Going forward, Ontario will consult with the public to identify other disputes the Tribunal could resolve.
- The Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO), when designated on November 1, 2017 will regulate and license condo managers and providers.
But what’s the cost for Mississauga condo owners?
The initial start-up cost is to be paid by the province for the Condo Authority. Afterwards the Authority will set its own fees for users of its services and levies on condo corporations.
The levy on condo corporations is estimated to be $1 per unit a month. So if a condo has 100 units then the monthly cost is $100. The condo corporation will then pass down this expense to the condo owner as an increase to the condo maintenance fee. This would add another $12 dollars a year to the condo owner’s payments assuming the corporation doesn't find ways of cutting other cost from the fee.
The Authority will set the Tribunals fees and charge it to the party bringing the dispute. The anticipated cost of resolving a dispute through the tribunal is lower than legal fees and other costs paid currently.