Changes Coming to the Condominium Act:
The popularity of condo living has increased dramatically. Today, 1.4 million Ontarians live in 700,000 condos and 50,000 new units are under construction. The existing Condominium Act is 17 years old. It is time for an update. New legislation called, "Protecting Condominium Owners Act", is designed to help buyers, residents and boards and to foster a harmonious condo experience. If approved , the new rules will come into effect in 2016. Here is a brief summary of five proposed changes:
1. INCREASED CONSUMER PROTECTION: It will become mandatory for Developers to provide standardized agreements and declarations. As well, Builders must fully disclose to buyers hidden closing costs and future liabilities.
2. IMPROVED STANDARDS OF MANAGEMENT: All property managers will be subject to licensing, continuing education requirements and ethics scrutiny.
3. CLARIFIED FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT RULES: Common element improvements exceeding $30,000. or 3% of the annual budget will require owners’ formal consent.
4. SIMPLIFIED CORPORATE GOVERNANCE: It will become easier to change by-laws by lowering the "3rd try" quorum requirement to 15% of owners.
5. ENHANCED DISPUTE RESOLUTION: A new Condominium Authority will be set up along with a tribunal to streamline the handling of conflict and resolve disputes quickly. This tribunal will have binding authority to manage cases and have the same power as a court order. It is envisioned that the new Condo Authority will be self-funding, supported by $1 - $3 per month contributions from condo owners.