The Ontario government announced Wednesday that it has reformed condominium legislation, with the hopes of providing more consumer protection.
“It should add value to the condo living experience and perhaps even to the long-term financial health (of many buildings),” Anne-Marie Ambert, a condo owner who sat on the government’s review panel told Business News Network. “Now you have some condos that are going down the drain that aren’t selling any more or have no value and others that are on their way there.”
The overhaul is the first since 1998 when the Condominium Act was first passed and, according to the government, was much-needed given the fact that the condo landscape has changed so dramatically in the nearly 20 years since it was written.
Today, Ontario is home to 700,000 condo units and 10,000 condo corporations. It is estimated that 1.3 million Ontarians live in a condo.
“Due to the vast growth and change in the condo sector, the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services reviewed the current Condominium Act using an innovative and collaborative public engagement process, receiving over 2,200 submissions from condo owners, developers, managers and industry experts,” the government wrote in an official release.
The proposed changes include five areas of focus including; dispute resolution, consumer and protection for owners and buyers, financial management, how condos are run, and condo manager licensing.
Dispute resolution is one major focus of the reformation. The goal is to provide quicker, lower-cost dispute resolution and more clarity about condo owners’ rights.
The government plans to establish a an independent, self-funded not-for-profit condo authority.
“To fund its services, the Condo Authority would have the power to set its own fees, including a small fee for all condo corporations -- about $1 per unit a month, which would be collected from unit owners as a monthly common expense,” the government stated. “Fees would start to be collected once the Authority's dispute resolution services are in place.”
to access the government’s release.