Ontario unveiled sweeping changes to the Condominium Act that alter the way condominiums are managed. They enact new regulations that apply to condo boards, owners, and property managers, and are designed to protect condo owners’ investments.
The new Protecting Condominium Owners Act is implementing the changes according to a tiered schedule to ensure that all parties are prepared for the new rules. Many of these came into effect on November 1, 2017.
Below we’ve linked all the relevant websites do you can locate the resources you need under the new law. Let’s take a look at some of the significant changes the Act brings into force.
What You Need to Know About Changes to Ontario Condo Law
Section 1: For Condo Boards
A) New Authority and Tribunal
The Act establishes a new governing authority to regulate the condo industry in Ontario, the Condominium Authority of Ontario (COA). The COA will be responsible for administering parts of the Condominium Act and will oversee the creation of a tribunal, requiring education and licensing for condo board members, and enforcing regulations.
Falling under the authority of the CAT, the new Condominium Authority Tribunal will oversee dispute resolution for such areas including:
- Enforcement of declarations by-laws and condo rules
- Procurement processes
- Access to records
- Procedures for requisitioning a meeting of owners
The CAT will not hear disputes involving liens, amalgamation and termination of condo properties, or determinations of titles.
B) New Regulations
A series of revisions have been made to the Condominium Act that are relevant to condo board members and leadership.
As of November 1, 2017, condominium directors must undertake a mandatory training program within six months of their election or re-election. Failure to comply with this new rule within the allotted time period will automatically disqualify a director from holding their position.
Directors will now have to disclose prior to election or appointment information that could potentially place them in a conflict of interest. This includes but isn’t limited to any convictions under the Condominium Act, whether they are involved in any current legal action, and whether they have an interest in any transactions related to the condo.
The changes to the Act now incorporate standardized information certificates and other communications documents to improve communication with owners.
Additional changes affecting condo administration include:
1. The ability for board meetings to be held electronically, i.e. by teleconferencing or other means allowing electronic communications
2. Changing the procurement process to require a sealed bid process to protect against corruption
3. Allowing for telephone and proxy voting
4. A new requirement to provide information certifications to all owners outlining pertinent information about the state of the condo
5. Requiring boards to provide a preliminary notice of a meeting of owners
6. A relaxation of quorum requirements
C) Where to Obtain a License For Directors of the Board
In addition to providing oversight for Ontario condominiums, the CAO will also be responsible for providing training, education, and licensing for all condo directors. The entire training and licensing process is conducted online, with a Certificate of Completion issued after a successful course completion.
Section 2: For Property Managers
A) New Licensing Authority
Changes to the Act include a new body called the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO), charged with ensuring new qualifications for property managers as well as implementing a code of ethics.
B) New Regulations
Do you need a license to be a property manager in Ontario?
The CMRAO sets new education and licensing qualification standards for property managers, and depending on their experience will either be able to proceed straight to a General Licence, or one of the other classifications.
The four available licences are:
1. General Licence
2. Transitional General Licence
3. Limited Licence
4. Condominium Management Provider Licence
Effective November 1, 2017, property managers must apply for a licence to operate by January 29, 2018.
Effective February 1, 2018, a new Code of Ethics will be in place to govern the conduct of property managers with oversight and review via a disciplinary committee and appeals process.
A new set of requirements and obligations has been put in place concerning the required conduct of licensed program managers. These range from restrictions on being employed by multiple condos to disclosure and records requirements.
C) Where to Obtain a License For Program Managers
The CMRAO website provides full training requirements and licensing categories, as well as handling the application and renewal of licences.