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Ontario Proposes ‘Protecting Condominium Owners Act’ for Canadians: No Surprise Costs for a Newly-built Condo; New Condo Authority; Financial Management Rules; Mandatory Licensing for Managers

The following video presents Condo Owners Assoc Call for Action for Condo Owners Rights.mp4:

Condo Owners Association – COA Ontario Calls for Action for Condo Owners Rights with an overview of issues and concerns. Condo Reform and changes needed to our 15 year old Condo Act, improved Tarion Warranties, Ontario Municipal overruling height restrictions and blocking view. Featuring a personal interview with condo owner having problems with Board of Directors.

Ontario Increasing Protections for Condo Owners
Ontario Increasing Protections for Condo Owners

Support for Reforming Ontario’s Condominium Laws

Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

May 27, 2015 9:00 A.M.

Quotes from condo experts

“The reforms the government will introduce today include a quick, low-cost dispute resolution system, a plan for licensing and training managers enhanced consumer protection, and a mandate for better and clearer information for buyers, condominium owners, residents and directors. Through these and many other improvements, Ontario’s condominium community can look forward to a bright future.”

— Armand Conant, Condominium Law Expert and Partner, Shibley Righton, LLP; a Past-President, Canada Condominium Institute (Toronto Chapter)

“The Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario is thrilled that the government has moved quickly to introduce legislation to modernize the Condominium Act and create stronger protections for Ontario’s condo owners. For the past 38 years, ACMO has worked to educate condo managers and provide qualified professionals to serve condo owners and residents. Ontario needs condo managers who are qualified and well-trained, and we look forward to supporting the government as it puts this proposed new licensing body in place.”

— Dean McCabe, Board of Directors and Former President, Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario

“I applaud the government for taking this important step to enable professional licensing and oversight of condominium managers in Ontario. This Bill goes a long way towards strengthening protections for condo residents across the province by ensuring condos are managed only by qualified and professional condominium managers.”

–John Oakes, Chief Executive Officer, Brookfield Condominium Services Ltd.

“In late 2009, my small 15-unit condo building had $250K fraudulently stolen by the property manager. The proposed condo legislation will create strong financial management rules for condos and license the province’s 2,500 condo managers. These changes will help disable rogue property managers, prevent fraud and mismanagement, and protect condo owners from issues similar to the ones my condo building faced.”

–Sandy Steffen, Owner Advocate

NEWS RELEASE

Ontario Increasing Protections for Condo Owners

Province Proposing Changes to Support Stronger Condo Communities

May 27, 2015 9:05 A.M.
Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

Ontario is introducing new legislation to increase protections for condominium owners, improve how condo corporations are run, and ensure that condo boards are governed professionally.

Ontario Increasing Protections for Condo Owners
Ontario Increasing Protections for Condo Owners

The proposed Protecting Condominium Owners Act marks the first major overhaul of the province’s condominium laws in more than 16 years. It is based on more than 2,200 consultation submissions from condo owners, developers, managers and industry experts during a public review of the Condominium Act.

Ontario Increasing Protections for Condo Owners
Ontario Increasing Protections for Condo Owners

If passed, the proposed legislation would establish:

  • Clearer, more comprehensive rules to prevent owners from being surprised by unexpected costs after buying a newly-built condo
  • A new Condominium Authority to provide quicker, lower-cost dispute resolution and help prevent common disputes
  • Strong financial management rules for condo corporations to help prevent financial and organizational mismanagement
  • Better governance requirements for condo boards, including training for condo directors
  • Mandatory licensing and education requirements for condominium managers.
Ontario Increasing Protections for Condo Owners
Ontario Increasing Protections for Condo Owners

Improving consumer protections in the province’s growing condo sector is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people’s talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.

Quick Facts

  • 1.3 million Ontarians live in condos – a number greater than the populations of Saskatchewan or Manitoba.
  • More than 50 per cent of new homes being built in Ontario are condos.
  • There are currently 700,000 condo units in Ontario, up from 270,000 units in 2001. Currently, 51,000 units are under construction.
  • The government received about 200 recommendations for updating the Condominium Act through its public consultation process.

Quotes

“In recent years, Ontario has seen huge growth in condo development, and it has become increasingly obvious that our current Condominium Act is not providing enough protection to those living in condos. Thousands of condo owners, developers, managers and experts volunteered their time and experience to debate and develop recommendations to reform our condominium legislation. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of those who participated, we will introduce legislation that, if passed, will significantly increase protections for Ontario’s condo owners and set a solid foundation for stronger and healthier condo communities across the province.”
David Orazietti
Minister of Government and Consumer Services

“This new legislation is a tremendous step towards protecting and overseeing the rights of condo owners in Ontario. 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. By mandating licensing and training for condo managers, the government is putting the emphasis on protecting owners. We have to applaud these proposed reforms to the laws governing Ontario’s condominium communities—it is a ‘great insurance policy’ for all owners, now and in the future.”
Anne-Marie Ambert
Ph.D., Founder, Condo Information Centre


The following video presents The Condo Game – Documentary:

The Condo Game examines the forces at play behind the fastest moving condo market in North America – Toronto – and discovers that the glittering glass hides a sea of troubles. The first startling revelation for many people will be how very much the condo market is focused on investor profit, not affordable housing. One expert even says that it’s really not a housing market but a commodities play. And that means that average Canadians, looking for a primary residence, are inadvertently joining a game for which they don’t have the rule book.

Although the documentary focuses primarily on Toronto, as it unfolds warning bells will be ringing loud and clear for cities and condo-owners across Canada. With its population exploding, Toronto placed a big bet on condo towers. Their number has doubled in the last decade. But in the summer of 2011, when faulty panes of glass repeatedly fell from brand new condos onto busy city streets, people began questioning whether this was a safe bet – for individual homeowners and for the city.

During boom times, like in Toronto around 2011, developers race to take advantage of the market and the quality of construction can suffer. Deficiencies are common and some experts actually tell buyers to plan on spending thousands more than the purchase price to fix up their brand new condo.

Then, as tall towers age, maintenance issues can become a nightmare. Imagine sharing financial responsible for the damage done by a leak 20 floors above you.

And the condo game can affect the very shape of a city – with too many eyes on the money, and not enough on sound city planning. In Toronto, civic officials were caught napping when the condo boom hit. It may have been sound neighbourhood-based planning that made the city so popular but there wasn’t the same focus on that foundation during the years after the 1998 amalgamation of seven municipalities into a megacity. The planning department was simply too distracted, figuring out new systems. Chief City Planner Jennifer Keesmaat: “We have been in a Catch-22 for quite some time of being very reactive and in fact of letting the development industry set the standard.”

Toronto is at a tipping point. And the city’s condo story is a cautionary tale for all Canadians and their communities.

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