It’s customary in late December to ponder resolutions for the coming year, especially for the young and idealistic. We’re neither, but we offer the following 7 suggested resolutions for the new Condominium Authority of Ontario. CAO launched only four months ago as the tip of the first big batch of major condo law regulatory changes in over 15 years and aims to be the go-to condo resource.
After much anticipation and on the final evening before the first major batch of condo law changes came into force, the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services released its new prescribed forms under the amended Condominium Act, 1998 and Ontario Regulation 48/01.
For ease of reference, here are links to both “fillable” (for completing electronically) and “printable” (for completing by hand) versions of the most relevant forms. The rest can be found on the government’s website, though it’s not easy to identify or find the right form.
The fillable version of the forms have hidden boxes and information that only appear when you select certain options. Therefore, if you intend to print out the forms and complete them by hand, please use the printable version of the forms, which display every hidden item. Be sure to save the file when completing the fillable version of the forms to preserve your changes after closing.
You need Adobe Reader 8 or higher to view the fillable version of the forms. If you are having difficulties viewing the fillable version of the forms, try opening them in Internet Explorer. The Ministry even released an email with instructions on how to view the forms. Continue Reading
Directors, managers and condo lawyers will spend at least the next year struggling through intricate implications arising with respect to the major amendments to the Condominium Act, 1998 (“the Act”) and its many new regulatory provisions flowing from the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015. Managers have the obligation to refrain from rendering professional advice beyond their expertise. Provide advance notice and allow lawyers more time to respond. Budget for increased legal fees to enable your lawyer to properly analyze and respond to the new amendments to the Act, revised Ontario Regulation 48/01 and future regulations as may apply to your condo’s circumstances.
For instance, in addition to the increased number of various legal opinions your Corporation may request, consider asking for our list of 30 Condominium Document Packages. We can also customize any of the following projects to suit your condo: Continue Reading
A recent small claims court decision signals the end of condo management firms preparing, registering and discharging condominium liens in-house.
Page v. Maple Ridge Community Management Ltd., 2017 CanLII 21772 began when a unit owner at YCC 34 failed to pay a special assessment in time. YCC 34’s management firm, Maple Ridge, used its in-house paralegal employee to issue Ms. Page a Notice of Lien (Form 14) and, when no payment was made within the 10-day notice period, to register a certificate of lien against the unit.
Ms. Page discovered that the paralegal employee was administratively suspended by the Law Society at the time the lien was registered, presumably for failing to pay annual dues or file obligatory paperwork. Ms. Page paid “under protest” the special assessment arrears of $767 and the management firm’s demanded fees of $141 to issue the Form 14 notice and $678 to prepare, register and discharge the certificate of lien. The management firm’s total charges for the lien work were $819. Continue Reading
It is well known that condominiums owe a duty to accommodate persons with disabilities. It is less clear, however, what constitutes adequate proof of a disability. Ambiguous medical notes containing no meaningful details are often the only documentation given to condo boards and managers, who must decide whether the legal threshold for disability is met.
Thankfully, the Ontario Human Rights Commission recently clarified this issue. On February 1, 2017, it released a new policy statement on medical documentation to be provided when disability-related accommodation requests are made. Continue Reading
Happy 2017! Here’s our recap of some of the most notable condo law cases from the year gone by.
#10 – Cheung v. York Region CC 759, 2016 ONSC 4236
Many condominiums have insufficient parking for occupants and guests, requiring the board to allocate available common element parking spaces in a way that balances various competing interests and respects local zoning bylaws. In this case, the condo corporation enacted a bylaw which leased 4 common element parking spots to each unit owner to distribute parking more equitably than “first come, first served.” The bylaw was challenged by a unit owner whose tenant operated a popular restaurant requiring much more parking than was allocated. The owner argued that the bylaw was unlawful and oppressive but the court disagreed, upheld the bylaw as valid and found that the unit owner’s expectation to monopolize most or all of the parking for the restaurant was arguably oppressive.
This year marked the 20th anniversary of the annual ACMO/CCI-Toronto Condominium Conference. Taking place from November 11-12, 2016, the theme of this year’s conference was “Shaping the Future”.
With the regulations under the amended Condo Act expected to be rolled out in the coming year, the condo industry has reached a pivotal juncture in its evolution. The education sessions offered at the conference focused on fundamental changes that will shape the condo world over the next several years, with topics such as the use of technology in condo living and condo dispute resolution taking front stage. It is vitally important to keep abreast of industry developments, and part of that entails learning as much as you can from industry leaders and experts.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the conference education sessions I attended this year. I have broken down each session into subsections based on the nature of the topics discussed.
We used to regularly post blog entries featuring our most recent Condo Alert! newsletters but lost track a couple years ago.
This is an unforgivable oversight and we apologize to our faithful readers and especially to our associate Andrea Lusk, who has cranked out our newsletter for the past 8 years. Condo Alert! is a visually appealing, high-quality newsletter that has become an “essential reading” item distributed in hardcopy at condo manager luncheons and educational conferences throughout Southern Ontario since 2008.
In response to popular demand, here’s a listing of our previously-unreported back-issues, with links to pdf versions for easy download. Continue Reading
With the change of season, our focus switches from sunshine and leisure back to the serious business of law reform.
There are plenty of different items presently open for consideration. Here are the most noteworthy for condominium stakeholders.
Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act (Tarion)
In November 2015, the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services commenced an independent review of the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act and Tarion Warranty Corporation. Justice Douglas Cunningham was appointed special advisor to review protections for owners of new homes and identify opportunities to improve consumer protection.
Justice Cunningham issued an interim progress report in late July. Read the report and send your input on the findings and proposed options presented by October 14, 2016, which will help inform the final recommendations.
It’s noteworthy that Justice Cunningham observes that “condominiums are distinct from other new homes” and that there is consequently a “need for more condominium-specific provisions in the legislation.” Beyond that, the report is vague on these concepts, but remember that changes to the Tarion Act are mandated as part of the amended Condominium Act. Continue Reading
Section 135 of the Condominium Act, 1998 (the “Act”) gives unit owners, condo corporations, declarants and mortgagees the right to bring applications against one another for relief against conduct that is or threatens to be oppressive or unfairly prejudicial to the applicant or unfairly disregards the interests of the applicant.
Where a court finds the existence of oppressive conduct, it may make any order it deems proper, including an order prohibiting the conduct and an order requiring payment of compensation. Continue Reading