The City of Toronto recently hired over 300 new fire inspectors, pledging to inspect every high-rise building in the city at least once a year. The Fire Code adopts a broad definition of “owner”, and, as a result, the city may lay Fire Code charges against unit owners, condo corporations, property managers, management firms and directors for the same infraction. However, there are a few precautionary steps condos can take to minimize exposure to a pesky Inspection Order or Notice of Violation.
Now that the former 8% hydro rebate and rate reduction will be replaced by the new Ontario Electricity Rebate, make sure you report on time to your local distribution company in order to receive the new Ontario Electricity Rebate.
At long last, there’s a glimmer of hope that the terrible new Condo Act forms introduced in 2017 may soon be improved.
On September 20, 2019, the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services announced a proposal to entrust the fledgling Condominium Authority of Ontario with administering (and revising) certain Condo Act forms.
Of the 19 forms proposed to be delegated to CAO, 15 are new forms introduced in November 2017. The other 4 are older forms including the all-important status certificate, the notice of future funding of the reserve fund (formerly known as “Form 15”) and the often-ignored summary of lease or renewal under Condo Act, s.83. If the proposal is approved, these latter 2 forms would come under CAO control in July 2020 while the other 17 forms would switch over in January 2020. This short timetable leaves just enough time to make the necessary regulatory changes.
The window for making submissions on this proposal is a very short 10 days, expiring September 30. Make your comments by email from the regulatory registry website. Continue Reading Delegation of Condo Act forms may bring improvement soon
The Condominium Authority Tribunal, Ontario’s first and only online adjudication body, celebrated its first anniversary on November 1, 2018.
Envisioned as a one-stop shop of expert mediators and adjudicators helping condo boards and unit owners resolve condo disputes across Ontario, all entirely online, the CAT began accepting cases in November 2017. CAT’s initial jurisdiction is presently limited to condo records, which isn’t sexy but is important to unit owners struggling to access important records from their condo corporation. It’s also important for managers and boards to have clarity as to when records should not be produced, to protect the corporation and its owners.
From May to August 2018, the CAT released its first 8 decisions, covering a variety of scenarios. We will summarize those first 8 cases then offer a few lessons and predictions. Continue Reading CAT’s out of the bag: The Tribunal’s first year
New Standard Form of Lease
Effective April 30, 2018, landlords of private residential rental units, including condominium units, are required to use a new mandatory form of residential tenancy agreement for all new tenancies (the “Form”). You can download a copy of the Form on the government’s website: http://www.forms.ssb.gov.on.ca
There’s no sugar-coating it. The new prescribed forms under the amended Condo Act regulations are generally terrible.
After spending more than 95 days working with these new forms and counselling and consoling condo owners, directors, managers across Ontario, we present this compilation of observations and suggestions. They are mostly critical but intended to be constructive. More ideas will likely flow from an ACMO educational luncheon next week entitled “Condo ConFORMity – coping with the new prescribed forms” featuring GMA associate Andrea Lusk and condo managers Babak Ardalan and Jason Riddle. This may be the condo manager educational event of the year. A cash bar is available but expected to be very busy with commiserating condo managers and lawyers.
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 Links to new prescribed Condo Act forms
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 Bob’s AGM tips
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 Lien registration is lawyers’ work