The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services intends to proclaim a “condominium guide” into force effective December 1, 2020 and it’s looking for input!

“The ministry will be providing the CAO with a table of contents for the condo guide that outlines some core tenets of buying and living in a condo. The proposed guide is intended primarily for prospective purchasers of pre-construction condos, but also would contain information relevant to prospective purchasers of resale condos.”

Be heard! The deadline to make comments is August 14, 2020.

The Condo Act and a condominium’s governing documents generally give a condo broad enforcement powers to ensure residents are abiding by the rules. Condos often turn to their lawyers to commence expensive legal proceedings as a reliable response to non-compliant residents. In assessing costs against a condo, a recent Superior Court of Justice decision should serve as a reminder to all condos that they should take reasonable steps to resolve disputes.

Continue Reading Always Act Reasonably – the Amlani Decision and a Lesson from the Court

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.

  Continue Reading Flame-shifting – Extinguishing Fire Code Violations

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 LeaseImage result for standard lease form

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

Continue Reading The New Standard Form of Lease and Condo-specific Additional Terms

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.

Continue Reading Freaking awful

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.

Continue Reading Suggested new year’s resolutions for the new Condo Authority

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