The Province of Ontario has rolled out proposed new legislation to reform the existing Condominium Act, 1998 and establish mandatory licensing and regulation of condo managers.

Following a careful review and elaborate public consultation process from 2012 to 2014, the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015 was introduced in the legislature on May 27, 2015 as Bill 106.  It was given and passed first reading that day.

Bill 106 contains various proposed amendments to the Condominium Act, 1998 and includes the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015, a proposed new standalone statute to regulate condo management services.  The government announced its commitment to implement manager licensing and regulation in July 2013, following a string of significant frauds by managers and complaints from condo owners.

The status and full text of the Bill is available on the legislature’s website here.

The Ministry has announced that Bill 106 is intended to address several key points, such as:

  • Improving governance, operations and financial management provisions;
  • Training for condo directors;
  • Enhancing communication to unit owners;
  • Establishing a Condominium Authority to provide information and streamlined dispute resolution services for certain topics;
  • Mandating licensing and education for condominium managers;
  • Expanding Tarion warranty coverage to conversion buildings;
  • Prohibiting certain developer practices like delaying or downloading hidden costs;
  • Increasing and improving disclosure to purchasers about condo living, operations and increased costs after closing;

and more.

Keep in mind that after first and second reading, Bill 106 will be referred to a Standing Committee of the Legislature in order to enable legislators to hear and consider submissions from stakeholders with respect to further revisions.  So there is still plenty of work to be done.

After being involved throughout the entire consultation process, including the working groups, expert panel and technical meetings leading to its introduction, GMA lawyers are now closely reviewing the bill.  We will continue to pursue the extensive, constructive input that we provided at earlier stages and offer further help to improve the bill.  Bob Gardiner had suggested over 100 improvements to the existing Act when he co-drafted the Legislative Brief provided by the Canadian Condominium Institute (Ontario) and ACMO Joint Legislative Committee.  Chris Jaglowitz was deeply involved throughout the review from 2012 to 2014 and will continue that work throughout the legislative process, in concert with other organizations and by speaking in the media.  Following his attendance at the minister’s announcement last week, Chris was quoted in the Toronto Star and interviewed on CBC radio.

We will keep you informed as major developments arise and will provide further analysis in the coming days.  Meanwhile, be sure to review the bill and gather your questions, comments and suggestions and be ready to share them. Together, we can take this opportunity to make significant and lasting improvements to our condo law.

Because we see many of the concepts raised by owners and other stakeholders being addressed in the new bill, we extend congratulations and thanks to the Ministry personnel for undertaking a broad yet detailed public consultation and for preparing what appears to be a thorough and thoughtful bill.