Legislation & Regulation

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


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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.


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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.

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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.
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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:
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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.
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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.
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On December 3, 2015, the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015 (known as Bill 106) received Royal Assent after being passed by the Ontario legislature.

This momentous occasion comes 3 years, 5 months and 25 days after the Ontario Government announced its plan to review the Condominium Act, 1998.

That review process spanned 18 months and received public input at information sessions across the province and thousands of written and online submissions. In addition, the review included a dedicated residents’ panel, five professional working groups on key topics, an expert panel to vet the working group recommendations and various technical teams, all to inform the ministry staff who drafted the legislation. Bill 106 was then introduced in the legislature in May 2015.
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Now that the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs has concluded its public hearings and shifts to a line-by-line review of Bill 106 (of which Schedule 2 contains the proposed Condominium Management Services Act, 2015), we hasten to finish our review of the proposed CMSA.

As reported in a previous instalment, obtaining and holding a license is just the first hurdle for condo managers and management providers and is the first round of protection for condo corporations and unit owners.  The CMSA creates a number of new obligations that go a long way to addressing some of the long-standing complaints about condo managers and many common problems.  In this piece, we will summarize the major new obligations for licensees that this bill will create.
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