Legislation & Regulation

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

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 Fall 2016 law reform update

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.
Continue Reading Bill 106 becomes law, but changes not yet in force

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.
Continue Reading Introducing the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015 — Part 7: New Obligations

Though most condo management firms carry on honourable businesses that well-serve their clients (often under the direct leadership of their top brass who are personally involved in the operations and take ownership of problems), some firms demonstrate little or no commitment to accountability and transparency, whether in their operations or their ownership structure.  The CMSA throws open the curtains by requiring condo management providers to disclose significant information about themselves, their backers and to put forth a specific individual with whom the buck stops.

Continue Reading Introducing the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015 — Part 6: Transparency and Accountability

In our last piece, we reviewed the threshold for being granted a license as a condo manager or management services provider.  Let’s now explore whether skirting those requirements is possible.

Can someone manage condominiums without a license?

Not legally. Section 34 of the CMSA prohibits unlicensed practice as a condo manager, as follows:
Continue Reading Introducing the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015 — Part 5: Restricted Practice

Before continuing our exploration of the CMSA, we thank our friends at the Ministry for pointing out that we had misnamed the CMSA in our earlier pieces as Condominium Management Standards Act when the correct name is Condominium Management Services Act.   We have corrected the title and text of the earlier pieces accordingly.

In this fourth part of our review of the CMSA, we review the threshold for being granted a license as a condominium manager or a management services provider.
Continue Reading Introducing the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015 — Part 4: Threshold