After several years of consultation with industry professionals, owners and other stakeholders, the government has finally released legislation to amend the Condominium Act, 1998: the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015 (Bill 106). The first reading of Bill 106 took place on Wednesday May 27th in the Legislature. A copy of Bill 106 can be found on the Legislative Assembly of Ontario’s website.
Over the next few weeks I’ll spend some time describing some of the proposed amendments in more detail, but for now here are some of the highlights:
1) It amends 13 statutes, including the Condominium Act, 1998, Building Code Act, Land Titles Act, Mortgages Act, Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act, Planning Act, and Residential Complex Sales Representation Act.
2) It creates a “condominium authority” that will hear some condominium disputes with the aim of providing a quicker, lower-cost dispute resolution process.
3) It requires returns to be filed with the new Condominium Registrar after creation of the condominium, after turn-over, and annual returns. It also requires condominiums to notify the Registrar of changes in directors.
4) It creates a standard unit definition for condominiums that have not passed a by-law to create one.
5) It makes shared facilities agreements mandatory where land is shared.
6) It changes the “owner-occupied” position to the “non-leased voting units” director and makes it not mandatory, but at the election of an owner of a non-leased voting unit.
7) It makes training mandatory for directors.
8) It makes pre-notices of owners’ meetings mandatory.
9) It modifies the requisition process by setting out the reasons meetings may be requisitioned and requires the board to respond within 10 days.
10) It allows for voting by telephone or electronic means, if the by-laws permit such.
11) Proxies must be in the prescribed form.
12) It enhances the disclosure requirements on declarants.
13) It changes the process for chargebacks and permits owners to challenge them by applying to the condominium authority tribunal or court, if the tribunal is not established.
14) It changes the sections on repair, maintenance, work done for owner, changes made by the condominium, and changes made by owners.
15) It clarifies that owners in arrears in excess of 30 days may not vote for various matters, not solely the ordinary matters that occur at annual meetings.
16) It extends the circumstances where mandatory mediation and arbitration are required.
17) It allows an owner who has been successful in court to collect additional actual costs from the condominium much like a successful condominium can now collect from an owner.
18) It creates a new compliance order process to the Registrar.
19) It creates additional requirements for developers of conversion condominiums, including various approval conditions and plans, and creates a pre-existing elements fund.
20) It creates the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015, which makes licensing of managers mandatory and creates a regulatory body to govern the profession, much like lawyers have with the Law Society.
The proposed amendments are 167 pages so you’ll need a considerable amount of time to sit down and read them in detail. Enjoy!