I don’t know about you, but I sometimes get distracted while reading about all of the amendments to the Act (and the related amendments to twelve other pieces of legislation!). I’ll read a clause in the Act that refers to the regulations. I go to the regulations, then back to the Act, to a condo law blog or magazine, and before I know it I’ve spent hours researching something I had no intention of researching when I started my journey. I’ll usually find something that no one seems to be talking about or that I somehow missed the dozens (?) of times I’ve read through the legislation.
In a previous post (available here: https://ontcondolaw.com/2017/12/12/amendments-coming-january-1-2018/) I wrote about the amendments scheduled to come into force on January 1, 2018. The amendments included:
- Adding some warranty coverage for residential conversion condos;
- Requiring condos to file returns to the CAO; and
- Creating a new compliance order process for the registrar of the CAO.
I have received a few questions about the status of these amendments because there has been very little talk about them. I thought that I would provide an update to you all today.
1. Warranties for Conversion Condos
The Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015, was to amend the Condominium Act, 1998, and the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act (“ONHWPA”) to reflect the new warranty coverage for some parts of residential conversion condominiums and add disclosure obligations for developers of residential conversion condos. Some of the amendments to implement the new warranty scheme came into force on January 1, 2018, but some have not yet come into force. That said, there is a new wrinkle.
Bill 166 (which is called the Strengthening Protection for Ontario Consumers Act, 2017) received royal assent on December 14, 2017. The bill repeals the ONHWPA and replaces it with the New Home Construction Licensing Act, 2017 and the Protection for Owners and Purchasers of New Homes Act, 2017. The idea is for Tarion to continue to oversee the warranties, but a new entity will be responsible for licensing builders. Most of the bill comes into force on a later date, but some of it came into force on December 14, 2017 when it received royal assent. I’m not yet sure what all of these changes mean for the warranties for residential conversion condos. Stay tuned for more on the changes with Tarion and warranties in a future post.
The sections of the Act that describe the obligations to file returns (i.e. initial, turn-over, annual, and transitional) to the CAO’s registrar came into force on January 1, 2018. So did the amendments that require condominium’s to file notices of change upon a change in certain information, like the condominium’s address or directors.
How do you complete the returns? The returns and notices of change will be done through the CAO’s website; there will NOT be forms to complete and mail in. So, if your condo has not registered with the CAO yet, you’ll need to do that before you can complete your returns or notices of change (note: the deadline to register has been extended to February 28, 2018). The new return filing system is being rolled out on March 1, 2018.
3. Compliance Order to the Registrar
The CAO’s new compliance order powers also came into force on January 1, 2018. The CAO’s registrar is now able to order a person to comply with section 1.30(6) [the condominium’s obligation to remit payment to CAO for the assessments (currently $1/unit/month)], Part II.1 [the condominium’s obligation to file returns with CAO] or s.132(9) [the arbitrator’s obligation to provide copies of arbitration awards to CAO] if the registrar believes on reasonable grounds that the person has contravened those sections.
While the registrar has this potent new power it won’t be used for a few months as the various deadlines for condos to satisfy the obligations have not passed. For more information, visit https://www.condoauthorityontario.ca/en-US/registration/condo-returns/
That’s it for now. I’ll be back next week with a post about more of the changes to come!