Section 109: Court Amendments of the Declaration & Description

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I appreciate that many of you might be feeling overwhelmed by all of the posts about COVID-19 lately. It is all we hear about and it is hard not to feel anxious about it sometimes. Today, we go back to normal. This post is about a recent court decision.

A recent case discusses when the court will order an amendment to the declaration or description under section 109 of the Condominium Act, 1998.  According to section 109 of the Act a condominium or an owner may make an application to the Superior Court of Justice for an order amending a declaration or description. The court may make an order where:

Grounds for order

(3) The court may make an order to amend the declaration or description if satisfied that the amendment is necessary or desirable to correct an error or inconsistency that appears in the declaration or description or that arises out of the carrying out of the intent and purpose of the declaration or description. 1998, c. 19, s. 109 (3).

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Is Phase Two of the Amendments on Its Way?

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Unless you are new to condo living, you likely know that the Condominium Act, 1998 was amended in 2017. At the time, many believed that the rest of the amendments would be phased in over the following 18 to 24 months. It has been two years and very few of the remaining amendments have come into force. [Note: if you review the Act you will see large portions of it in grey indicating that it has not yet come into force]. Continue reading

Fight Fire with Fire: Seeking Court Orders to Amend the Declaration

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A condominium corporation recently brought an application to the court for an order amending its declaration. The application was brought under section 109 of the Condominium Act, 1998, which allows the court to amend the declaration for a condominium where it is “necessary or desirable to correct an error or inconsistency that appears in the declaration….or that arises out of the carrying out of the intent and purpose of the declaration.” The case is most interesting because of the alleged errors or inconsistencies. The case is available on CanLii for those interested in reading it in its entirety.  Continue reading

Condo Chat: What do you want to see for future amendments?

stencil.default (3)Today I thought I would write about something a little different – it’s my wish list for the next round of amendments and changes to the regulations. Here they are in no specific order:

  1. Amalgamation for condominiums that are not standard. The amendments to the Act that have come into force make me believe this might be on the horizon, but the regulations still require the condominiums to be standard ones.  I understand the rationale for not combining different types of condominiums, but why restrict the ability only to standard condominiums? Six common elements condominiums should be able to amalgamate without much difficulty.
  2. Public database for managers. Many professional organizations, like the Law Society of Ontario, have a public database that people can search for  information on the licensees. It would be nice if the CMRAO had the same for managers. This would make it easier for people to search for information, such as their licences, about their managers without calling the CMRAO.
  3. Director training in formats other than online. This one is already possible as the authority has been delegated to the CAO. There are condominiums losing knowledgeable and experienced directors because they do not want to (or cannot) complete the training online. Why not allow a organization like CCI to offer training? The CAO could require accreditation of all programs just like the Law Society of Ontario does for the program to count toward our a lawyer’s continuing education requirement. ACMO still plays a role for managers. CCI has been a pivotal organization in educating directors for decades across the country. Why not allow them to continue to do what they do?
  4. More time to call a requisition meeting. The amendments to the Act make it very difficult for a condominium that receives a requisition to hold the meeting within the 35 day period required by the Act. While there is a provision that allows the condominium to send the preliminary notice out to owners 15 days before the notice of meeting, instead of 20 days, this still isn’t enough time in many cases. Currently, the Board only has a few days to review the requisition with its lawyer, find a location for the meeting, confirm the availability of everyone who needs to be there, and have the manager to prepare and distribute the preliminary notice to all of the owners. This is a transitional period issue as the timeline will change once further amendments are in place, but the transition period is taking much longer than expected so it would be nice if this amendment was prioritized for the next round.

These are just a few of the issues I’d like to see prioritized for the next round of amendments. Only time will tell when the next phase of amendments will come into force as there has been no press release from the new government with respect to its plans for the condominium industry. I’d love to hear from you. What do you want to see in the next round?

Amendments: What’s still to come?

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I am regularly asked about the amendments to the Condominium Act, 1998, and when we can expect the next phase of amendments.  Many estimates suggested that the next round of amendments would be coming in the Spring of 2018. Nothing has been formally announced and this is looking less and less likely as we near June. There are some significant amendments still to come, including:

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Big Changes to Tarion and Warranties are Coming!

stencil.default (2)The Strengthening Protection for Ontario Consumers Act, 2017, which is also known as “Bill 166”, received royal assent on December 14, 2017. According to the press release by the Ontario government, Bill 166 was designed to “build a fairer, safer and more informed marketplace with stronger rules for buying event tickets and travel services, and purchasing, leasing or selling real estate, including newly built homes.” The bill amends or repeals 13 existing statutes like the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan ActReal Estate and Business Brokers Act, and Travel Industry Act, and enacts three new statutes: the Ticket Sales Act, New Home Construction Licensing Act, 2017, and Protection for Owners and Purchasers of New Homes Act, 2017. 

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New Help Guides & Factsheets!

I received an email from the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS) today about some free resources it recently created. The MGCS has released two very useful (and free) guides on the amendments to the Condominium Act, 1998, and the Condominium Management Services Act (CMSA):

In addition to the two plain language guides, the MGCS also released four documents to assist people in dealing with requests to records, both core and non-core.

Our firm had previously prepared flowcharts for our clients, but these ones are definitely nicer looking! That said, it would have been nice if the record flowcharts included the deadline for the requester to reply to the board’s response. The forms indicate that a reply is required, but the more times it is said the more likely people are to remember that they must reply or their request may be deemed to have been abandoned.

To access the above guides and factsheets visit:

http://mailchi.mp/bd62beeb85b5/new-requirements-for-the-condo-sector-in-2018-and-helpful-guides-to-the-recent-condo-law-changes?e=de7b6cdd50

Update on the New Requirements as of January 1, 2018

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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:

  1. Adding some warranty coverage for residential conversion condos;
  2. Requiring condos to file returns to the CAO;  and
  3. 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. Continue reading