Condos in Ontario will soon have new rules for condo management. The new rules for Ontario condos will come into effect this fall and will provide greater confidence and security for condo owners in their investments and stability in their lives.
With the new rules, condo owners and corporations will no longer need to hire private mediators or go to courts to deal with trivial issues. Conflicts are less likely to be resolved with the old method, experts said.
After the implementation of the new rules, condo owners and residents will get mandatory meeting notices, new voting rules including secret ballots when required and new disclosure rules which require directors to declare potential conflicts in condo contracts.
The changes came after a 2015 update to the Ontario Condo Act. There are around 750,000 condo units in Ontario and around 10,000 condo corporations.
Condo directors too will come under scrutiny. Anyone elected to a condo board after November 1st will be required to take a three hour online starter course. Condo board members too agree that the training will provide valuable inputs.
Being a condo director can take up around 5 hours a week and includes a monthly meeting that can last for around 4 hours, according to one director. However most feel the voluntary position is well worth it since they live in the same building and want to maintain a good place for their families and community.
The new rules also call for a tribunal. The new dispute resolution tribunal that will be administered by an agency called, the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO). It will encourage condo owners and corporations to negotiate a resolution themselves before moving to an online mediator or, as a last resort, a tribunal adjudicator.
The tribunal will initially handle issues related to records of condo corporations but will expand to other disputes. With the tribunal, people would have to spend far lesser than the huge amounts they now have to spend to settle disputes professionally. There will be three stages in a dispute process and the preliminary stage would cost only $25, mediation would cost $50 and if the case goes to adjudication there will be a $125 charge. The charges will have to be borne by the person who brings in the dispute to the tribunal.
An average fee of $12 a year per condo unit will be remitted by condo corporations to the CAO to pay for the information, training and regulatory services.
Proxy fraud, which is a major problem in about 10 percent of condo buildings, will not be controlled with the new rules if experts are to be believed. Proxy votes are still a reason that a group or individual can gain significant control of the condo, some experts said.