The wait is finally over! The “New Condominium Act” has finally been introduced at Queen’s Park on May 27, 2015.
The text of this bill, which is formally entitled “An Act to amend the Condominium Act, 1998, to enact the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015 and to amend other Acts with respect to condominiums” can finallybe reviewed here.
It is interesting to note that the bill was introduced as the “Act to Protect Condominium Owners”. This may signal an important change in what many perceived as a power struggle between the owners and the corporations.
This bill, aimed at amending the Condominium Act and at better regulating the industry, is 159 pages long but some of the more important changes include the following.
Changes to the governance of condominiums
- The creation of a not-for-profit Condominium Authority and of a Condominium Authority Tribunal dealing with disputes primarily between condominium corporations and owners;
- The requirement for corporations to file returns with a Condominium Registrar and to report on who the directors are. Directors will be required to receive training;
- The act would implement changes to how owners’ meetings are called, including the requirement to provide advanced notice of the election of directors (which will allow owners to put their name forward to be added to the ballot) and changes to what is required to be included in the meeting notices and changes on quorum rules;
- The act would implement changes to the corporation’s obligations with respect to the maintenance and repair of units, common elements and assets of the corporation, and change to how these obligations can be altered; and,
- when dealing with compliance matters before the courts, owners may have greater costs recovery powers similar to the costs entitlement of a corporation.
Changes to the property management profession
- The Act would provide for the creation of a not-for-profit administrative authority overseeing the profession and for a complaints mechanism;
- Mandatory licensing requirements for Property Managers would be enacted;
- Property Managers would be required to have a written contract when providing management services;
- The Act would allow for the appointment of inspectors and would grant them inspection powers; and,
- The Act would permit the adoption of a code of ethics.
Steps for this bill to become law
Before this bill become law, it must go through several more stages, including three readings and royal assent. As part of yesterday’s “first reading”, the bill was basically introduced in the House and the MPPs accept the bill for future debate. This is when it was assigned its bill number (Bill 106). The real debate over the substance of the bill will take place during the “second reading”. Sometimes bills pass directly to third reading, sometimes they are further examined by Standing or Select Committees. It is during the “third reading”, after a final debate in the house, that the MPPs will vote on it. Once the majority of the MPPs have voted in favour of a bill, it is presented to the Province’s Lieutenant Governor for royal assent. This is when a bill becomes law.
As you can see, there are still many steps ahead but we can finally review the product of so many years of consultation. You can read more about all of the consultation work that went into the development of this new Act on the website of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services.