On April 15, 2012, several sections of the new Ontario Retirement Homes Act 2010 (“RHA”) came into force, which require that all operators of retirement homes be licenced by the newly created “Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority” (the “Authority”). Applications for licences must be submitted by July 3, 2012, after which an operator who has not submitted an application will be found to be in contravention of the RHA. The remaining sections of the RHA will come into force on a “rolling” basis between now and January, 2014.

The determination of whether a licence will be issued, whether any conditions will be imposed upon licences, and the Authority’s inspection frequency will be based on the strength of the application. As such, it behooves the retirement homes to put their “best foot forward” in completing their application so as to ensure that the least onerous terms/conditions are attached to their licence. In preparing the licence application, several of a retirement home’s existing documents and policies will need to be updated to be compliant with the requirements of the new legislation. This includes resident agreements, care home information packages, as well as several key policies and guidelines.