A guide to changes to the Condominium Act: Reasonable Doubt

October 10, 2017
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From NOW's Reasonable Doubt column: The Condominium Act, which governs condominium corporations as well as their unit owners and residents in Ontario, has been in place since 2001. Since then, the number of condominiums has increased tremendously, and the challenges facing condominiums have only gotten more complex.

Thankfully, a process that the legislature started several years ago to modernize the Act and address some of these challenges is starting to bear fruit. One significant change is the establishment of the Condominium Authority of Ontario (the CAO) and the Condominium Authority Tribunal (the CAT), an adjudicative tribunal that will be operated by the CAO.

As is set out on its website, CAO's mandate is to provide information and services to condominium corporations and unit owners. To this end, CAO will collect and make available information about individual condominium corporations, which corporations are required to provide to CAO, and will serve as a source of general information about condominium corporations' and owners' respective rights and responsibilities. CAO is also involved in the delivery of training for condominium directors to help educate them on their obligations and responsibilities as they participate in the management of their condominium corporations.

Even more significant (from a litigator's perspective) is the establishment of CAT. Currently, condominium-related disputes are typically resolved either through the courts or private mediation and arbitration. Both processes are costly and time-consuming, and the lack of a quick, affordable dispute-resolution mechanism for relatively minor issues has long been a concern for many people involved with condominiums. It is hoped that CAT will provide this quick, affordable dispute-resolution mechanism for certain types of disputes. (This will also serve to reduce the burden on the already overstrained court system.)

Read more: A guide to changes to the Condominium Act: Reasonable Doubt