Live in a condo in Ontario? Good news for you

By: Dominic Licorish on December 29, 2015

There are 1.3 million Ontario citizens who live in condos, and thanks to new legislation that was passed earlier this month they’ll be getting more rights and better protection.

According to the Toronto Star, a new Condominium Authority will be established in 2017 to prevent common disputes and provide a cheaper alternative to the regular court system. It will function as an independent, not-for-profit corporation funded by a $1 per unit monthly fee. With about 700,000 units throughout the province that would give it at least $8.4 million per year. More as more condos are being built every month.

Other changes include:

  • Stricter licensing and training for condo managers. This new system will regulate both the managers and property management companies to hold them to a code of ethics. There will also be training requirements for condo board directors.
  • There will be more rules to protect owners from hidden costs. Developers will be required to provide buyers with a guide to condo living.
  • The Ontario New Home Warranty will soon apply to some condo conversion projects in older buildings.
  • Improved regulation for condo corporations to help curb financial mismanagement and fraud. It would require condo corporations to give owners more information about their finances and transparency about seeking competing bids for maintenance work and about reserve funds.

Condos have taken off in popularity in areas where single family units have become too pricy for the average buyer. Given the relative lack of current standard regulation, this legislation could not have come at a better time for the province’s fast-growing condo-dwelling population.

If you’re thinking about buying a condo, make sure to understand the differences between condo ownership and a traditional home and don’t forget that you’ll still need to get condo insurance to protect your unit’s contents.

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