The Ontario's Condominium Act Review is a three-stage collaborative, public engagement process aimed at modernizing the Condominium Act, 1998. We are in Stage Two of this process, where experts in condominium issues are reviewing findings from Stage One and the public comments it generated. They are developing a report of options and recommendations to government on potential actions to address the issues, including how the Act could be updated; this report is expected to be available for public comment by the end of summer 2013.
In February REIC was invited to participate in two of the five working groups to develop text for the revisions to the Ontario Condo Act, during April and May of 2013. The five working groups are as follows:
Dispute Resolution – with discussions focused on addressing inefficiencies in the Act’s current mediation and arbitration approach and improving the oversight for the Condominium Act.
Condominium Governance – where owner apathy and absence, as well as board incompetence and misconduct were some of the key issues to be explored and remedied.
Condominium Management – given the important role of condominium managers in daily financial, administrative and operational duties, there is a need for technical and ethical standards, accreditation and potentially regulation, especially considering issues with accusations of corruption and conflicts of interest.
Financial Management – focussing on the management of reserve funds and common expenses although surpluses and contingency funds were also to be considered.
Consumer Protection – to ensure that buyers understand the terms and conditions of their purchase, further simplification and clarification of mandated disclosure documents is needed.
Steve Leistner, FRI(A) CPM® CMOC CRU CRP, is our representative on the Dispute Resolution group; and John Wannamaker, CPM® CMOC ARP, is our representative for the Condo Management group.
On May 15th Steve reported that his group has been working on narrowing the different areas of dispute resolution, but that nothing had been agreed to, as of yet. John Wannamaker reported that through research and discussion, his group is looking at a two stage approach that includes an education and approval process.
The results of the working groups are being reviewed by an Expert Panel to ensure that there are no conflicting recommendations, after which the recommendations will be released by the end of summer 2013.