Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Announcing: Time-sensitive condo guide for reopening Ontario after COVID-19.
Welcome to the Ontario condominium real estate governance area of my condo home library, the Condorary.
Is it not so that the siren song of authoritarianism cannot be found on Apple Music®, Google Play®, Youtube Music®, Spotify® or Stingray®? The uplifting power over people who feel helpless for whatever reason is the music that fills it’s heart. Et tu, reader?
In Ontario the symphony is orchestrated through the Condominium Act, 1998, SO 1998, c 19 .
The conductor with the rhythmic swing of the baton is the Minister of Government and Consumer Services.
The Ontario government musical score is divided into 2 distinct ensembles. One for condominium management (CMRAO) and one for condo owners (CAO). Each agency is followed by looking back quarterly at their publications even though links to blogs, podcasts, posts and videos may reveal more recent resources.
In order to provide condominium property management services, all individuals and businesses require a licence from the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO) as of November 2017.
CMRAO regulation is a mechanism whereby condo management professionals are licensed, have a binding code of ethics and conform to education and experience preconditions. In addition, complaint supervision intends to promote public protection and qualified condo property management services.
The CMRAO website has an online public registry available to search and verify individuals and companies that are licensed in Ontario.
During these challenging times, the CMRAO has continued to receive and respond to a variety of questions from the condominium management sector regarding board meetings, annual general meetings (AGMs), requisitioned meetings, and use of common spaces. Source: © Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO). Summary: Quarter post count – 2, Topics – Modified Grading Scheme for Condominium Management Courses, Emergency Order Provides Flexibility for AGMs During COVID-19 .
Ontario is in the process of reopening following the coordinated response to the coronavirus outbreak. The approach to reopening will be gradual and introduced in stages, as outlined in A Framework for Reopening Our Province, released on April 27, 2020. Source: © Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO).
The CMRAO’s Robin Dafoe and Sandy Vizely are the presenters of the CMRAO licensing process. Learn more about the CMRAO, the different licences available and the requirements needed to complete the licence application. © Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO).
More information about education and licensing is available in the latest edition of the Condominium Real Estate Life post by going to the partnership with the Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario (ACMO).
The CMRAO Video Library contains videos in both English and French. Help yourself to recorded webinars, instructional materials and other insights.
Ever want to know what the difference is between owning a house and a condominium? A house owner has complete control to have a lifestyle of their choosing. A condo lifestyle is restricted by the Declaration, Bylaws and Rules of a corporation rather than an owner, who has ways and means to be an active or passive participant.
By The Way … Condominium corporations are legal entities. All owners can be sued for matters for which they are collectively liable. Likewise, all owners have the right to sue or lien for damages to their common property (buildings and land).
As a condominium owner, you are automagically a member of a condominium corporation with certain rights and responsibilities, like it or not. A crucial right is to vote at general meetings on matters that affect the corporation and help elect or remove a member of the board of directors.
The board of directors is usually made up of individual owners and takes responsibility for the management of the corporation’s business affairs. If the board does not retain a condominium management company to oversee the real estate portion then the corporation is self-managed entirely by the directors.
An owner has the responsibility to participate in the governing of the condominium by attending any general meetings and information sessions, becoming a director or on a committee and by voting. It is essential to read the corporation’s budget and financial statements, the minutes of meetings and other information sent to members. Owner neglect may lead to outdated Declarations, Bylaws, Rules and owner discontent or increased maintenance fees, liens or a lump sum payment (special assessment), for example, for repairs.
The Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) provides consumer protection for owners and assistance for directors in the form of information and resources regarding common issues, rights and responsibilities along with updates to condominium law changes.
The CAO provides free mandatory online training for directors to assist boards in becoming effective. The training may also be taken by owners for some understanding of or interest in becoming a board member. More information is provided in the latest Condominium Real Estate Life post.
The 17 standard condominium forms in use for reporting information by corporations are provided by the CAO online.
A searchable online registry of approximately 12,000 condominium corporations in Ontario is publicly available from the CAO according to government regulation.
For unresolvable issues between owners and boards, the CAO provides access to the CAT which is an online dispute resolution system looked at further below.
In January 2020, the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) was delegated 17 government forms under the Condominium Act, 1998 by the Minister of Government and Consumer Services. The CAO is kicking off the first phase of enhancing the delegated forms to better meet the needs of condo owners and the condo community and align with the CAO’s digital service delivery model. Source: © The Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO). Summary: Quarter post count – 9, Topics – COVID-19 (7), proxy forms enhancement reference group .
The CAO Video Library contains videos in English and French. Help yourself to recorded webinars, instructional materials and other insights.
“The Condominium Authority Tribunal, or the CAT, is an online tribunal that helps to resolve and decide condominium-related disputes in Ontario. The CAT has developed an online dispute resolution system (CAT-ODR) to help people resolve their disputes conveniently, quickly and affordably, while encouraging everyone to work together in healthy condominium communities.” Source: © The Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO)
The CAT Video Library contains recordings in both English and French. Currently, all videos explain how the tribunal works in easy to understand steps.
When following the legal social conversation at the Condominium Real Estate Law Practices Chit-Chat, there may be references to Ontario tribunal decisions made public which are available below.
The CAT’s decisions are available without charge on the Canadian Legal Information Institute’s (CanLII) website. CanLII is a non-profit organization that provides free access to legal information online. Source: © The Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO). Summary: Quarter decision count – 15
As a beginning, the Tribunal is focusing only on misunderstandings around condominium records required to be kept by Boards and made available to owners. Reading many of these short and simple decisions may provide an appreciation of your corporation’s transparency and communication with owners compared to others in the province. Condo higher court decisions are also found on CanLII.
Feature Decision – Catherine Moir v Middlesex Condominium Corporation No. 471, 2020 ONCAT 21 (CanLII)
In the meantime, other types of owner and corporation disputes may alternatively be resolved before going to the courts through ADRIC regional affiliates who may be partners within the law practices found in the Condominium Real Estate Law Practices Chit-Chat post.
ADRIC sets the standard for best practices for ADR (alternative dispute resolution) in Canada and provides leadership, value and support to our individual and corporate members and to our clients. We provide education and certification, promote ethical standards and professional competency, and advocate for all forms of ADR for public and private disputes. © ADR Institute of Canada, Inc.
The editor of the following semi-annual publication is a director on the CAO.
Make yourself a Happy Canada Day!
About Ontario Condominium Culture