Are You Ready For 2018’s New Condo Rules?

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From reflections of years past to new goals and ultimately, resolutions for improvement as we begin another New Year we are faced with change. The world of property management is certainly no exception, which is why the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) has introduced new condo rules that have taken effect in 2018.

The identified goals of these changes are to protect condo owners and residents and make condo directors more accountable to their condo owners. These changes will create greater transparency and accountability in property management. Furthermore, they will provide an opportunity to improve communication and avoid conflicts of interest between the stakeholders involved in the world of property management.

Conflicts of interest have been especially common during condo elections. Ideally, these CAO changes to condo law will work to help avoid conflicts of interest during elections and hold all parties to a high degree of accountability. These changes also provide an opportunity for board members to be better representatives without personal agendas or biases getting in the way.

Toronto Condo News reports that the new requirements include:

  • Mandatory training for condo board directors

  • Mandatory updates to owners

  • Disclosure of which board members are owners and tenants

  • Disclosure of conflicts of interest relating to contracts

  • Access to condo owner information and records according to stated rules

  • Changes to notices, voting rules and quorum rules relating to condo elections

According to the Government of Ontario, these changes will “require condo corporations to submit information to the registrar appointed by the new Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) on a periodic basis”.

This information will include important details such as “the condo corporation’s address for service, the names of condo directors and the date of the last Annual General Meeting.” This information will be maintained in a database by the Registrar of the CAO and made available to the general public online in April of 2018.

With this online, open forum for communication and information (a depository of sorts), we expect to see a strengthened relationship between the CAO, condo boards, owners and tenants. As a result, stakeholder needs can be better met and managed.

Some have suggested that these changes are unlikely to deeply affect condo corporations that are already following best practices and procedures in property management. For those that are not following best practices, these new government-regulated requirements will provide a legal infrastructure to support positive changes in 2018.

Condominiums are an exponentially popular housing option as cities continue to expand and become heavily populated. Tenants are drawn to condos for their convenience, amenities and sense of community, which is why it is becoming increasingly important for property management of condos to be well executed. We look forward to seeing the effect these new rules and regulations have on the condominium and property management world in the upcoming year. With better training, more efficient procedures and increased transparency, property management can only be set to improve!