The following is a guest post by Tammy Evans, a partner with Blaney McMurtry LLP. In her practice, Tammy focuses on mixed use and condominium development and construction contract law. She is the co-editor of a monthly bulletin, Blaneys on Building, which focuses on the legal aspects of the development industry.
The Provincial Government recently launched a 3-stage public consultation process aimed at modernizing the Condominium Act, 1998. We are presently in the midst of Stage 1 of the review process, with Minister’s Public Information Sessions well underway. Three public information sessions were held in Toronto, Mississauga and Ottawa during the month of September, providing an overview of the consultation process and to gather some high level preliminary feedback from interested parties. Key concerns raised during these meetings included:
- need for low cost dispute resolution mechanisms
- need for greater guidance with respect to financial management, and in particular, the concern regarding underfunding of condominium reserve funds
- under qualified property managers and the lack of regulation over the condominium property management industry
- concern over consumer protection and inadequate disclosure to purchasers
- wide-ranging concerns regarding condominium governance
Last month a panel of residents was selected by lottery to work alongside other stakeholders in roundtable discussions. Tammy Evans continues to work with the joint Condominium Act Review Committee established by the Ontario Home Builders Association (OHBA) and Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) as part of their efforts to make submissions to the Province on this important legislative initiative.
Stage 1 will conclude with the issuance of a Findings Report setting out a list of priority proposals for changing the Act and scheduled to be released in early 2013.
Stage 2 will entail a detailed review of the Findings Report by condominium industry stakeholders, including the Residents’ Panel, who will each then bring forward recommendations for changes to the legislation.
In Stage 3, the Residents’ Panel and other industry stakeholder groups will again be called upon to review the Options and Recommendations Report and generate an Action Plan to be submitted to the Province by Fall 2013.
Blaney McMurtry LLP will continue to work closely with the building industry to ensure that the industry’s interests are brought forward during this consultation. We will continue to blog on new developments on this matter.
In related news, the City of Toronto has recently issued a Request for Proposal “to select a qualified vendor to conduct consultations with condominium residents and business occupants in order to identify changes to the condominium, planning and other municipal regulations and programs to address issues and problems associated with ‘the way people are living in condos’.” The winning proponent will be required to consider changes to the Condominium Act, 1998 and Regulations, Official Plan, zoning bylaws, considerations during negotiations for new development (for example for negotiated section 37 or section 45 community benefits), Urban Design Guidelines, Planning Guidelines, Tall Building Guidelines and Green Standards Guidelines.
It is interesting that the City of Toronto is undertaking these consultations parallel in time and objective to the Province’s Condominium Act review. We will track this process closely. Stay tuned for further updates.
This story was modified from its original form which appeared in the Blaneys on Building November 2012 newsletter.