Proclamation of Amendments to the Condominium Act, 1998 Respecting the Condo Guide
The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services has recently announced that certain legislative amendments to the Condominium Act, 1998 (Condo Act) related to a condominium guide (condo guide) will come into force on January 1, 2021.The legislative changes under the Condo Act can be viewed here:
https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/98c19#BK1 under sections 1(1), 71.1, 72(1), 72(2), 73(1), 73(2), and 161(1).
Once they are in force, the legislative amendments will, among other things,
- Require the Minister of Government and Consumer Services (Minister) to ensure that a condominium guide (condo guide) is prepared that sets out certain information, such as information related to condo purchasing and condo ownership, as the Minister considers appropriate.
- Give the Minister the authority to require the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) to prepare the condo guide, subject to the Minister’s approval,
- Require declarants (developers) to deliver a copy of the applicable condo guide to purchasers of preconstruction/new condos along with the currently required disclosure statement,
- Provide that an agreement of purchase and sale entered by a developer or a person acting on behalf of or for the benefit of the developer is not binding on the purchaser until the developer has delivered a copy of the condo guide to the purchaser (in addition to the currently required disclosure statement), and
- Enable a purchaser who receives a copy of the condo guide (as well as the currently required disclosure statement) from the developer to rescind the agreement of purchase and sale before accepting a deed to the unit in certain circumstances.
As previously stated, the above amendments to the Condo Act will come into force on January 1, 2021.
The CAO will be responsible for preparing the condo guide, which is intended for purchasers of pre-construction/new residential condo properties. The ministry has been working closely with the CAO to ensure that this condo guide will be available to the sector by late fall 2020 to give stakeholders, including condo developers, time to familiarize themselves with the guide and related requirements, before it is required to be provided to purchasers beginning on January 1, 2021.
Bringing these amendments into force is intended to help address a lack of plain-language information available to purchasers of residential pre-construction/new condos. The proposed condo guide is expected to better equip prospective purchasers of residential condos with information on condo ownership and on the condo purchase process to assist their understanding of the risks involved in buying pre-construction condos.
In addition, the condo guide may be of interest to anyone buying, owning or living in a condo as the guide will cover a wide range of topics (e.g., common expense fees, board governance) relevant to purchasing and owning property in a condo. However, developers would be required, under the Condo Act, to provide this condo guide only to purchasers of residential pre-construction/new condos.
General inquires on the proposed condo guide, and its preparation, can be directed to the CAO: https://www.condoauthorityontario.ca/.
The Ministry would like to share this message with as many Ontario condo sector stakeholders as possible and you are thus encouraged to share this notice with relevant contacts in your network.