Add your name to our public letter below as we call for better protections for condo dwellers!
We will personally deliver this letter with our signatures to Minister Romano in the next two weeks.
Minister Ross Romano
Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
777 Bay Street, 5th floor
October 29, 2021
Dear Minister Ross Romano, (PDF here)
We are writing to ask your government to strengthen government management and regulatory oversight of the condominium sector so Ontario’s condo residents have good consumer protections and can live in safe and well-maintained homes.
The Standing Committee on Public Accounts is currently reviewing the Auditor General’s report on the condominium sector. The Auditor General found the condo sector is poorly regulated, there is inadequate regulation and oversight over condo program managers and condo boards, condo residents have little resource if they have genuine complaints about issues that affect their daily home lives. The Auditor General’s findings are verified by the complaints we receive from condo residents. Residents complain about the difficulty they face in finding an agency or a regulator that will help them resolve issues like fraudulent board elections, sudden increases in condo fees, poor repair of common areas, property managers who are mismanaging money, and more.
Legal and regulatory change is needed to address these issues and ensure that condo residents live in well-maintained homes. That is why we are calling on you to:
- Expand the jurisdiction and power of the Condo Authority Tribunal so condo residents have a fast, cheap and effective way to have their issues heard by an adjudicator and resolved. Currently, the tribunal can only hear cases related to accessing condo records, pets, parking, storage, personal property, and – starting in January 2022 - nuisance, odor and noise. The tribunal does not have the authority to adjudicate the biggest complaints condo dwellers have about condo board governance, condo fees, repairs, reserve funds, and short-term rentals. It should.
- Ensure condo dwellers are fully informed of all current and projected condo fee costs. Developers must be required to fully and accurately disclose current and projected condo expenses, including projected expenses for 45 to 60 years. To ensure compliance, developers should place money in a trust to be used if expenses are understated, and face penalties for understating actual fees.
- Proclaim the 2015 amendments in the Act to Protect Condominium Owners 2015. These amendments would require developers to provide a standard legal contract and disclosure statement so condo residents don’t get a nasty surprise and find they bought a home that is smaller or lacks the amenities they were promised at sale.
- Improve the performance of the Condo Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario, the agency responsible for regulating condo property managers. The CMRAO must have the regulatory authority and resources it needs to keep an accurate public registry of property managers, remove unlicensed managers from the registry, properly investigate and resolve complaints against property managers and proactively investigate property managers.
- Improve the performance of the Condo Authority of Ontario (CAO), the agency responsible for regulating condo board directors and condo boards. The CAO must have the power and resources it needs to keep an accurate registry of condo directors and condos, and the ability to investigate and enforce allegations of abuse, misconduct and poor compliance with the law, from financial mismanagement or fraudulent board elections.
- Give more authority to the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services so the ministry has the power to effectively inspect, investigate and enforce the laws. British Columbia and Alberta already have this authority. Ontario does not. It should.
These are the consumer protection measures we believe are necessary for your government to move forward on to ensure all condo residents can live in safe and well-maintained homes. We look forward to your response.
Jessica Bell MPP, University–Rosedale Official Opposition Critic, Housing, Tenant Rights, and Urban Planning