In a previous blog, we mentioned that regulations under the Green Energy Act (the “Green Act”) will require some condominiums to report on their building’s energy and water consumption starting in 2019. In addition to this, some condominium corporations may also need to review their rules because of section 4 of the same Act.
Under section 4 of the Green Act, designated goods, services, and technologies meant to promote energy conservation will be allowed at condominiums even if a condominium by-law restricts it.
The provincial government has designated that clotheslines and clothestrees can be installed at an owner’s unit if:
• the installation does not impede safety or access to and from the building;
• it is installed in an area where the unit owner has exclusive use;
• it can be installed directly on the ground, on a deck/platform that is accessible to and no higher than the ground floor; OR on a step-stool or similar device that is directly on the ground or a deck/platform (that is described above).
For condominium corporations that have rules regarding this issue, a review may be necessary. The bottom line is that although unit owners are no longer prohibited from installing clotheslines and clothestrees (subject to the conditions in the Green Act), the corporation can pass a rule requiring unit owners to notify the corporation before installing a clothesline or clothestree. This could be a way for the corporation to ensure that whatever is installed does not damage another unit or hamper the use of the common elements.
Our readers in the condominium industry are welcome to contact our firm with any questions about this blog at email@example.com.
Things to watch for in 2018:
- All Ontario condominium corporations now have until February 28, 2018 to register with the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) and to pay their first “CAO assessment” (ie. $1 per vote per month, for the period covering September 2017 to March 2018). For more detail, go to the Condominium Authority of Ontario website.
- All condominium managers and management providers in Ontario must apply for their licences by January 29, 2018. For more detail, go to the CMRAO website.
- The province has prepared a draft new Code of Ethics for condominium managers. The Code of Ethics is expected to be finalized by February 1, 2018. Furthermore, the proposed new complaints and discipline processes (for complaints against Ontario condominium managers) are expected to be effective beginning February 2018. Again, for more detail, go to the CMRAO website.
- The first phase amendments to the Condominium Act, 1998 are now in full swing. For more detail, see our previous blogs on point.
- Further amendments to the Condominium Act, 1998 are expected in 2018 and/or 2019. Some of the highlights are:
- Fines are to be prohibited
- Many chargebacks (payable by owners) will likely require a provision in the Declaration, to be added to the owner’s common expenses
- Tendering will be necessary for some types of contracts
- There will be new procedures for Requisitioned Meetings
- Significant Changes coming respecting Directors to be elected by “non-leased owners”
- Enhanced Disclosure Obligations for Declarants – including specifics about first year Reserve Fund budgeting. New Declarations also to say how Declarant arrived at common expense sharing
- More detail in relation to claims for First-Year budget deficits (including detail respecting calculations for phases of Phased Condominiums)
- Section 83 information (respecting tenants) to be provided in 10 days rather than 30 days
- Owners to be notified of budgets and certain budget overages
- Owner to be notified of specific additions to the owner’s common expenses; Owner then to have a prescribed procedure to challenge this (if desired)
- Changes relating to Repair and Maintenance obligations, including new Definitions of Repair and Maintenance
- Reserve Funds: Possible increase in length of study period; Additional permitted purposes; Specific Definition of “Adequate”; Expert opinion required if Reserve Fund balance falls below a certain prescribed amount
- Common Element Modifications: Revisions to “minor changes” that fall within Board’s authority; Details about calculating the “cost” of a change
- Insurance Deductibles: Insurance Deductibles By-laws to be ineffective; Will require an amendment to the Declaration; Existing by-laws MIGHT be grandfathered.
- New prescribed Standard Unit Description (for condominiums that have no description)
- Clarification respecting permitted investments (CDIC requirement)
- Unreasonable noise prohibited (by the Act). Other unreasonable disturbances may also be prohibited by regulation
- New prescribed mediation and arbitration procedures (where corporation has not established procedures by by-law)
- Arbitration awards to be made public
- Court orders (for compliance): Clarification of rights to winning party to costs
- Increased penalties for Offences under the Act
- TARION – Conversions of existing buildings (to new homes) to be covered by Tarion
- The province is considering new laws which would facilitate charging stations (for electric vehicles) on condominium properties. For more detail, go to Ontario’s Regulatory Registry.]
- The province has passed the Protection for Owners and Purchasers of New Homes Act, 2017 which introduces important changes to new home warranties and builder licensing in Ontario. The new legislation is not yet in force but may well come into force in 2018. [Proposed regulations and related public consultation are still pending.]
- The City of Toronto has recently passed regulations respecting short-term rentals (in Toronto). Other municipalities in Ontario may follow suit. Note, however, that such regulations are in addition to applicable provisions in a condominium’s governing documents.
- Some condominiums will need to track (beginning in 2018 or 2019) and report (beginning in 2019 or 2020) energy and water consumption. For more detail, see our blog on Obligations under the Green Energy Act.
- Cannabis is expected to be legalized across Canada, effective July 2018. The province of Ontario has also passed legislation to further control and regulate cannabis use in Ontario. [For more detail, go to the Ministry of the Attorney General’s News Release.] Condominium corporations can also consider amending their own governing documents to further regulate or prohibit smoking (including smoking of cannabis) on the condominium property. For more detail about “medical marijuana”, please see our blog.
As the new year begins, we wish all of our readers the very best for a happy and healthy 2018.
Today also marks the first anniversary for Davidson Houle Allen LLP Condominium Law. This past year has brought many changes with the start of the our boutique condominium firm, and within the condominium industry as a whole. We would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of our readers, clients, colleagues, family and friends for your amazing support this past year as we navigated these changes.
We are looking forward to another year of exciting challenges and change, and many terrific years to come.
Your DHA Team