Condominiums must register with the CAO (Condominium Authority of Ontario) and pay Assessments by December 31, 2017

Condominiums have started to receive Welcome notices from the CAO.

These Welcome notices outline some important features of the CAO, many of which we have discussed in past blogs, including:

  • Information and resources available through the CAO
  • Dispute Resolution through the Tribunal starting November 1, 2017
  • upcoming Online Mandatory Director Training (which will also be accessible to the public and owners at no charge)
  • Information about the pending public registry of Condominiums

The CAO website now has some comprehensive information as well.

Condominium corporations are reminded to:

  • Register the condominium with the CAO online,  (once you have received a unique invitation code) which will require the following information:

– The type of condominium corporation being registered
– The service address for the condominium corporation
– The number of units and voting units
– The names, email addresses, and terms for condo directors (optional)
– The name, email address and firm (if applicable) for your condo manager (optional)

    • Pay the condominium corporation’s assessment by December 31, 2017

More information is available here on the Registration page of the CAO website.

Stay tuned to Condo Law News for more blogs about amendments to the Condominium Act and upcoming events .

 

Education Requirements for a Condominium Manager General Licence

Starting November 1, 2017 all condominium managers have 90 days to apply for a licence under the Condominium Management Services Act.

The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (the “Ministry”) has designated the educational and examination requirements for a General Licence as follows:

Less than five years’ experience in providing condominium management services

The following ACMO-developed courses (for the current RCM designation) are required to be completed:

  • Condominium Law,
  • Physical Building Management,
  • Financial Planning for Condominium Managers, and
  • Condominium Administration and Human Relations.

Five or more years’ experience in providing condominium management services

The above-stated courses are required;

or,

Instead of those courses, the applicant will have to pass the applicable Challenge Examination developed by the ACMO.

Who will provide the Courses and Challenge Examination ?

  • Colleges of applied arts and technology that offer the above stated courses; and,
  • A Condominium Management Provider that is authorized by ACMO to offer the courses to its own employees.
  • ACMO will provide the Challenge Examinations.

Don’t forget that the Registrar will have the ability (likely on a case by case basis) to recognize alternative education experiences as equivalent to the above-stated requirements, for managers who have successfully completed other training programs, internship programs, apprenticeship programs, courses, seminars, lectures or tutorials.

Stay tuned to Condo Law News for more blogs about amendments to the Condominium Act and upcoming events .

 

Condominium Authority of Ontario: Monthly Fees and Dispute Resolution Fees Confirmed

We had previously blogged about the fees associated with the new Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO).

The CAO has announced that it has set the fee amounts for the monthly fee and the user fees for the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) as follows:

  • CAO monthly fee per condominium unit at  $1 per month ($12 per year); and
  • CAT user fees for dispute resolution (payable by the party that files the dispute) as follows:
    Filing Fee For access to CAT’s unassisted on-line dispute resolution system $25
    Assisted Resolution Fee For assistance from a dedicated mediator $50
    Tribunal Decision Fee For a decision from a dedicated adjudicator $125

    The CAO monthly fees will be payable by the Condominium Corporation. Initial communications will be sent to Condominiums later this month, with the initial payment (covering September 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018) being due on December 31, 2017.

The CAT user fees for dispute resolution are effective as of November 1, 2017. This is when the CAT will start accepting applications.

Stay tuned to Condo Law News for more blogs about amendments to the Condominium Act and upcoming events .

Summary of the Proposed Regulations now available: the Condominium Database, and filing Returns

Regulations supporting certain amendments to the Condominium Act, 1998 are being proposed relating to:

  • Condominium Returns which Condominium Corporations are going to have to file with the Registrar (appointed by the CAO); and,
  • the creation of the publicly accessible Database of information about Condominium Corporations in Ontario.

These changes are anticipated to come in to effect in early 2018.

The Summary and proposed Regulation provisions are available here.

Returns

Condominium Corporations may have to file any of the four types of Returns proposed (depending on whether the Condominium Corporation is created before or after the Return provisions are in force), which include:

  • Initial Return
  • Turn-Over Return
  • Transitional Return
  • Annual Return

If the Condominium Corporation was created after the Return provisions come into force, the Condominium Corporation would have to file an Initial Return and Turn-Over Return.

If the Condominium Corporation was created prior to these Regulations being in force it would have to file a Transitional Return.

In addition, each Condominium Corporation will also have to file an Annual Return.

The required content for the Transitional and Annual Returns are similar in content to each other. The information required includes basic identifying information (name of Condominium and type of Condominium, address for service, municipal address) as well as information about the names of directions, number of units, maximum number of votes that could be counted at an owners meeting, management information, fiscal year, whether an administrator or inspector is appointed by the Court, and the date of the last AGM. A Condominium Corporation may choose to provide an email address as well.

Annual Returns must be filed between January 1 and March 31 of the current fiscal year.

Notices of Change are also required to be filed with the Registrar to update various changes to the information in the Returns, within 30 days of the change.

Returns and Notices of Change will be filed electronically other another method prescribed by the Registrar.

Database

The proposed publicly accessible database will be available for non-commercial purposes. It will be accessible on the Internet, will be maintained by the Registrar, and will contain all of the information filed by Condominium Corporations in their respective Returns (except email addresses, if provided) as well as any information about s. 134 orders against the Condominium Corporation that relate to non-compliance with provisions dealing with condominium Returns.

Stay tuned to Condo Law News for more blogs about amendments to the Condominium Act and upcoming events .

Christy Allen discusses Airbnb and Condos -Saturday morning on 580 CFRA

Listen to Christy Allen of Davidson Houle Allen speak about Airbnb and condominiums, on the June 17, 2017 Podcast on The Newsfeed with Kristy Cameron on 580 CFRA!

Find Christy’s appearance on ‘Hour 2’ of the Newsfeed on June 17, 2017 (starting at minute 22:43)

http://www.iheartradio.ca/580-cfra/shows/the-newsfeed-with-kristy-cameron-1.1818974

Christy talks with Kristy Cameron about the increasing presence of condominium units listed on Airbnb, particularly in anticipation of Canada Day and the market for accommodations in Ottawa.

Christy explains how condominium units being rented for nightly/short term rentals are a growing problem for condominiums, and such rentals may be in breach of a Condominium Corporation’s rules.

She discusses condominiums’ enforcement rights to deal with an owner or tenant renting for short term/nightly rental on websites like Airbnb, and why short-term rentals are significant concerns for Condominium Corporations, related to security, safety, community, responsibility for common elements, and use of amenities.

Christy also discusses why the recent steps to regulate Airbnb rentals in Toronto are relevant for Ottawa, and whether such steps may be useful here.

Stay tuned to Condo Law News for more blogs about caselaw updates related to condominiums.

Reminder: ACMO CCI-EO 5th Annual Conference on Friday June 2, 2017: Jim Davidson and Nancy Houle presenting

Davidson Houle Allen LLP Condominium Law is proud to be a Gold Sponsor of the 5thAnnual ACMO CCI-EO Condominium Conference being held in Ottawa on June 2, 2017.

The schedule for the day includes exciting presentations, with timely and relevant issues geared towards condominium property management to be discussed. Jim Davidson is presenting on the Condominium Act updates, and Nancy Houle is speaking on the Legal Panel.

The conference has a comprehensive array of fantastic exhibitors ready to speak with attendees about condominium issues throughout the day. Davidson Houle Allen LLP has a booth; please come by and visit us !

Register today by visiting the CCI -EO website here !

Stay tuned to Condo Law News for more blogs about amendments to the Condominium Act and upcoming events .

First Phase of the Condominium Act Amendments -Update

The latest we’ve heard is that the “arrival date”  for the first phase of the Amendments (including the arrival of the new Licensing Requirements for Managers) will now occur later than anticipated, in the fall of 2017, not July 1, 2017.

We look forward to providing our readers with more exciting updates about changes to the Condominium Act, as information becomes available.

Stay tuned to Condo Law News for more blogs about amendments to the Condominium Act.

 

 

 

Owner’s Communication with Condominium’s Staff was Antisocial, Degrading and Harassing

A recent Court decision highlights a situation in which an owner’s communications were considered by the Court to be sufficiently harassing to require a cease and desist order and a compliance order.

The Court found the communication, which included addressing staff by degrading names, to be ‘antisocial, degrading and harassing’.

The owner emailed the management office ‘virtually every day’ with various complaints. In this case, the Court’s concern was not the volume of communication, it was the nature of the emails and the language used. The Court commented that the employees:

come to their place of employment day after day and find correspondence in their inbox that engages in insult, body shaming, name calling, and other types of coarse language and rudeness.’

The Court looked to various authorities, including: Section 117 of the Condominium Act, 1998 (the “Act”); the workplace harassment provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”); and, the condominium corporation’s rules regarding offensive conduct on the property. Based on the foregoing, the Court determined that the condominium corporation was correct to take steps to attempt to require the owner to communicate in a civil, non-harassing manner, and that a legal remedy was appropriate.

The owner was ordered by the Court to:

  • cease and desist from uncivil or illegal conduct that violates the Act or rules of the condominium corporation;
  • refrain from verbally or in writing abusing, harassing, threatening, or intimidating any employee or representative of the condominium corporation;
  • comply with Section 117 of the Act by ceasing to conduct herself in a way that is likely to cause injury to an employee or representative of the condominium corporation; and,
  • pay $15,000 in legal costs to the condominium corporation for the Application. It is worthwhile to note, that in relying on the Court’s discretion for awarding costs, the Court did not award the condominium corporation its full costs, despite there being no apparent wrongdoing on the part of the condominium corporation. This is consistent with similar recent compliance order cases, in which the Court has only awarded condominium corporations’ a portion of their costs.

Harassment is not limited to insulting communications of the sort described in this case. Harassment is defined in the OHSA as follows:

 (a) engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, or

(b) workplace sexual harassment;

“workplace sexual harassment” means,

(a) engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, where the course of comment or conduct is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, or

(b) making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the worker and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome.

In summary:

  • Harassment is a violation of Section 117 of the Act;
  • In addition to  having a Workplace Violence and Harassment Policy under the OHSA, we recommend that condominium corporations pass a rule prohibiting violence and harassment – to provide even more detailed and clear protection for workers at the condominium corporation. A rule can also assist in specifying conduct that is considered harassment;
  • this case provides guidance for condominiums dealing with a harassing owner:
    • Try to do your best to communicate reasonably with the owner; and certainly never respond in kind.  In general, don’t just ignore or delete the owner’s correspondence (in case it contains something of genuine importance;
    • At the same time, harassment (including harsh, unreasonable, hurtful communication) is not acceptable and should not be tolerated.

Stay tuned to Condo Law News for more blogs about caselaw updates related to condominiums.

Proposed Regulatory Changes: Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO), Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO) and the Condominium Authority Tribunal

We now have more information available regarding the proposed Regulatory changes to introduce the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) and the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO) and dealing with some aspects of the Condominium Authority Tribunal.

  • Designation of two Administrative Authorities:

The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services is proposing regulations to support the designation of the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) and the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO, which designations are expected to be effective in mid to late 2017.

Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) as the condominium authority under the Condominium Act, would be responsible for administering parts of the Condominium Act and managing and overseeing the Condominium Authority Tribunal; and,

Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO) would be responsible for administering the CMSA (Condominium Management Services Act).

  • Establishment of the Condominium Authority Tribunal:

The proposals also support the establishment of the Condominium Authority Tribunal and identifies the first set of condominium disputes that the Tribunal will have jurisdiction to resolve (relating to s. 55 records), and sets out how the Tribunal will make its orders available to the public.

The Ministry is receiving comments from the public up to April 10, 2017.

Stay Tuned for our next blog about the exciting changes to the Act and the Regulations.