Looking Forward: New Legal Requirements for 2015

There are plenty of important legislative changes coming into force in January 2015. Some apply to condominiums, some apply only to larger condominiums. Some apply to property management companies.

Here are a few:

1) Building Code - amendments come into force in January to promote greater accessibility for persons with disabilities. The amendments apply to most new construction and extensive renovations to existing buildings. Specific items include:

  • Visual fire alarms to be installed in all corridors of multi-unit residential buildings;
  • Power door operators to be provided at entrances to a wider range of buildings, and at entrances to barrier-free restrooms and common areas in multi-unit residential buildings;  and
  • New requirements for barrier-free and universal restrooms.

For more information on specific requirements you should speak with the condominium's engineer or accessibility expert.

2) Smoke-Free Ontario Act - smoking will be prohibited in places where it was previously permitted, such as public playgrounds, public sports fields, and restaurant or bar patios. While these amendments won't change anything for residential condominiums, commercial or mixed-use condominiums may be able to piggyback on these amendments to eliminate smoking on patios.

3) Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) - more of the integrated standards requirements come into force on January 1st, 2015. Small organizations (1-50 employees) must create accessibility policies. Large organizations must provide training to employees and volunteers, and ensure feedback processes are accessible. There are plenty of other legislative changes coming into force next year. More on those in a future post.