The Condo Authority of Ontario
Are you ready? In less than three months the first set of amendments to the Condominium Act, 1998 comes into force. Arguably the biggest change is the creation of the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO). I like to think of the CAO as the "Condo Police". The CAO will oversee the Condominium Act, 1998 and ensure that condominiums and others are complying with the Act and regulations. There will be info guides, dispute resolution, and various other services. There will be a registrar to receive filings, like the annual returns and notices of change. The information gathered will be used to create a public database on all of the condominiums in Ontario. In addition to a registrar, there will also be a tribunal to hear disputes, including an online dispute resolution process. Mediators will be available to help resolve disputes. If a settlement is not reached, the parties may request a formal hearing. The member will make an order and the parties must comply just as they would with a court order. What will this cost? There will be a fee of $1/unit/month for every voting unit or POTL in Ontario to fund the services provided by the CAO. There will also be user fees for those using the tribunal. A $25 filing fee applies to all new applications to the tribunal. A $50 fee applies for those seeking assisted resolution with a mediator. A $125 fee is required to request a decision from a member. The total cost for dispute resolution from application to binding order will be $200. It is important to note that the tribunal will only hear disputes related to records when the doors open, but the tribunal's jurisdiction will be expanded to cover other areas. Other disputes will continue to be resolved using one of the other methods, like mediation/arbitration or court. Applications will be accepted starting November 1, 2017.