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Condominium Authority Of Ontario - Long-Awaited, Starts This Fall

Back in 2015, the Protecting Condominium Owners Act became law in Ontario. It was the culmination of over 200 recommendations and represented the province's first major reformation of condo law in 16 years.

Implementing the new provisions has been slow, but one component is now in place: the establishment of the new Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO). Its formation is a step forward in providing trainng for condo directors, better transparency and increased protection for condo buyers.

Training And Information Hub

One of the CAO's mandates is to provide information and education for both owners and directors. The CAO website houses consumer information on a variety of condo-related topics including condo living, owners' rights and responsibilities, rules and by-laws, condo governance and dispute resolution.

The site also provides mandatory training for condo directors via audio-visual modules that explain directors' responsibilities and legal obligations.

Increased Protection Against Unanticipated Post-Purchase Costs

The CAO may play a role in ensuring that prospective condo buyers are more informed and better protected against a common area of dispute: surprise spikes in condo fees after a purchase.

Under new rules, condo developers will be required to provide better disclosure on financially-impactful information such as foreseeable increases to common-area expenses. They must also reveal possible conflicts of interests - typically involving relationships between condo developers and condo directors.

The increased transparency should help potential condo buyers make better-informed decisions before agreeing to a purchase.

Resolving Condo Disputes Online

One notable feature of the CAO is an upcoming online dispute resolution service through the Condominium Authority Tribunal. The service launches in November this year and provides a forum for owners, boards and other stakeholders to resolve condo disputes with legally binding and enforceable decisions.

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