Real Estate

CAO looking for feedback to continue to improve

By Mia Clarke, Associate Editor

Since it’s official launch, the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) has been busy providing support to the condo community, Toronto condominium lawyer Armand Conant writes in Condovoice magazine.

And, to continue to grow and improve, the authority is looking for suggestions from users to improve the system, says Conant, a partner and head of the condominium law group with Shibley Righton LLP.

“It is through feedback and input from all stakeholders that the CAO can best meet the needs of condo communities. The CAO looks forward to, and encourages, as much feedback as possible,” he says.

In addition to providing information about rights and responsibilities, the CAO offers “resources to help them identify and resolve common issues before they escalate into disputes,” says Conant.

The CAO also provides mandatory training for all condo directors elected, re-elected or appointed after Nov. 1, 2017, and offers the province’s first online dispute resolution system, the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT), he explains.

“In addition,” Conant writes in the magazine’s recent edition, “the CAO has a Customer Care Team that has supported condo communities through as many as 30,000 individual interactions either by email or phone since its launch. The CAO is also pleased to report that almost 9,000 of 11,000 corporations in Ontario have registered.”

He tells AdvocateDaily.com that since writing the article, the numbers have increased to more than 9,000 of more than 11,300 condo corporations in Ontario.

Conant says the registry has also “delivered on the government’s requirement” to provide a searchable, public registry of condo corporations, which is now available on the CAO’s website.

“The public registry contains information prescribed by Ontario Reg. 377/17, such as the name and type of corporation, address for service and the names of the corporation’s directors and, if any, managers. The information that the registry displays is based on condo returns filed by corporations."

He says that as of this fall, more than 9,200 returns have been filed.

Conant points out that no personal information is disclosed and the registry cannot be used for commercial purposes.

He says more than 9,000 people have already completed "the 21 modules that comprise the CAO’s director training, which helps to equip condo directors with skills and information to assist them in directing the affairs of the corporation, resolving issues and fostering a positive condo community.

“Feedback has been very positive. Early results indicate that the majority of respondents were very satisfied with the training (84 per cent) and said they would recommend it to others (94 per cent).”

He says the website provides information to help condo owners and residents resolve common problems — such as records, noise, personal property and odour issues — before they become formal disputes.

For issues that cannot be resolved, writes Conant, the CAT provides “a fast, efficient and cost-effective way to help resolve disputes. Under s. 55 of the [Condominium] Act, the CAT can currently accept cases about disputes related to condominium corporation records.”

The CAT is made up of 13 members with diverse backgrounds in mediation, adjudication, condominium law, technological innovation and life in condominium communities, he says.

“The CAO continues to refine its online information and tools and the CAT-ODR [online dispute resolution] system to address feedback from users. The CAO is looking to expand and enhance the CAT–ODR system, including opportunities for integrated teleconferencing and videoconferencing,” writes Conant.

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