Michael Ford (post until Oct. 31/19)
Real Estate

Planned condo law changes uncertain since election

Toronto condominium lawyer Armand Conant tells CondoBusiness magazine he’s hopeful the new Ontario government will follow through with changes to the Condominium Act that haven’t yet been proclaimed.

The online publication says the fate of many of the planned changes is uncertain.

“While the Condominium Act reforms that have been phased in to date are now law, the outstanding legislative provisions are sitting on the books awaiting accompanying regulations,” it reports. “After regulations are in place, the outstanding legislative provisions must be proclaimed into force in order to take effect.”

Conant, a partner and head of the condominium law group with Shibley Righton LLP, tells AdvocateDaily.com that he's looking forward to some of those regulations, including one that would "better define for boards what 'adequate' means for financing their reserve funds — which is collected through the monthly fees and used to pay for major repair or replacement of the corporation’s components and assets.

He's also looking forward to a regulation "that would require developers to provide better initial funding so that new corporations are not behind the eightball from the outset. And one that would prohibit a developer from downloading costs to the corporation with the fees not starting until the second year of operation."

Underfunded reserves often force corporations to hike monthly fees in order to pay for unforeseen reserve fund expenses — even when a building is brand new, Conant says. Those added costs can come as a shock to buyers who may have been attracted by lower unit prices — only to be hit by higher than expected monthly fees after they move in, particularly in the corporation's second year, he says.

“This is what one of the reforms was going to prohibit, so that you don’t have a nasty wake-up call in year two, with a huge increase in common element fees because a bunch of costs were deferred to year two,” Conant tells CondoBusiness.

“I do hope that we get to the rest of the [Condominium] Act as soon as possible,” he says.

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