Real Estate

Elevator repair legislation timely given construction boom

By Staff

Proposed legislation that would make timely elevator repair mandatory in Ontario is much needed, given the increase in development and condominium construction in the city, Toronto real estate lawyer Sarita Samaroo-Tsaktsiris tells The Lawyer’s Daily.

As the article notes, Bill 109, the Reliable Elevators Act, is a private member's bill introduced by Trinity-Spadina Liberal MPP Han Dong that aims to amend the Building Code Act and the Consumer Protection Act with respect to residential building elevators.

The proposed legislation calls for elevators in residential buildings to be fixed 14 days after the contractor learns of a problem and for elevators in seniors homes and long-term care facilities to be repaired within seven days from the contractor learning of a problem. The bill also says no permits will be issued to construct a building taller than seven storeys unless a traffic analysis has been conducted to ensure the building has enough elevators.

Although Samaroo-Tsaktsiris, principal of SST Law Professional Corporation, says the legislation will be particularly positive for nursing homes and resale properties, for the latter, the only downside is “their lack of funds in the reserve fund [if repairs are needed] and how that negatively impacts condo owners moving forward.”

Prior to final reading, Samaroo-Tsaktsiris says the wording of the bill should be addressed, as she is concerned it could allow for loopholes.

“I think it’s great given the recent strike we had with the elevator repair men that they do have a form of legislation,” she says.

“The only problem is that it mentions that a contractor has to be contacted 14 days after the condo corporation or the nursing home determines there is a problem, or learns of a problem, but there aren’t any — from what I can see right now — penalties imposed upon condo corporations, or builders, or nursing homes as to what would happen if they don’t contact the contractor immediately."

Once the language around the period of time between when the elevator breaks down and when the condo corporation has to notify the contractor is clarified to eliminate loopholes, Samaroo-Tsaktsiris says the legislation will be effective.

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