As a number of you may be aware, some of the long-awaited changes to the Condominium Act, 1998, were introduced in the Condominium Management Services Act, 2017. Some of the changes are already in force, while other changes will come into effect January 1, 2018. However, some of the Amendments related to consumer protection have not yet been proclaimed, and there is no clear indication as to when they will be.
The following is a list of some of the amendments:
• A requirement that any money paid to reserve a right to enter into a purchase agreement for a new condominium unit must be credited against the purchase price;
• A provision that within one year of the Builder turning over control of the building to a member-elected board, the condominium owners can terminate an insurance trust agreement – or any agreement entered into by the builder – that provides for the continual delivery of goods, services or facilities, or a lease of the common elements. This applies even if the Builder has signed an agreement which would otherwise bind the condominium owners. In the event of termination, there would be no liability on the Condominium Corporation, the directors, officers or owners for any penalties set out in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. This provision would cover, for example, a contract for the supply of telephone, cable TV or internet services to the building. There is also a new provision that the corporation may sell the property if the owners of at least 80 per cent of the units vote in favour of the sale;
• A duty on Builders to take all reasonable steps to register a Condominium Declaration without delay, and a prohibition against the Builder terminating a purchase agreement due to the failure to register the declaration;
• A prohibition against purchasers being required to compensate the Builder for any lawsuits brought by the Condominium Corporation against the Builder — which has been an effective bar against condominium purchasers suing Builders; and,
• A prohibition against purchasers being required to contribute lump sums of money to the Reserve Fund at the time of Final Closing.
• A provision that the Corporation may sell a property owned by the Corporation if 80 per cent of the owners vote in favour of the sale.