Saturday, July 20, 2019

Ontario begins rolling out new condo-board regulations

Ontario condo board regulations

Names of Ontario condominium directors will be listed in a public database under new regulations unveiled this month, as the province begins to implement a new law to protect unit owners in the booming sector.

More transparent access to the identity of directors will make it easier to detect problems such as the scheme first reported by The Globe and Mail last May, in which a group of people tried to seize control of at least six Toronto condo boards and their multimillion-dollar budgets.

Spotting such electoral patterns was difficult because, currently, obtaining the names of directors of a condo where one does not reside requires purchasing a status certificate at a cost of $100.

The province is also rolling out two new administrative authorities this fall, with a tribunal to settle disputes about access to condo records, mandatory training for board directors and a licensing plan for property managers.

“The changes will improve condo governance,” Government and Consumer Services Minister Tracy MacCharles said on Tuesday.

The overhaul of Ontario’s Condominium Act was enacted in 2015, but only now are its regulations and administrative bodies being set up.

“Until this point, if you wanted to find out who is the director of a condo corporation, it’s very difficult. It’s not like business corporations that have filings,” said lawyer Denise Lash, whose Toronto firm specializes in condo law.

Even unit owners seeking records from their own building could face resistance from unco-operative managers or boards, said Jennifer Campbell, one of the new directors elected this month at Toronto’s Five Condos tower. The previous directors left amid allegations of proxy irregularities, overspending and poor management.

Keep reading in The Globe and Mail

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