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Condominium law restricting rents may affect investors

There is a great deal of news surrounding the rising cost of rent in Canadian cities. However, many condominium owners who seek to earn rental income from Ontario real estate investments are actually in the negative due to the cost of purchasing and maintaining a property. Proposed changes to condominium law and rental law may require these landlords to restrict the rents they charge while costs related to condo ownership continue to rise.

For example, the average rental rate in Toronto is currently $2.99 per square foot. That adds up to $2,219 for a 734-square foot condominium. Despite this 10.3 percent jump in price over the last year, a recent report shows that many landlords are still producing no income. An incoming condominium law is expected to expand rent control to prevent such sharp increases in rates. Currently, buildings constructed after 1991 are exempt from the law, which requires landlords to limit rent increases to the rate of inflation.

Business law prepares for legalization of marijuana

The legalization of marijuana has been a hot topic in Canadian business news. Ontario has released a plan about how it will handle the substance under provincial business law. Others across the country and around the world are looking at how the marijuana industry, valued at $23 billion, will operate and be legislated.

The value of the industry is expected to come from an increase in retail sales, transportation, security, taxes and tourism. Depending on how business law in Canada manages the substance, the country could be on the forefront of a global trade related to cannabis. Federal regulations, laws and bylaws all need to be created to allow for both economic opportunity and safety across the country. 

New Airbnb partnership may impact condominium law

Technology and business developments such as Airbnb have caused a stir in both the rental housing and hospitality marketplaces. Many people have called for new condominium laws in Ontario to address this new factor, while condo boards have penned bylaws to limit owners' ability to rent their properties through Airbnb. However, one condominium has taken a different route and signed an agreement with the website. The partnership is the first of its kind in Canada.

Airbnb calls these agreements its "Friendly Buildings Program." By signing on with Airbnb, the condo building in Fort York historical district will be able to use the website to show which units are hosting, the number of guests staying, and when the guests will be there. Through the partnership, the condo board can set guidelines such as pet control, and it will receive a percentage of each booking.

Decreased rental real estate following new rent controls

The Ontario government is keeping a close eye on the new rent control measures after a new report showed a negative impact from recent changes. Ontario's housing minister has defended the measures, though he assures concerned parties that he is paying attention to the real estate market in light of new rules. According to the Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario, the expanded regulations may be connected to the 1,000 rental units being cancelled or converted into condos over the summer.

The Fair Housing Plan was implemented in April. Under these rules, rent control was expanded to all units in Ontario. Previously, they only applied to units built before 1991. The government has also released surplus lands to generate 2,000 new rental units and has a dedicated team responsible for speeding up the affordable housing project.

The Ontario Condominium Authority Tribunal

The Ontario Government has created a new administrative condominium authority through amendments to the Condominium Act. The government developed the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) to make dispute resolution easier and more cost-effective for owners and corporations. It will begin operations on November 1, 2017.

CAT is under the authority of Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO). The organization's mandate is to increase awareness of condo owner's rights and provide them with information and education. The organization will be managing CAT when it begins accepting disputes.

Foreign buyers involved in less real estate deals since new tax

Foreign investment is often considered a major factor in high housing prices across Canada, especially in its major cities. Ontario recently began charging additional taxes for foreign real estate buyers. According to statistics from Toronto and the Golden Horseshoe, these steps may be working.

From May to August of 2017, foreign buyers were involved in 3.2 per cent of real estate activity in the region. The month the non-resident speculation tax was introduced, this rate sat at 4.7 per cent. Across Ontario, only 2.6 per cent of the 101,698 transactions over the summer months involved at least one foreign entity. 

3 things to know for prospective condominium owners in Ontario

Condominium ownership comes with many benefits. But it also comes with rules and regulations that may govern everything from the cost of monthly maintenance fees to what type (if any) pets you can keep.

As a potential condo owner, knowing some of the basics about condo governance helps you be more aware of the rights and restrictions you may face. It may also help you decide whether condo life is really for you before jumping into a purchase.

Resolving Boundary Disputes - Are Land Surveys Science Or Art?

Neighbours can live side by side and in peace for years. But when one suddenly wants to put up a fence or cut down a hedge, conflict can easily ignite. Without clarity on property boundaries, simple bickering may eventually lead to costly litigation. Getting a land survey is one way to determine who owns what piece of real estate. But is a land survey always the end-all of a boundary dispute?

New condominium law to help regulate financial transparency

When choosing to invest in a condominium, buyers need to take monthly condo fees into consideration. Understandably, increases to these fees can cause a stir and many buyers want to understand what kinds of increases are allowed under condominium law. In Ontario, this has become a particular concern for many as condo fees have the potential to rise significantly, especially when special assessments are levied against condo owners.

What does condominium law say about adding parking spaces?

As condo owners' lives change, they often have questions as to what their building will allow. One of the changes that often concerns Ontario condo owners is the addition of a new car and the need for parking. Many people wonder if condominium law establishes any protocol for obtaining an additional parking space in their buildings.

As with many questions about Ontario condominium law, the answer lies in the bylaws and regulations of the building. While some condo owners purchase a parking spot or spots as part of their acquisition, others are simply allowed to use spaces that are still owned by the building. The details of where ownership lies determines what parking space an owner is allowed to use.

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