Almost two years ago, the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015 was passed by the Ontario legislature. This legislation enabled the creation of two new condominium administrative authorities: The Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario and the Condominium Authority of Ontario ("CAO").
This blog post will focus on the CAO, its anticipated role in the community and the fees associated with its administration.
The CAO is a consumer protection initiative which will provide online services and information to condominium communities, provide education for condominium directors, and will administer a condominium-specific dispute resolution mechanism (the Condominium Authority Tribunal).
The CAO has already begun to fulfil its public education role with the rollout of its website. There, you can find information and links regarding condominium legislation, governance, and the rights and responsibilities of residents. Once the CAO is fully designated, the information available on its website will be more robust.
The Condominium Authority Tribunal, when designated, is projected to provide parties with a swifter and cheaper way to solve disputes that arise within the unique context of condominium communities. The CAO is planning to administer the tribunal partially through the use of online components which are expected to increase efficiency and to reduce the costs associated with traditional dispute resolution mechanisms. Currently, it is expected that the tribunal will have jurisdiction over disputes concerning the production of records. The legislation allows for this limited jurisdiction to be expanded by regulation.
Of course, although the goal is the establishment of cheaper and faster access to information and the provision of dispute resolution assistance, the collection of certain fees will be necessary in order to effect the desired results. In this regard, the following fees have been proposed by the CAO:
- Monthly Fee per Voting Unit:* $1 per month ($12 per year)
- Filing Fee for Unassisted Online Negotiation System: $25
- Assistance by Dedicated Mediator: $50
- Tribunal Decision Fee: $125
*Parking and storage units are excluded from the calculation of the fee.
The Monthly Fee will be payable by condominium corporations. Therefore, condominium unit owners should expect that these fees will soon be built into their corporation's yearly budgets. On the other hand, the fees associated with the tribunal will be collected from the parties based on their actual use of the dispute resolution services.
It is expected that the CAO will officially begin to operate on September 1, 2017. The Condominium Authority Tribunal is anticipated to begin its operations on November 1, 2017. For additional details regarding the implementation of the CAO, you can visit their website here.