What Boards Need to know About the Condo Guide

New Ontario Condo Guide

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As of January 1, 2021 condo developers must provide the new Condo Guide to purchasers of residential new or pre-construction condos. While the Condo Guide speaks to topics of interest for condo purchasers, it’s also important to condo boards. Here’s what your condo board should know about related Condo Act amendments and the Condo Guide itself.

What is the Condo Guide?

The Guide provides “plain language” information about the new condo and pre-construction purchase process. It also outlines the responsibilities of condo ownership. Developers must now provide purchasers with the guide when an Agreement of Purchase and Sale for pre-construction or newly-built condominium units is signed. The 10-day cooling off period then begins giving buyers time to consider their purchase. During this time they can decide if they wish to rescind their Agreement of Purchase and Sale or proceed.

Condo Act Amendments

According to the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, the guide related legislative amendments to the Condominium Act, 1998 affect sections 1(1), 71.1, 72(1), 72(2), 73(1), 73(2), and 161(1). The goal of the amendments is to:

  • Ensure that a guide is available for condo owners and buyers related to condo purchasing and condo ownership
  • Authorize the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) to prepare the Condo Guide
  • Enforce the requirement that developers must deliver the appropriate guide to all those purchasing preconstruction/new condos in hand with the required disclosure statement
  • Ensure purchase contracts for condos with developers do not become binding until the developer provides the purchaser the disclosure statement and Condo Guide
  • Allow purchasers to rescind the agreement of purchase and sale before accepting a deed to the unit based on certain circumstances if the guide is not provided

At this time, the residential Condo Guide is the only version approved by the Ministry. However, plans are in place to create versions of the document for different condo types.

Areas of Interest for Condo Boards

The Condo Guideline document is a valuable resource for anyone considering purchasing a condo, living in a condo, sitting on a condo board, or involved in the condo management industry. However, Part 3 of the Condo Guide covers “Condo Living”, including the role of the condo board and condo board governance. Therefore, the guide is an excellent educational tool providing information that helps define your role including:

  • Board of directors and board responsibilities
  • How condo boards provide condominium governance, oversee finances, and manage the condo
  • Duties of directors and required disclosures
  • Requirements for being a director
  • Director training requirements
  • Information certificates
  • Process for owners to request or examine records
  • Condo insurance
  • Special assessments and reserve funds

The Minister of Government and Consumer Services approved the guide, ensuring everyone has the same information. As such, your board and all new members should rely on it as one of the most important documents to help you understand your role.

CPO Management Inc. is a property management company in Toronto and the GTA specializing in successfully running condo corporations. We help your condo board of directors understand their roles and improve their ability to successfully manage condo affairs. Reach out to us today to learn more about our condo services.

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