In 2017, Ontario moved forward in an effort to better protect condo owners, residents and board members by creating a new administrative authority – the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO). The CAO creates new consumer protections to help build more sustainable communities and improve condo living today and into the future. If you’re a tenant, resident or director, find out how the CAO works for you here.
The Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) is a not-for-profit organization established in 2017 and created under the Condominium Act. Their mandate is to support consumer protection by addressing concerns related to condo living and management, and by minimizing issues before they become full-blown disputes.
The CAO provides a suite of resources and services for condominium buyers, owners, residents, and directors to solve issues early, and to resolve disputes quickly and affordably. This includes but is not limited to:
As a condo owner or resident, there are a number of things you should know about your rights and responsibilities, including how you can file a dispute. The CAO makes it easy for parties to find the information they need online regarding the laws that protect condo owners, the roles and responsibilities of the board of directors and managers, and any changes to the Condominium Act.
The Board of Directors runs the condo corporation on behalf of the owners and is responsible for major decisions regarding the finances, maintenance, and enforcement of the Condo Act. To ensure condominium directors are properly trained to understand their obligations regarding best practices for good governance, they are now required by law to complete the CAO training program within six months of their appointment, election or re-election. The training is free and covers important topics that are relevant to managing a building and properly representing the condo owners. Those who do not complete the training will be disqualified as a director.
The Complaint Resolution process was once expensive and time-consuming in Ontario. It was also difficult for residents to deal with issues regarding condo governance, which deterred a number of owners from submitting complaints. The Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) aimed to fix this issue by making the dispute resolution process for records issues easier and more cost-effective for owners, residents, and corporations. It provides a mediator or adjudicator to assist parties to come to a resolution. Owners and corporations are also given the chance to appeal their decision to the Divisional court.
There are many things a condo corporation is required to do by law and one of those things is to submit a number of forms. The CAO makes it simple for the condo board to find and understand each of these forms by hosting them directly on their website.
Condo corporations are legally required to file a Notice of Change within 30 days when any information in a filed return has changed. The CAO has created an online returns system to help streamline and speed up the process for condo corporations. It’s entirely user-friendly and provides step-by-step guides and instructional emails to assist condo corporations with their filings. Those who need additional assistance can talk to CAO staff at any time during the returns process.
Yes. All condo corporations are required to pay an annual assessment fee of approximately $1 per voting unit per month. This fee is added to the common expenses and is distributed pro-rata to condo owners based on the percentage that they contribute to common expenses. The Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT) also charges fees to resolve disputes but ensures that these are affordable for owners and residents. The fees are as follows: