What Is The Condo Act?

This is an act of legislation that regulates most aspects of condo formation, purchasing, living in, and governance. Each condo document has to be based on this Act which, in Ontario, is in theory the responsibility of the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations. Each province has its own act because housing is a provincial jurisdiction. In Ontario, we have The Condominium Act 1998 that came into effect in May 2001.

Many problems and loopholes remain in this Act and in other provinces’ Acts as well. In addition, there is no one in charge of overseeing compliance to this Act.

The situation is such  that individual owners are protected by this Act only when their condo boards and their management company function well, understand this Act, follow it, and enforce it evenly, largely through a condo’s declaration and rules. It's not unlike gambling: some win, most lose...

Owners who are victimized do not have any recourse for their justified complaints because no one is really in charge of administering this Act and making sure that abuse does not occur or that boards do not fail in their duties, whether purposely or out of ignorance. As well, the Act is rather inaccessible to owners and recourse to legal advice can be expensive and even difficult to obtain (For Problems of Legal Recourse, click into Condo Auditors and Lawyers).

Another general problem is that this Act serves managers and boards better than it serves owners. It is much easier for managers and boards to force owners who run afoul of regulations to comply with the Act than for owners to do the same thing when their manager or their board is the guilty party.

Please click here for the Legislative Brief to strengthen the Condo Act in terms of owners' rights that was submitted to the government of Ontario in September 2011.