If you already own a Toronto loft or you've been thinking of buying a loft for sale in Toronto, there are new consumer protections coming.
Owners of Toronto lofts and condos have been waiting for over three years for the new Ontario Condo Act to be drafted, discussed, re-drafted and approved. In early December 2015, the new Act - Bill 106, officially named the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015, together with a new addition called the Condominium Management Services Act - received Royal Assent, meaning it passed through the final stages of government approval.
Key changes to the Act that you need to be aware of include:
You can get a copy of the new Ontario Condo Act on the Province's website.
Also, have a read of our previous post on how these new reforms will help buyers of newly converted Toronto lofts. Specifically, you'll soon be covered under Tarion for pre-con purchases of converted lofts just as purchasers of new build Ontario condos and soft lofts already are. But you're not covered for everything in the same way. Do your research and consult your own Toronto Loft Realtor before signing any pre-con contracts with the builder's sales team.
This is the part that's not so clear. Although it's passed as law in Ontario, the Act is not actually in effect in any real way. Yet.
As is the case with many a new Act, the date it's passed is not the date it legally takes effect. There's often a transition period to allow for all of the things that have to be done to adminster and enforce the new law(s). In the case of the Condo Act, time is required for things like establishing a tribunal to resolve disputes between condo owners and boards and setting training requirements for condo board directors.
The question for loft owners is when exactly will the new legislation to be enforceable as law?
The Province hasn't given any indication of the timeline but, given that the previous iteration of the Act (which wasn't nearly as nuanced or complicated from an administrative standpoint IMO), took about 2.5 years to fully take effect, my best guesstimate is that we can expect a good 2-3 years of wait time here.
So, what do you do now if you have a dispute with your condo board or you've recently purchased a pre-construction Toronto loft for sale and the builder hasn't delivered on their promises?
The first step is to make sure that you're familiar with your current rights and responsibilities as a condo owner which you can get a summary of here. If you feel your rights have been infringed upon, contact your Realtor who may have advice to offer along with Consumer Protection Ontario. You can of course seek personal legal counsel but just know that that's coming out of your own pocket in advance of the Province's new dispute resolution tribunal being established.
And as always, whether it's with us or another team, work a Toronto Loft Expert when buying a loft, not a generalist Realtor. You need an agent who understands the Toronto loft market inside and out at both a neighbourhood and building level; someone with extensive experience and knowledge of the building(s) you're interested in buying in who can tell you about their financial and management history.
Photo of Ontario Legislative Assembly © building Shabbir Siraj, licensed under CC 2.0 from flickr.