Condo Owners Association COA

Auditor General's Report on Ontario Condo Industry

Auditor General's Report on Ontario Condo Industry 

 

On December 2020, the Auditor General's office of Ontario announced the results of their review named the "Value-for-Money Audit Condominium Oversight in Ontario - Please see https://www.auditor.on.ca/en/content/annualreports/arreports/en20/20VFM_10condominium.pdf

They stated that the entire condo sector in Ontario was valued at $300 billion dollars using a 2018 assessed value in the approximate amount of $340,000 for about 930 sq ft condo using figures from Statistics Canada.   We will note that this does not reflect prices in the Greater Toronto area (GTA) where prices are substantially higher.  When we consider there are approximately 890,000 condo units in Ontario and about 11,350 Condo Corporations it is crucial that the COA mandate is recognized "to represent and provide leadership to Condominium Owners with a united voice advocating and fostering quality lifestyle, prosperous and sustainable condominium ownership.  

In the last 3 years the data has changed significantly however the  most recent available date is from Statistics Canada for 2018.  If we consider the reports statement that about 57% of condo apartments are owner occupied and possibly 43% are either secondary, rented or vacant properties. the question would be what is this ratio today in 2021.    The COA advocated for a Condo Act Review since their inception March 2010.  In June 2012 the McGuinty Government announced the review however because of Parliamentary changes and the Wynne Government the reforms were somewhat delayed and reforms to the Act were not passed until 2015 at which time the Condominium Management Services Act was also a new piece of important legislation to regulate the condo sector.   The Condominium Authority of Ontario COA was designated in 2017 September as well the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority CMRAO in 2017 November. 

A key point to mention, the Condo Owners Association COA sat on the Condo Act Review and the Home Protection Review for Condominium Managers and Management companies.  We did not support the Ministry of Government and Consumers Services designation of either the CAO or the CMRAO.  The COA felt that the additional cost for Condo Owners is unnecessary and both of these parties would not assist Condo Owners affectively.  Owners are forced to take on an independent challenge of their Board and/or property managers which in turn will compromise and create more disputes for them.   

The Report states that "many of the reforms have still not been implement five years after they were passed".  We agree wholeheartedly agree with the report stating "the existing model for the condo sector does not provide effective consumer protection and does not address the risks that exist for condo owners and buyers".  Key points are identified relating to condo reserve funds both on the resale market and new construction.    Sadly the excessive limitations of the Condo Authority prevent them from investigating misconducts or potential abuses of the Condo boards or non compliance therefore enforcing compliance seems to be somewhat impossible unless it relates to the assessment fee to the Condo Authority.  In 2017 November a fast and inexpensive adjudication under the Condo Authority is known as the Tribunal yet they can only hear disputes on records of the Corporation and any form of dispute mediation is still lost in the wind under the CAO.  Condo Owners have to pay form private mediation and/or arbitration to seek assistance through the courts if their issues relate to condo board governance, accountability, maintenance fees, bullying, irresponsible spending, overpriced refurbishments, anything other than records related inquiries.  The COA confirms that one of the key issues we faced during the Condo Act Review was dispute resolution yet today we still stand with the same problem

The report identifies nearly half of the complaints which is a "key mandates of the Management Regulatory Authority" have not been addressed and related Condo Managers and Management companies are not being inspected.   We highly suggest that all condo owners read page 5/80 relating to increased maintenance fee and excessive monies towards increasing their reserve funds for repairs and replacement.   We have received several reports relating to excessive amounts of monies paid by the Corporation for refurbishments and irregular practice relating to Owners approvals.   This is another issue besides the report identifying hundreds of unlicensed individuals and companies  who are providing condo management services.   The Condo Authority public registry lists 156 companies without licensing as of February 2020 and the Management Regulatory Authority doesn't proactively identify these unlicensed companies or individuals.  In fact less than 1% of more than 3,650 Ontario licensed managers and management companies for a total of only 18 inspections and 6 investigations were carried out in approx. 2 years and some were not full investigations.  

CONDO BOARD MEMBERS
Can you imagine the report identified that 6,420 Directors of Condo Boards, 17% of 37,568 Directors has not completed their training within six months of their appointment, re-election or election date.   The COA has received complaints where Condo Directors who haven't completed their course, step down as an elected board member only to be re-appointed to the Board by the Directors shortly to avoid the training course.   There are 11,354 condo corporations registered in Ontario.

The full report concludes that all parties, the Condo Authority and Condominium Authority Tribunal do not protect Condo Owners sufficiently.  There are several 2015 amendments to the Condominium Act 1998 which are still not in force.   The COA is not happy about the outcome of the Condo Act Review and throughout the process it was not leaning towards protective measures for Condo Owners.  Sadly the participants were largely in favour of condo services trades and created an unbalanced approach of representation. 

 

We urge Condo Owners to read the Report -  Learn more about Condominiums, structure, operations, financials, operating budgets, certainly reserve funds and overall governance and accountability. 

Linda Pinizzotto, COA Founder represented the COA in the Condo Act Review, her strong presence on issues and concerns relating to governance, dispute resolution, financial management, consumer protection, and so on were addressed yet to-date do not have an regulated structure in place.  

On closing we do want to draw your attention to page 30/80 which addresses "Reserve Funds".  There is a process involved with Owners approvals relating to design, materials and cost inclusive of disclosure of the overall Reserve Fund which requires updating regularly as per the condo act.  There are expenditures included and not included in the 30-year time frame which is to be identified by an expert reserve fund study provider.  Replacement of building elevators and parts of the building cladding, windows, electrical systems, balconies and others would not be included in the 30 year time frame for a condo building constructed. The report states "expensive items, like boilers, windows and building cladding, may only require replacement 40 to 50 years after construction, condo boards often do not budget for them in the first 10–20 years.

 

FOR FULL REPORT - PDF 

Energy and Water Reporting

Energy Consumption and Water Use

Reporting Requirements

 

Multi-unit residential buildings including condominiums that are 50,000 square feet or greater with more than 10 units are required to report their energy and water use and GHG emissions to the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines annually by July 1st.  Ontario Regulation. 506/18, Reporting of Energy Consumption and Water Use (EWRB) is being phased in over 3 years, and in 2019, buildings that are 100,000 square feet or greater are required to report.

Details can be found at:     https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/180506


Reducing Your Costs


Energy use is one of the largest operating expenses in commercial and residential buildings.

It represents about 1/3 of typical building operating budgets.
The largest barrier to identifying cost efficiencies and making existing buildings more efficient is a lack of access to the data needed to measure and track energy performance.
Building that benchmark in other jurisdictions have shown as much as a 10% decrease in energy use in commercial buildings that implemented a small number of energy-efficiency strategies and monitoring systems.
The vast majority of buildings that benchmark have taken steps to improve performance by investing in low- or no-cost changes.

 

Fighting Climate change 


By reducing your energy and water consumption you also help to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and fight climate change..  One of the main reasons is that buildings account for 19 per cent of Ontario's total greenhouse emissions.  Comparing your condominium to similar buildings will help  condominiums identify ways to reduce usage and costs

Mandatory Reporting System 


The guidelines are very specific please view this link: 

https://www.ontario.ca/page/measure-energy-and-water-use-large-buildings


Reporting being phased in over three years.
Please note your first deadline date:  
  1. Commercial and Industrial buildings first report - July 1, 2018
  2. Condominium Multi-Residential Buildings - first report July 1, 2019

The steps to report, including obtaining your EWRB ID, are noted on the Provincial Government website. The website also includes information on the Portfolio Manager (PM) on-line reporting tool and a link to a Guide on how to report in PM.  
In your second year of reporting your building's energy and water use intensity (how much is used per square foot/meter) will be made public on Ontario’s Open Data website catalogue.  
 

SUBMIT A COMPLAINT

BECOME AN AMBASSADOR OF YOUR CONDO .... LET'S WORK TOGETHER .... GET INVOLVED WITH COA .... EMAIL US TODAY .... This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. LETS SPEAK OUT


The Condo Owners Association (COA)   

ALL CONDO OWNERS know your rights and responsibilities  

OWNING A CONDO 

 


Condo Owners
File your complaint CAO and/or CMRAO 


CAO - Condo Authority of Ontario   

CMRAO - Condo Management Regulatory Authority Ontario


The complaints can be as a result of a number of difficulties with your Board of Directors and/or Property Management.   Your Condo Corporation budget, expenditures, reserve funds, conditions, the process, the Annual General Meeting, the governance, design,  décor and condition of your Condo Building and on a personal light , You can also report items of concern regarding the operations, governance and accountability. 

Condo Owners no longer need to be kept in the dark, there are avenues available for support.  


1)  Harassment and/or bullied, major concerns not addressed etc. report Board of Directors 
2)  Harassment and/or bullied by Property Manager, report to CMRAO




CONDO OWNERS CAN REQUEST RECORDS OF THE CORPORATION AT ANY TIME 

The Board of Directors Must Comply or Corporation is fined for non compliance

1)  Request Records of the Corporation ie all Financials, Minutes of Meeting, AGM Minutes, 

2)  Board's Response to your Request for Records  If the Board refuses your request you may wish to report this to the CAO Condo Authority of Ontario

3)  Agreement to Access Records   Condo Owners can view records and if they wish a paper copy there may be a small charge   

4)  Future Reserve Fund Spending -
Note ALL Owners, your Board of Directors must advise Owners 


SPECIAL WEBSITE Information

1)  Land Property Records  
2)  Home and Community 



All Condo Owners in Ontario

Owners can also request General Information of the Corporation and Board of Directors 

1) Request General Information of the Corporation               - Information for Owners about their Corporation 
2) Information on Board of  Directors Certificate Update      - Names and Address of Service for their Board of Directors  
3) New Owners Information Certificate                                   - Information for New Owners about their Corporation


Complete and send the above forms to the "Attention of your Board of Directors" 
In most cases this would be via your Property Manager. 
Please ensure you receive confirmation of receipt.






Become a COA Ambassador of Your Condo  

    


Note:  Changes to the Condo Act

COA is thrilled to work with  (MGCS)  the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services and we are delighted to have Bill 106   "Protecting Condominium Owners Act 2015" and the New Condo Management Services Act, 2015   

(CAO)  Condo Authority of Ontario aims to improve condominium living with mandatory training for Condo Directors and as a resource for disputes 

CMRAO  Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario regulates Condo Manager and Management firms licensing, education requirements and compliance.    

Advertise on COA website

Promote your business work with the COA

Develop a Relationship with the COA 

 

Special Events, working together with COA

If you and your company have ideas for "Special Events, Seminars and Marketing Initiatives, the COA would like to hear your thoughts. 

Please 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  if you have any new and exciting ideas to work together 

 

New Guide to help Condo Owners and Condo Corporations 

The COA has established relationships with various services, product companies and trades to help Condo Owners and Condo Corporations.  We have launched two (2) recommendation Guides to our Website/s.   The companies have shown to offer excellent representation and value for their expertise.  These Guides offer a List of recommended businesses, trades and suppliers. 

The COA is keen on negotiating development incentive programs that Condo Owners may experience through Related Services Companies of the Condo Owners Association

 

Condo Owners Guide 

Condo Corporation Guide 

COA Partners and Past Partners 

  1. Allstate Insurance of Canada
  2. International Home & Garden Show
  3. Clorox Canada – Glad
  4. Entire Imaging
  5. Geep Electronic Recycling
  6. Joseph Estate Wines
  7. Vision Quest

Disclosure:  Condo Owners Association accepts no responsibility for any loss or dissatisfaction arising from any use or contractual relationship of services, or purchases to include incentives programs that Condo Owners may experience through Related Services Companies of the Condo Owners Association


 

CAN FUND Canadian Athletes Now

About CAN FUND


The Condo Owners Association COA Ontario believes in working with other Non Profit Organizations and Charities to the best of our ability.  We are a supporter for the CAN FUND Canadian Athletes Now

We have included their mission statement below and would like to draw your attention to the CAN Fund website and donation support page. 
http://canadianathletesnow.ca/
 
  1. We want people to celebrate those who have impacted their lives.

  2. We want our athletes to succeed on the world stage.

  3. The Impact of both  “Celebrate Impact, Impact Success”


 

Donating to CAN FUND

https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/Donate.aspx?EventID=574&LangPref=en-CA
 


 

Mandatory Provincial Residential Tenancy Agreement

Mandatory Provincial Residential Tenancy Agreement

Landlords, Tenants and  Realtors remember to read important information on the new mandatory Standard Lease Form which has come into effect May 1, 2018.

Ontario's Fair Housing Plan and Rental Fairness Act changes include an initiative by the Provincial Government to introduce a new standard lease for private residential leases signed on or after April 30, 2018 including tenancies in:
  1. Single Detached Homes
  2. Semi-Detached Homes
  3. Apartment  Buildings
  4. Condominiums
  5. Secondary Suite - ie basement apartments

Click here to download the new form

For more information and an FAQ, visit the Ministry of Housing


REALTORS:

Revisions to the OREA Form 400: Residential Tenancy Agreement (Standard Form of Lease)

OREA revisions to Form 400 in response to the new requirements per the Residential Tenancies Act. The Form #400 revisions are as follows:
  1. Clause 12; first line was revised to identify the lease will be drawn by Landlord on the standard form of lease as per Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) & 
  2. Clause 13; is a new clause for party (landlord and tenant) acknowledgement that there will be a standard form of lease as prescribed by RTA.  All form Clauses were re-numbered thereafter.
  3. Note: The purpose of OREA Form #400 Agreement to Lease - Residential is as a negotiating tool only and the mandatory government standard lease form for landlords is the actual formal lease document.  
  4. Further, three OREA Standard Clauses were deleted due to effects of RTA amendments; OREA Standard Clauses in LEASE/RES Clause 2, 8 & 14


Other Important Information

Please Note:  Standard lease form does not apply to most social and supportive housing, retirement and nursing homes, mobile home parks and land lease communities, or commercial properties. The government will develop separate standard leases to address these other types of residential tenancies.


 

Electric Vehicle Charging

COA Provincial Divisions

Note:  Each COA Division has a Ward to embrace the Political structure of our Municipal, Provincial and Federal Level of Government.

This system provides COA to advocate for Condo Owners and provide a positive approach to balance and support for a "Better Condo Act and Condo Community.  Let's help COA to build and create a strong Association to stand up for "your Rights"    No different from the Teachers Association and all advocate Associations. 

 
There are so many condominiums in Ontario.  They range from low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise condo buildings, then there are different styles of townhouse in the residential market.  There are also commercial and industrial condominiums. 


The COA is your voice and why do you need a voice?   Condominiums operate under the guidelines of the Provincial Legislation called the Condominium Act.   As you know, you have a Board of Directors who run the affairs of the corporation through their Property Manager.  The Board has to follow the Condominium Act which is overseen by the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services.

It is not easy for individuals to deal directly with Government but there is strength in numbers.  The more Condo Owners who register with the Condo Owners Association, the more ability the Association has to advocate for stronger protection and to ensure that your rights are being addressed.  It is similar to the Teachers Association or any other non Profit Association.  The key thing to understand that without the COA how will changes be implemented. 

COA Ontario needs to be informed about Condominiums in each city, therefore we have designed several Divisions and we hope to have more and more volunteerism as we continue to grow.  If you are interested in volunteering, please complete the volunteerism form and email it to our office.    

 


Benefits of COA Divisions under COA Ontario  

Structure allows interaction with MPP's, Local Mayor sand Councillors and City Staff on municipal regulatory relating to condominiums
Provides representation for Condo Owners on numerous stakeholder and expert groups



Benefits of COA Divisions having Districts

Structure allows interaction with every Riding and Ward within a Division
Creates a close working relationship with local MPP, Mayor and City Staff on municipal regulatory relating to condominiums
Ensures representation for Condo Owners on numerous stakeholder and expert groups



Example   COA Toronto - is a Division of COA Ontario

Toronto is the fastest growing condominium community in Ontario
Has 44 Political Ridings which are the COA Districts
Example:  1 District is Trinity Spadina District which is Ward 19 and Ward 20
Trinity-spadina - Ward 20 has over 70,000 condominium owners since 2012
Click to view: 44 Wards and 12 Political Ridings 

Be an Ambassador of your Condo Building

Ambassador for your Condo Building?

If  you would like to make changes in your building, please consider becoming a COA  "Ambassador" of your building.  We have identified that every Condominium needs an Ambassador to work together with the COA.  There is too much going on behind the scenes in the Condo Buildings with Board of Directors and Property Management.  Owners are still being misrepresented and/or ignored.  Condo Annual General Meetings are still a horror movie, but who are the Villains? Sadly, too often it is the Villains winning the Game and the losers are the Condo Owners.

Condo Owners are easily mislead as they try to surf through these takeovers.  Who can they trust? 

One of the key problems are Proxies!   Proxies should not be controlled by Property Manager or the Board of Directors.   The COA has recommended "Electronic Voting"  of Board Members to the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services.  Proxies are the #1 problem in Condominiums because proxies are being forged and manipulated!   The Power lies behind the closed doors of Property Management Office so how can a Condo Owner or even a legitimate Board Member compete?  They can't it is that simple, it cannot be done.   If your building has signs of distress you must realize you have to step out of the building for an opinion unless there is hard core evidence of wrong doing.  Even then take the evidence and step out of the building. 

The only solution to this problem is to have a COA Ambassador in each Condo Building!    Contact COA


 

Associations are Important

Support your Condo Owners Association representing Condo Owners and Buyers. 

There are various Association representation different sectors.  Each and every one are extremely important.  Below is a list of some of the Associations and whom they represent.  

Condo Owners Association (COA)

......represents Condo Owners and Condo Buyers

Ontario Medical Association (OMA)

......represents our Medical Profession

Ontario Teachers Federation (OTF)

......represents our Teachers

Police Association of Ontario (PAO)

......represents our Police Officers  

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