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Condominium Authority: Cash grab or not?

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Canadian Realestate Magazine | 02 Jun 2015, 12:02 PM Agree 0
Proposed legislation aimed at keeping condo disputes out of court has drawn mixed reactions from real estate players.
  • former condo board member | 02 Jun 2015, 01:27 PM Agree 0
    This condo legislation might be a good thing; however, the City as well as the provincial government should pay for it and not the condo owners as they already pay all kinds of fees and property taxes that go into the coffers of both the municipal government and the province. Yes, as it stands, it is a cash grab just like everything else the Ontario government implements or proposes.
  • MFenn | 02 Jun 2015, 07:37 PM Agree 0
    I'm always suspicious of glowingly choreographed proposals which may mask a cynical attempt to raise taxes and bloat bureaucracy. Mr. Rob Ford: What do you think?
  • Useless | 07 Jun 2015, 04:22 PM Agree 0
    Over paid agents/developers from the past/present should pay for the inflated market/condo authority with their ridiculous fees. They have been touring, walking around like they invented the wheel. Consumers have been suckered in by agents and developers building shoddy buildings/homes and the Priceless agents didn't do a thing to protect the consumers with their useless advice.

    Take a 3 month course and ur biggest purchase is in their hands... Stop being suckered in by these 3 month course ,tour guides who are just looking for a quick buck ..no protection for consumers .
  • Omer Quenneville | 07 Jun 2015, 09:23 PM Agree 0
    I don't agree with any tax increase and this is one for sure, but something needs to be done. We can count on the government to screw it up for sure. I see a lot going on that shouldn't be in my touring around condos and no one got a voice. I've seen owners blacklisted for trying to speak up and I have seen people bullied when they have clued in to what is going on and tried to do something about it. The sales people in new condo sites are not licensed, they don't have to be and they work exclusively for the developer and it is buyer beware.
  • Surprise | 08 Jun 2015, 09:47 AM Agree 0
    Half or more of the sales done at sales centers are by greedy licensed (3 month course )agents bringing in clients for their commission that buidlers pay them to push the shoddy products. Of Course it is buyer beware but fighting a builder with deep pockets that have the rules on their side!!? The slick builders and their lawyers bully the officials and rules.

    Slick builders.no regulations, 3 month course agents,...surprise!!!

  • Condo owners | 08 Jun 2015, 10:42 AM Agree 0
    Condo Authority is just another layer of bureaucracy and another huddle to over come. Too many cooks spoil the soup, owners of condo just have to elect people with ability, integrity and a sharp eye as board directors. If you have to rely on someone one to run your affair, you may as well count on yourself.
  • Martin R. Gutnik, LL.B. | 11 Jun 2015, 03:11 PM Agree 0
    I truly believe that the idea of a Condo Authority is a fantastic progressive move in the right direction. The proposed cost is minimal for each condo unit owner and the benefits in terms of cost effective resolution of issues and deterrent to inappropriate actions by Developers and Property Managers (which are often indirectly owned or controlled by Developers) will prove to be well worth the minimal costs to implement. As a retired lawyer and owner of a number of condo properties in Canada and the United States - I welcome this opportunity to have such a tribunal available to grieve the issues that plague almost every condo project I have ever been involved with. Bravo - to all involved with this fantastic initiative!
    Martin R. Gutnik, LL.B.
  • No more taxes, fees, premiums | 11 Jun 2015, 03:27 PM Agree 0
    Yes it is a cash grab. I'm sure there are over 1/2 million condos in Toronto and if each unit pays $1 per month, then 1/2 million would be generated each and every month for this Board , a Board that will ultimately me made up with Wynne's friends and /or volunteers. Add to what the developers will contribute and there is no mistaking it is a cash cow. Minimal cost is the language of a lawyer.
  • Michael Clifton | 06 Aug 2015, 04:23 PM Agree 0
    I have posted some comments on the comment page that inspired this article. You can read those on that page (http://www.canadianrealestatemagazine.ca/forum/condo-owners-what-do-you-think-about-the-new-condominium-authority-3705.aspx). In the meantime, some of the same points need to be made here:

    1. I would strongly suggest that the proposed law be read before it is commented on. It remains clear that most commenters (including you, Jordan) have not done so.

    2. The proposed Condominium Authority and Tribunal have nothing to do with regulation or control of managers. That is covered by an entirely separate part of Bill 106 and is to be governed by an entirely separate organization.

    3. It is likely the Authority will have little or no bearing on the costs or practices of developers, though that remains to be seen (the legislation does not yet disclose the full range of the Authority’s duties). See my further comments about funding at the end of this post.

    4. The proposed Condominium Authority and Tribunal were requested by the majority of people giving input to the public review process based on which the law was written. This is not a government initiative – it is a response to stakeholder (i.e., public) demand.

    5. The primary reason for the Condominium Authority and Tribunal being created is to save unit owners money. If run properly under the proposed legislation, it will reduce the costs and complexity of the most common condominium disputes. The minimal $1 or so per unit per month is nothing compared to the costs of condominium dispute resolution processes today. In addition, the Tribunal will serve other functions that benefit condominium owners generally which are not now provided by the government and will not be because…

    6. If the City or Provincial government paid for it, it would increase taxes to all Ontarians. That is not being done. Also, the Authority’s money is not public money, it does not go back to the government. The funds applied to the Authority do not increase or deplete Ontario’s revenue.

    7. Membership on the Authority and the Tribunal is not likely to be tied to Wynne. Of course that is a risk, but it is most she likely doesn’t care who sits on this board and that it is not nearly important enough for any of her friends to want to be on it. The legislation provides that the board must be peopled by representatives of a broad range of condominium stakeholder groups.

    Lastly, the following comments were posted by me on the comments page mentioned above, but bear repeating here to correct your article: That is, you state that the authority is paid for by a "levy" against developers as well as a fee of $1 per month to be paid by all of Ontario's 1.3 million condominium unit owners. Those statements are incorrect.

    The proposed legislation provides that the Condominium Authority will be funded by a combination of user fees (for particular services) and an assessment that may be invoiced to condominium corporations.

    The amount of the assessment is suggested on a government website to be $1 per month per unit, but the legislation does not say this, nor is it certain, conclusive or guaranteed. The legislation allows for the assessment amount to be determined by the Authority from time to time with the approval of the Minister. The assessment cannot be arbitrary and has to be set taking into account government guidelines and the other amounts collected by the Authority as user fees. The assessment can be assessed against some condominium corporations and not others. It can be different based on different classes of condominiums. In short, we don't yet know what it will be and the $1 figure (which I believe I might have been the first person to suggest way back in a CCI meeting) is merely speculative unless and until the government imposes it as law.

    Also, the Condominium Authority does not appear to have any power to "levy" condominium developers. Perhaps I am missing something, but I am not sure where this idea even comes from. It is likely developers will pay fees to the Authority if there are services the Authority provides that developers are required to use, but those are simply user fees and will depend entirely on the responsibilities to be delegated to the Authority which as yet are not defined in law. I have not seen anything in the proposed legislation that imposes a levy against developers for the purpose of funding the proposed Condominium Authority.

    In short, no, this is not a cash grab. There appears to be no reasonable basis whatsoever for the accusation.
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