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Condos will Need to Increase Their Fees to Pay for the New Condo Authority

The new Condo Authority of Ontario has recently confirmed what fees it will charge for its services. The CAO also confirmed who will pay for this and when the new fees will become payable. Condominiums may want to adjust their budget without delay.

How Much?

You may recall that the CAO recently conducted a public consultation to collect feedback on the fees it proposed to charge for its services. The CAO notes that most participants responded positively to the proposed fee.  This is also in line with our own survey indicating that 60% of the respondents viewed the proposed fee as reasonable. Feel free to take our survey on these fees as we continue to update the results.

Having considered the feedback it received, the CAO confirmed that it would collect the following fees for its proposed services.

  • $12 per voting unit, per year;
  • $25 filing fees for parties wishing to access the Tribunal’s online dispute resolution system where they can negotiate in a neutral forum and attempt to resolve their dispute;
  • $50 for the services of a dedicated Tribunal’s mediator who will attempt to settle the dispute in a collaborative manner between the parties;
  • $125 to get a formal adjudication of the dispute by a member of the Tribunal.

This means that for a condo dispute to proceed from beginning to end  (assuming the Condo Tribunal has jurisdiction over the dispute), it will cost $200 in fees.  Keep in mind, however that the Condo Tribunal will have the jurisdiction to impose on a party the legal costs of the other party.  That is to say that the party who is unsuccessful in the dispute adjudicated by the Tribunal can expect to have to pay (at least part of) the other’s legal fees in addition to the Tribunal’s fees.

Who will pay?

It is interesting to note that the new CAO fee will be payable by the corporations.  Naturally, corporations will collect this from owners.  The fee will be calculated based on the number of voting units. This is interesting because it excludes all parking and storage units from the calculation of this fee.  The fee will be charge only on the actual units (residential or commercial).

When will this fee be due?

The base fee ($1 per unit, per month) will have to be collected by condo corporations.  The first installment will have to be paid before December 31, 2017.  It will cover the period from September 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018. It is unclear presently what will be the deadline to pay for the following years.  I assume, based on the above, that the CAO’s fiscal year-end will be March 31.  Will the fees be payable in a lump sum in the future and if so, when?  Time will tell.

How will this be implemented?

The CAO will send a package to all condominium corporations in late August. [This may be a logistical challenge in and of itself as there is currently no registry of all existing condominium corporations in Ontario.  There is also no registry of municipal addresses where to reach all corporations].  This package will provide details on how corporation can register [I assume such registration will be mandatory] and how to pay their assessments.

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