condo act

New changes coming to Ontario's condo act will mean harsher rules for renters

Though Ontario cities like Toronto are known for doing a good job protecting the rights of renters in disputes, there are some changes on the way to the province's Condominium Act that will place tougher restrictions on how tenants conduct themselves in an effort to curb "problem" individuals.

As it currently stands, condo owners may find (and have found) themselves financially responsible for litigation related to their tenants, such as when someone occupying their unit is taken to court for defying building rules or when the renter themself launches a court case against the condo corporation, for whatever reason.

Certain amendments being made to the admittedly outdated act as of Jan. 1, 2022, are intended to help disputes of such nature be heard quicker, but others could mean that even good tenants may be dinged for certain behaviours that their landlord or neighbours deem to be an issue.

These include "nuisances, annoyances or disruptions" such as "odour, smoke, vapour, light and vibration" that can be considered "unreasonable," wording that could leave a bit of room for interpretation.

Though no landlord wants regular ragers taking place in their condo, renters generally expect that they be allowed to play music or have some friends over from time to time — all within reason, of course, which again may prove subjective.

Other changes to the act include prohibiting a renter from "causing, through an act or omission, conditions or activities in the condominium units, common elements or assets that are likely to damage the property or the assets or cause an injury or an illness to an individual" and extending the Condominium Authority Tribunal's ability to deal with the aforementioned nuisances.

The expansion of the CAT's reach has some concerned about the continued responsibility for legal costs, which CAT can order be paid by condo owners.

Others are celebrating the forthcoming changes for their potential to help with "bad tenants."

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