If you own a condominium as an investment property and rent it out, it's important for you to know The Government of Ontario has introduced new changes to the Condominium Act, 1998 related to an expansion of the jurisdiction of the Province’s virtual tribunal that helps resolve condo-related disputes.
As of January 1st, 2022, the Condominium Authority Tribunal, or CAT will be granted the authority to handle disputes involving nuisances, annoyances, and disruptions. Specifically, prescribed nuisances under the Condominium Act 1998 will now include “unreasonable” instances of:
Previously, these issues were dealt with through mediation, arbitration, or the courts, leading to costly and time-consuming proceedings. Under the current rules, landlords and condo owners often have to foot the bill for these types of disputes.
The new rules will provide a faster and more cost-effective dispute resolution mechanism for condo owners and their tenants. It is important to note that the expanded jurisdiction of the CAT will not have a direct impact on eviction proceedings, as those issues are still governed by the Landlord and Tenant Board.
Applications for condominium-related disputes can be found on CAT’s online portal and dispute resolution services are offered at a total cost of $200.
OREA will be releasing more information on updates to the CAT’s jurisdiction as they become available. For more information about the CAT, please visit the Condominium Authority of Ontario’s website at: www.condoauthorityontario.ca.
Current Rules Governing disputes
All renters of condominiums have to abide by the condo’s by-laws and rules. The landlord of an investment condo should provide the rules and by laws to the tenant at the onset of the lease. Important information to review would be: smoking & vaping rules, pet rules, guest rules, maximum occupancy rules & rules surrounding the recreational facilities.
As well, the tenants should carry appropriate insurance to cover any damage to both their home and any damage caused to other units.
While the tenants enjoy the facilities; if they behave in a way that breaks the rules, the landlord/owner becomes responsible for damage and other expenses.
Due to understaffing and backlogs at the Landlord & Tenant board, often disputes can take months to resolve. And while the Residential Tenancy Act clearly states all tenants in condos must follow the rules, any outcome at a Landlord/Tenant board hearing is largely dependent on whichever specific Adjudicator is assigned.
Why Condos are popular investment properties
Condos are attractive to many investors in part because they require less maintenance than a house. Renters also tend to turn over faster, so a landlord can raise rents between tenants to keep up with market rates.
Of course, condominiums in Toronto are less expensive than houses to buy, so are an affordable option for real estate investors in Toronto.
A popular condo building with nice facilities, close proximity to transit, en-suite laundry and parking will rent quickly for top rent. It’s common for rentals in Toronto to command top dollar, and in some cases Toronto condos rent with multiple offers.
What attracts a good tenant?
Great tenants often want a building with 24H security, a concierge, laundry in the suite & parking. Landlords can charge a bit more for updated finishes, newer appliances, a fresh coat of paint.
Close proximity to transit & luxurious building amenities (including well kept lobby, stairwells & halls) also command higher rental rates.