The Condominium Authority of Ontario plays a big role in the life of condominium boards, condo owners and any condo resident. But what does it do and how can it help you? We look at the details.
In its own words, the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) is an “organization that aims to improve condominium living by providing services and resources for condo owners, residents and directors.” It is an independent, non-profit organization that was created by the Condominium Act, 1998 and is “responsible for delegated provisions” under that act.
The CAO is governed by a board of directors which comprises seven members – three appointed by the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services for three-year terms and four more who are elected by members of the board. Funding for the CAO mainly comes from mandatory assessment fees paid by condominium corporations annually.
As part of its mandate under the Condominium Act, 1998, the CAO carries out a number of roles. It provides information and training services covering the rights and responsibilities of condo unit owners, condominium boards of directors, and condominium managers.
For owners of units, the CAO website has many pages dedicated to all the ins and outs of condo living, providing details on bylaws, condo meetings and common expenses fees, among other things. For Directors of condo boards the CAO has mandatory online training that must be taken within six months of being appointed to ensure that the director knows their responsibilities. Crucially, this training is also open to condo owners, managers and residents, so they may know about the director’s responsibilities too.
The idea behind the easily accessible information and training is that, by teaching each party about their specific rights and responsibilities, the CAO can help to create healthier condominium communities for all involved.
To help with resolving issues that can occur in condos, the CAO provides information on how to resolve common issues such as infestations, light and noise problems, smoke and vapour issues, unwanted noise, pets, disagreements about access to records, problems with condo meetings, short-term rentals, complaints about condo managers, the use of vehicles, concerns about parking and storage, and compliance with settlement agreements.
Perhaps the most important service the CAO offers is an online dispute resolution portal. Known as the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT), it is Ontario’s first fully online tribunal service and allows people to easily open disputes if an issue hasn’t been resolved. For a small fee, a dispute can be logged and adjudicated efficiently. It empowers condo unit owners more than ever before and gives a clear path to the resolution of disputes.
If you’d like to know more about the Condominium Authority of Ontario or need to use their services, visit their website.
As an experienced property management company, Living Properties understands the services and requirements of the CAO. If you are a condominium board or director, feel free to reach out to us to see how we can help you to meet your requirements and to learn more about your responsibilities.