– – – Updated Legislation Would Strengthen Consumer Rights: Minister Lemieux
Manitoba condominium owners and buyers will have stronger consumer protection through a proposed new condominium act, Tourism, Culture, Heritage, Sport and Consumer Protection Minister Ron Lemieux announced today.
“We recognize the growing popularity of condo ownership as a housing option, and the new condominium act strengthens consumers’ rights when buying condominiums and provides better consumer protection for Manitoba condo owners,” said Minister Lemieux. “These protections will benefit new and existing condo owners now and for years to come.”
The proposed new condominium act would ensure Manitoba condo buyers would have better protection through measures such as:
extending the cooling-off period to seven days from 48 hours;
enhancing cancellation rights, that would allow buyers to cancel if any material changes are made to what was promised before they move in;
creating enhanced disclosure of items such as the cooling-off period and cancellation rights;
requiring developers to conduct a reserve fund study before selling any units that are converted from apartments so the buyers would have a clear view of the building’s condition before they buy;
ensuring unit owners would have a voice on the developer’s board; and
giving buyers a projection of anticipated operating costs for the first year that owners would pay common expenses and would require the developer to pay the difference if real costs exceed the estimate.
Current condo owners, condo corporations and condo boards would also benefit under the new proposed act by:
providing better information through a reserve fund study that would let unit owners know what large repairs may be needed in the near future;
having better management as boards would be better able to enforce bylaws and rules through fines for non‑compliant owners; and
introducing new requirements that would also ensure directors of boards, including developers’ boards, must act in the best interests of the condo corporation.
“We are thrilled by the positive innovations and improvements contained in the proposed condominium act,” said Robert Giesbrecht, chair, national government relations committee, the Canadian Condominium Institute. “Many of our members have been advocating for these changes for some time and we are pleased that Manitoba’s condominium laws are being modernized and strengthened.”
It is estimated there are about 50,000 Manitobans living in condominiums. Condominium corporations will receive notification of the changes by mail and be given time to make the necessary changes if needed. The proposed legislation would take effect Feb. 1, 2015, Minister Lemieux said.
For more information on many topics and a plain language explanation of the major changes in the proposed legislation go to www.manitoba.ca/condo.