Ontario Unveils Homeowner Protection Act, 2024: OREA and TRREB Voice Support

June 4, 2024
BLOG , Real estate Market
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The Ontario Government recently announced the Homeowner Protection Act, 2024, a new piece of legislation designed to strengthen consumer protections for homeowners and buyers in the province. The Act, welcomed by the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) and the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), aims to create a fairer and more transparent real estate market by addressing some of the challenges faced by consumers during the home buying process.

Empowering Consumers Through Informed Decisions:

The Act prioritizes informed decision-making by introducing key measures:

1. Banning consumer NOSI registrations. Businesses use Notices of Security Interest (NOSI) registrations to claim interest on rented or leased equipment installed on properties, and their misuse has been rising, leading to pressures on consumers to pay high buyout costs when selling homes or securing financing.

2. 10-day cooling-off period. A proposed 10-day cooling-off period for new freehold home purchases will allow buyers to reconsider their commitments, aligning protections with those for condominium buyers.

3. Cancellation disclosures. Builders’ histories of cancelling purchase agreements for new freehold homes will be publicly disclosed, boosting buyer confidence.

4. Combating illegal building and selling. The province will consult on measures to protect consumers from illegal builders, who often bypass licensing and fail to enroll homes with Ontario’s new home warranty and protection program, Tarion, resulting in more defects, increased risks and higher payouts.

5. Condominium owner protections. The Condominium Authority Tribunal’s jurisdiction will be expanded, and consultations will focus on improving condominium operations, management and transparency with more protections for owners and buyers.

6. Heritage conservation. Amendments to the Ontario Heritage Act will give municipalities until January 2027 to evaluate properties on their heritage registers, easing administrative pressures and supporting heritage conservation.

7. Transit-oriented housing. To expedite mixed-use housing near transit, Ontario proposes exempting designated transit-oriented community lands from certain Planning Act provisions, ensuring building partner certainty and efficient use of transit investments.


Industry Support for Enhanced Consumer Protection:

OREA and TRREB, key stakeholders in the Ontario real estate industry, have applauded the introduction of the Homeowner Protection Act.

OREA views the Act as “a significant step towards protecting homeowners from bad actors” during a major financial transaction. They also believe it will contribute to increased housing supply across the province .Source: realestatemagazine.ca.

TRREB similarly commends the government’s initiative, acknowledging the Act’s potential to create a more balanced and secure environment for homebuyers. Source: realestatemagazine.ca.

The Ontario Homeowner Protection Act, 2024 represents a significant development in consumer protection for Ontario’s real estate market. By empowering buyers with information and introducing safeguards against unfair practices, the Act aims to create a fairer and more transparent experience for homeowners and buyers in the province.

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