Real Estate News: December 2020
By Samantha Grilli, Harbour Legal
2020 has been a year of change and adjusting to a new
normal, mostly as a result of Covid-19. Legislation has also been impacted and,
whether or not a result of Covid-19, important changes have been made.
In this paper, I will summarize changes to three
pieces of real estate related legislation. Specifically, the Real Estate and
Business Brokers Act, 2002, the Residential Tenancies Act and the Rebuilding
Consumer Confidence Act.
Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002
Bill 145 or Trust in Real Estate Services Act, 2020
made various changes to the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002, now
known as the Trust in Real Estate Services Act, 2019 (the “Act”). The first
major change brought about by Bill 145 allows real estate agents and brokers to
incorporate personal real estate corporations or PREC’s1. This allows real
estate agents to take advantage of the tax saving benefits that corporations
The Act also ensures that real estate agents cannot
call themselves “specialists” until they have met specific criteria and
completed required programs2. The Act updated the Code of Ethics for real
estate agents and allows the regulator to discipline those who do not comply.
Such disciplinary actions include fines and mandatory additional education3.
The intention of these changes is to give RECO more power thereby promoting a
more ethical profession.
Residential Tenancies Act
Although not in force as of yet, the changes proposed
by Bill 184 give additional rights to landlords in Ontario. One of these
changes allows landlords and tenants to agree to repayment agreements outside
of the Landlord and Tenant Board (“LTB”). If a tenant breaches the agreement,
the landlord is then allowed to seek an eviction order without a hearing or
notice4. Additionally, landlords now have twelve (12) months after the tenant
vacates to bring the tenant to the LTB for unpaid rent or compensation for use
and occupation after termination5. When in force, tenants must provide advance
written notice of any issues they plan to raise at a hearing6.
Additional protections for tenants have also been
introduced. Bill 184 proposes additional penalties against a landlord who acted
in bad faith in evicting a tenant under sections 48, 49 or 50 by allowing the
Board to require landlords to compensate former tenants up to twelve (12)
months rent at the monthly rate last charged by the landlord7. Finally, the
Bill proposes to increase the fines for corporations convicted of a breach
under the Act from $100,000.00 to $250,000.008.
Rebuilding Consumer Confidence Act
Bill 159, Rebuilding Consumer Confidence Act, 2020
makes changes to a number of pieces of legislation including but not limited to
the Condominium Act,1998, the Consumer Protection Act, 2002, and the Ontario
New Home Warranties Plan Act. The proposed changes to ONHWPA will change the
Tarion Warranty Corporation to promote higher quality new home construction and
reduce defects and warranties. The Bill will also include improvements to
administrative authorities such as the Real Estate Council of Ontario and the
Technical Standards and Safety Authority and will allow these authorities to
continue acting in the public interest during emergencies9.
1 Trust in Real Estate Services Act, 2020, S.O. 2020,
c.1 – Bill 145 at s. 2(2)
2 Ibid at s. 8
3 Ibid at s.21(3)
4 Ibid at s.78
5 Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c.17 at
6 Ibid at s.82(2)
7 Ibid at s.57(1) and (3)
8 Ibid at s.238(2)
9 Bill 159, Rebuilding Consumer Confidence Act, 2020
practices with Harbour Legal, focusing on corporate and commercial law,
residential and commercial real estate, wills and estate planning.
She can be
Suite 800, 25 Main
Hamilton, ON L8P