Ontario Introduces Legislation to Boost Homeowner and Homebuyer Protections

Ontario Introduces Legislation to Boost Homeowner and Homebuyer Protections

Ontario has rolled out new legislation to better protect homeowners and new homebuyers.

If it passes, the Homeowner Protection Act, 2024, will ban the registration of Notices of Security Interest (NOSIs) for consumer goods on the Land Registry and nullify any existing NOSIs for these goods.

Originally meant to safeguard business interests, the Ontario government has seen too many cases where NOSIs are abused to squeeze excessive payments from consumers, especially seniors.

These scams often involve using NOSIs to secure high-interest mortgages on properties, potentially leading to homeowners losing their homes, according to a provincial news release.

“By banning consumer Notices of Security Interest from land titles, we’re ending the exploitation targeting our elderly and most vulnerable residents,” said Todd McCarthy, Minister of Public and Business Service Delivery.

The proposed bill also includes a 10-day cooling-off period for buyers of new freehold homes, allowing them to cancel agreements without penalties.

McCarthy called the bill “the first of its kind in Canada,” saying it would “protect consumers from fraud and bad actors.”

“We’re giving Ontarians the crucial information and time they need to confidently make one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives through our enhanced protections for new homebuyers,” he added.

Other measures in the bill include:

  • Mandating public disclosure of builder cancellations of purchase agreements for new freehold homes to increase transparency.
  • Consulting on proposals to address illegal home building and selling.
  • Expanding the Condominium Authority Tribunal’s jurisdiction to cover more disputes, giving condo owners more accessible and efficient resolution options.

Ontario will also consult with stakeholders to improve protections for condo owners and purchasers and enhance condo management. Plans to consult on implementing the cooling-off period for new freehold homes are also underway.