In early October, the Alberta Government approved new rules to protect Albertans’ interests when they buy condos. Albertans deserve to be protected when they make a purchase, and no purchase is more important than buying a home. A quarter of all Albertans live in condos, so we want to make sure we have fair, modern rules in place that will protect condo buyers and strengthen the industry. This will increase consumer confidence in the market, which will benefit our economy and make life better for Albertans.

Prior to these changes, Alberta’s condominium legislation was out of date, and Albertans have suffered as a result. For example, developers were providing insufficient point-of-sale disclosures, boards were issuing unfair bylaw sanctions, there were no qualifications for condominium managers, and disputes often had to be taken to court.

These new rules are the first set of changes we will be making to make life better for condo dwellers. Since 2015, we have consulted with Albertans and listened to their concerns on both buying and living in condos. The new rules we developed are a result of what we heard from a wide range of stakeholders including condo owners, managers, legal and real estate professionals, as well as business and industry associations. I’m pleased to see these go into effect January 1, 2018.

In this first set of improvements, we have made life more affordable for Albertans by increasing transparency and accountability, so Albertans can be confident about their condo investment. New home buyers will now be given more information from developers at the point of sale, including a move-in date they can count on.

We have also given buyers options on how to take action if the unit they receive is not what they thought they were buying and lowers the unit’s value. We’ve changed the rules to better protect homebuyers’ deposit money, and we have new inspection and enforcement powers, so we can ensure developers are following the rules.

More consumer protection legislation will be introduced in the Fall session of the legislature, so stay tuned for those details. To learn more about changes to protect condo buyers and owners, visit condo.alberta.ca