Ontario introduces legislation to enhance homeowner and homebuyer protections

It seeks to ban the registration of consumer NOSIs

Ontario introduces legislation to enhance homeowner and homebuyer protections

Ontario has introduced new legislation aimed at enhancing protections for homeowners and new homebuyers.

If passed, the Homeowner Protection Act, 2024, would prohibit the registration of Notices of Security Interest (NOSIs) for consumer goods on the Land Registry and render existing NOSIs for consumer goods expired.

While intended to protect business interests, the Ontario government said it has seen many cases in which NOSIs are exploited to demand excessive payments from consumers, especially seniors.

These scams can involve leveraging NOSIs to secure high-interest mortgages on properties and potentially lead to the loss of the home, according to a news release from the province.

“By banning the registration of consumer Notices of Security Interest on land titles, we’re putting an end to the exploitation that has targeted our elderly and most vulnerable residents,” Todd McCarthy, Minister of Public and Business Service Delivery.

The proposed bill also includes a provision for a 10-day cooling-off period for buyers of new freehold homes that would allow buyers to cancel agreements without penalties.

McCarthy described the bill as “the first of its kind in Canada” and said 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 outlined 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, providing condo owners with more accessible and efficient resolution options.

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

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