Before you start comparing paint chips and tile finishes, be sure that you are protected. The Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) plays an essential role in providing peace of mind for first-time condo buyers.

Buying a condominium can be exciting and somewhat overwhelming but knowing your rights and responsibilities as a condo owner can go a long way toward easing the worries of any first-time homebuyer. Fortunately, the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) is dedicated to supporting condominium communities across the province.

A comprehensive review of the Condominium Act, 1998, spearheaded by the provincial government, led to the establishment of the CAO on September 1, 2017. Feedback received from an intensive 18-month public consultation set the scope for the CAO as the first designated authority mandated to support condo buyers, owners, residents, and directors alike.

The CAO provides valuable information, services, and resources pre- and post- condominium purchase, including a wide selection of self-help tools and templates to help resolve common condo-related concerns such as by-law, noise, and pet issues.

For problems you cannot resolve on your own, the CAO offers condo owners and residents a convenient online dispute resolution forum known as the Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT). The CAT is a flexible, fast, and inexpensive process that empowers condo owners to resolve disputes without a lawyer.  Currently, the CAT is able to accept records-related disputes.

In addition to these self-help resources, the CAO  helps condominium boards better understand their responsibilities and obligations to owners by providing free, mandatory training online for condominium directors who have been elected, re-elected, or appointed after November 1, 2017. The modules are easily accessible, open to the public, and cover all aspects of condo governance, including a condominium’s legal framework.

To access these resources and learn more about how CAO can help you as a first-time buyer or existing condominium owner, visit