June 2, 2024

Proposed Homeowner Protection Act, 2024 (Ontario, Canada)

Ontario Homeowners’ Protection Act 2024: Strengthening Consumer Protections and Preserving Heritage

The Ontario government is taking significant steps to bolster consumer protections for homeowners and homebuyers through a series of legislative measures aimed at curbing harmful business practices. In addition to ensuring that homebuyers can make well-informed decisions, the province is also focusing on preserving its heritage while supporting housing and infrastructure development. This comprehensive approach aims to create a fairer, more transparent real estate market while honoring the historical significance of Ontario’s communities.

Banning Consumer Notices of Security Interest Registrations

A pivotal aspect of the new measures is the proposed ban on consumer Notices of Security Interest (NOSI) registrations. NOSIs are notices that businesses can register on the Land Registry when they rent, finance, or lease equipment installed on a property, such as water heaters, furnaces, or HVAC units. These registrations can complicate property sales and financing for homeowners, as they often discover these liens only when they attempt to sell their home or seek additional financing.

Since the early 2000s, the number of NOSIs registered annually has surged from approximately 2,000 to over 58,000 in 2023. Currently, there are about 350,000 consumer and commercial NOSIs registered on Ontario’s electronic Land Registry. Misuse of these registrations often pressures consumers into negotiating costly buyouts, which can result in significant financial burdens. The ban on NOSIs aims to protect homeowners from such predatory practices and ensure smoother property transactions.

Protecting Buyers of New Homes

  • 10-Day Cooling-Off Period

To further safeguard homebuyers, Ontario proposes a statutory 10-day cooling-off period for purchases of new freehold homes. This cooling-off period allows buyers to thoroughly understand their commitments and back out of the purchase if they decide it is not in their best interest. Currently, purchasers of new condos already benefit from such a cooling-off period. The proposed change aims to align protections across different types of property purchases, ensuring that all new homebuyers have the time and tools to make confident, informed decisions.

  • Cancellation Disclosures

In an effort to boost homebuyer confidence, the government intends to introduce regulatory changes that would require public disclosure of a builder’s history of cancelling purchase agreements for new freehold homes. This follows public consultations conducted in summer 2023. Presently, buyers can access a builder’s record of cancelling condo purchase agreements on the Home Construction Regulatory Authority’s (HCRA) website. Extending this transparency to freehold homes will help buyers make better-informed decisions and trust in the reliability of their builders.

  • Combating Illegal Building and Selling

Ontario is also targeting illegal building and selling practices. Homes constructed by unlicensed builders who bypass necessary regulatory requirements often have more defects and pose higher risks to buyers. These homes are not enrolled with Tarion, the body overseeing Ontario’s new home warranty and protection program, leading to significantly higher claims. On average, Tarion pays out $45,928 per illegally built home compared to $19,563 for legally built homes.

The province plans to hold consultations in early 2025 to develop strategies to combat illegal building practices. These consultations will focus on creating a fairer market for compliant builders and ensuring better quality homes for buyers of new freehold homes.

Enhancing Protections for Condo Owners

Condominium communities, home to over a million Ontarians, often face unique challenges and disputes. The Condominium Authority Tribunal, which primarily resolves disputes between condo corporations and owners, is set to expand its jurisdiction. Ontario plans to initiate consultations on this expansion, beginning with issues related to owners’ meetings. This phased and thoughtful approach aims to address the evolving needs of condo communities.

  • Consultations for Condo Protections

The government will also consult on initiatives to strengthen protections for condo owners and buyers. These consultations will explore improvements to status certificates, disclosure statements, handling material changes during construction, and records access. The goal is to enhance operational and financial transparency for condo owners while minimizing the administrative burden on condo corporations.

Supporting Municipalities and Property Owners in Conserving Heritage

Ontario is committed to preserving its rich heritage while facilitating housing and infrastructure development. Proposed amendments to the Ontario Heritage Act would give municipalities until January 1, 2027, to complete the evaluation of properties on their municipal heritage registers. This extension aims to ease administrative pressures on municipalities, allowing them more time to focus on conserving historically significant properties.

Additionally, the proposed amendments would provide clarity on how legislated timelines and requirements apply to listed properties, offering greater certainty to both municipalities and property owners.

Building More Housing Near Transit

To capitalize on Ontario’s substantial investments in transit infrastructure, the province is proposing measures to make it easier and faster to build mixed-use housing near transit hubs. This initiative aims to maximize the benefits of transit-oriented communities, providing continued certainty for building partners and fostering the development of vibrant, accessible neighborhoods.

The proposed legislation would exempt designated transit-oriented community lands from certain provisions of the Planning Act related to minister’s zoning orders, facilitating quicker and more efficient development processes.


The Ontario government’s comprehensive approach to strengthening consumer protections, supporting heritage conservation, and facilitating housing development represents a significant step forward for homeowners and homebuyers. By banning harmful business practices like NOSI registrations, introducing cooling-off periods, enhancing transparency, and combating illegal building, the province aims to create a fairer and more transparent real estate market.

Moreover, the focus on preserving Ontario’s heritage and promoting transit-oriented development underscores a balanced approach to growth and conservation. These measures, combined with enhanced protections for condo owners and thoughtful expansion of the Condominium Authority Tribunal’s jurisdiction, reflect Ontario’s commitment to supporting its residents and ensuring a thriving, equitable housing market.

For more detailed information and ongoing updates, homeowners and buyers are encouraged to refer to official resources at Ontario.ca or consult with real estate professionals and legal experts. Staying informed is the best way to navigate these changes and make confident, well-informed decisions in Ontario’s dynamic real estate landscape.