TORONTO — The Ontario government is seeking public input on ways to address and reduce the harmful and inappropriate use of Notices of Security Interest (NOSIs) against unsuspecting consumers.
A NOSI is a notice that can be registered on the land registry system by a business when it finances or leases certain equipment on a property such as an HVAC unit. In some cases, homeowners are not aware a NOSI has been registered on their title and businesses have charged them exorbitant fees to discharge the NOSI.
“Our government will not stand by and allow bad actors to take advantage of hardworking Ontarians for their own financial gain,” said Todd McCarthy, Minister of Public and Business Service Delivery. “We are consulting with businesses and consumers on ways to better protect homeowners and their property. Their input will help us develop a comprehensive approach to address Notices of Security Interest that will protect vulnerable consumers and seniors. This could include strengthening various laws to shield homeowners against wrongdoing.”
The Ontario government is also considering ways to clarify rules and obligations for businesses to discharge a NOSI, while providing enhanced powers to Consumer Protection Ontario to help homeowners when a business fails to do so.
“The current rules do not adequately protect homeowners from harmful and inappropriate business practices,” said Minister McCarthy. “We are committed to finding solutions to this important issue that would keep consumers from losing money to unscrupulous actors while building a safer and stronger economy.”
The consultation, which runs from October 17 to December 1, 2023, will explore topics such as the requirement to notify a homeowner when a NOSI is registered, the types of goods or fixtures for which a company can register a NOSI, and restrictions on the duration of a NOSI.
- A NOSI registration is a common business practice that is often inaccurately referred to as a lien.
- The Consumer Protection Act, 2002, sets out rules for consumer contracts in Ontario to which NOSIs may be tied. The Act governs most personal and household consumer transactions.
- The Personal Property Security Act allows for NOSIs to be registered. It includes remedies in cases when a consumer has fulfilled their obligations related to the NOSI (or if obligations related to the NOSI are forgiven) but a business has not discharged the NOSI.
- Ontario’s land registry system can be used to search NOSIs on the title of your property.
- Learn your rights and how to protect yourself before, during or after you make a purchase.
SOURCE Province of Ontario