|May 12, 2014|
Previously published on May 6, 2014
Ontario is taking the next step in its plan to help reduce the amount of time a vehicle can be stored - incurring charges - after an accident without notice to the driver or other parties having an interest in the vehicle (such as an equipment financier) from 60 days to a shorter time frame.
Bill 171, Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act, 2014, (“the Bill”) has passed its second reading and was heard before the Standing Committee of General Government. If the Bill is ultimately passed and given royal assent, it will amend provisions of the Repair and Storage Lien Act (Ontario) (“RSLA”) to include provisions where special - and shorter - notice must be delivered for articles received by a storer of a “prescribed class.
What are articles of a “prescribed class”? That is yet to be determined - in time, a regulation will be enacted under the RSLA which will give meaning to exactly what the “prescribed class” will encompass. However, the expectation (and hope of equipment financiers across Ontario) is that the proposed regulation will capture all vehicles that have been involved in highway traffic accidents and which are towed to third party storage facilities.
It is round one of many in the ongoing battle of equipment financiers to crack down on abuses of storage liens under the RSLA. We will keep watch of the status of the Bill and any subsequent regulation under the RSLA and update as the battle progresses.