Condominium manager licensing is the most recent change impacting on condo communities. It is now a requirement that every condominium manager be licensed. This change is expected to result in better quality condominium managers and improved condo management.
How we got here
The process began five years ago during extensive consultations involving all interest groups about updating the Condo Act (1998). This process included public information sessions, roundtable discussions, working groups, expert panels, and submissions by mail and e-mail. More than 2,200 submissions were received. During this process five key areas of reform were identified:
- Dispute Resolution – quicker, lower-cost dispute resolution
- Consumer Protection – help prevent unexpected costs after purchase
- Condo Finances – transparent spending and more sustainable reserve funds
- How Condos are Run – open and accountable boards
- Condominium Managers – Licensing of condominium managers and firms
Protecting Condominium Owners Act 2015 is the result of these consultations. This legislation included creation of the Condominium Management Services Act 2015, the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) and the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO) which licenses condominium managers.
Condominium Manager Licensing
Condominium managers are now required to have one of three licenses.
- General License – Condominium managers with at least two years relevant experience and meeting educational requirements. Cost is $607 plus an application fee of $150.
- Limited License – Condominium managers with less than two years of experience. Cost is $379 plus an application fee of $150. Individuals with a Limited License have five years to obtain a General License.
- Transitional License – Condominium managers with at least two years of experience but lacking educational requirements. Cost is $607 plus an application fee of $150.
Anyone providing condominium management services are required to submit an application to the CMRAO no later than January 29, 2018. After this date, it is illegal to provide condominium management services without a license or submitted licence application.
The educational requirement for each license is completion of four core courses on condominium management:
- Condominium Law
- Physical Building Management
- Financial Planning for Condominium Managers
- Condominium Administration and Human Relations
All licenses require a Level 2 police check – cost is about $20.
A separate license is required for companies that provide condominium management services. CMRAO can revoke licenses, require education or other actions resulting from complaints or learning of certain conduct.
Complaints Against Condominium Managers
With licensing of condominium managers comes a mechanism for filing complaints effective February 1, 2018.
Anyone can make a complaint against a condominium manager, in writing, using an online complaints form. Complainants are required to submit evidence before a complaint will be investigated. Once evidence has been submitted, the CMRAO will determine if a complaint is valid and decide how to deal with it. Prior to any decision the licensee will be asked to respond to the complaint.
Where a complaint is found to be valid, CMRAO will seek resolution rather than punishment. A licensee may be required to undergo education or discipline hearings. For more serious matters CMRAO may suspend, revoke or refuse to renew a license. Failure to comply with actions required by CMRAO can result in a fine of up to $25,000. CMRAO can also choose to refuse renewal, suspend or revoke a license. An appeals process will be available.
Disputes between condo directors and managers will be directed to the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO).
Condominium Manager Licensing – Everything you need to know took place on October 26. It was attended by more than 200 condo professionals and sponsored by Community Associations Institute (CAI) Canada. This article is based on presentations at the conference. CAI provides education and resources to condominium managers, board members and home owners of condo communities.