Area of Law: Real Estate Law
Answer # 0423
Condo managers and property management companiesRegion: Ontario Answer # 0423
Condo property management
Property management companies
Property management companies are hired by the Boards of condominium corporations as an agent of the Board, to assist with fulfilling its responsibilities to manage the building and ensure the condo tenants’ needs are met. The property management company will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the condominium corporation, which include:
- hiring and/or firing of a property manager and service contractors,
- holding regular board meetings, overseeing administration of owners’ meetings, and issuing appropriate and timely notices,
- determining which repairs and replacements shall be made to the major capital assets of the corporation,
- managing the reserve fund, including the decision if investments will be made,
- preparing financial reports and filing the condominium corporation’s tax returns,
- collecting common expense fees, declaring increases and special assessments,
- responding to complaints (by owners, tenants, employees, etc.),
- obtaining insurance and maintaining insurance premiums for the condominium corporation, and
- preparing and providing status certificates.
Condo property managers
The condo property manager’s duties usually include:
- handling minor repairs and maintenance of the building and its amenities
- supervising any work done by outside contractors
- communicating with the condo management company and/or board of directors
- handling minor disputes between condo unit owners and escalating them to management when necessary
- working with a condo’s homeowner association, if there is one.
In some instances, the property management company may delegate certain responsibilities to the property manager, such as the hiring of service contractors and suppliers, collecting monthly condo fees, and creating an operational budget.
Requirements to provide management services
On November 1, 2017, the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO) became the authority responsible for administering the new Condominium Management Services Act in an effort to keep condo managers and management companies fair, competent and honest.
The CMRAO sets out the following new mandatory standards and requirements for condo management.
1. Obtain a licence from the CMRAO
To become a condo manager or provide management services, an individual or organization must obtain the appropriate licence and pay the applicable fee.
- General Licence $607 is for individuals who have provided condo management services for two or more years within the previous five years and who have completed the necessary education requirements.
- Transitional General Licence $607 is for individuals who have provided condominium management services for two or more years within the previous five years but have not completed the education requirements for a General Licence.
- Condominium Management Provider Licence $799 is for firms and businesses that provide condo management services to condo corporations.
- Limited Licence $379 is for individuals who have provided condo management services for less than two years (2,920 hours) within the previous five years. Effective January 30, 2018, a condo manager who holds a Limited Licence will no longer be legally able to provide condo management services directly to a condo corporation. These licensees must be held by a licensed condo management firm.
All Condo Manager and Condo Management Provider licences must be renewed annually by June 30. Renewal applications are submitted online.
2. Adhere to a Code of Ethics regulation
The Code of Ethics has three purposes:
- establish a standard of good practice
- govern the way professional condo managers behave, and
- promote professionalism, reliability and quality of service.
An alleged code of ethics violation will be reviewed by a disciplinary committee and its decision could be appealed to an appeals committee.
Rules and obligations of licensed condo managers
The Act also includes a number of rules and obligations that apply to licensed condo managers and management firms. Depending on the type of licence held, these include:
1. Must not be employed by more than one condo management firm unless they have obtained the written consent from all firms that employ them.
2. General Licence or Transitional General Licence holders must not be directly employed by more than three condominiums.
3. Condo managers must carry their most recently issued Certificate of Licence when providing condo management services, and produce it for inspection on the request of any person.
4. All condo management firms and managers must maintain an Ontario address for service from the CMRAO.
5. Licensed condo managers must have a written contract to provide management services to a client. The license holder must not provide services except in accordance with the contract.
6. A licensee, or any person acting for the licensee, can’t solicit an instrument appointing a proxy for a meeting if the subject matter of the meeting includes:
- any matter directly related to the licensee
- any matter directly related to the removal of the election or one or more of the directors of the client.
7. If the condo management service contract is terminated, the licensed manager must transfer to the condo corporation, all records and documents relating to the condominium.
8. Licensees must not falsify information, or assist, induce or counsel another person to falsify information related to the licensee’s provision of condo management services.
9. Condo manages must not counsel, advise or knowingly assist a person to break the law.
10. Conflict of Interest. Condo managers must disclose to condo corporation any material interest they have in a contract that will provide services to the condo, and obtain the written approval of the condo corporation before entering into the contract.
11. Records: Condo managers have the following obligations to the condo corporation in handling their records:
- keep records for at least six years
- make and retain copies for contract purposes
- transfer records at termination of contract
- keep records secure
- not use or disclose records unless necessary under the law
- obtain prior approval from the Registrar to store condo management records in their home
12. All condo managers are expected to keep their profile information up-to-date with the CMRAO, including address, email, phone number and legal name.
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