Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that the government has created significant changes to the condominium landscape in Ontario. One of the biggest changes is that property managers will require licences to provide condominium management services in Ontario. The regulation of property managers is designed to weed out the bad apples, which have received most of the publicity in recent years. It is rare for an article to be published that praises the hard work and dedication most managers show to their clients.
Today’s post will provide an introduction to the key changes to the condominium management industry in Ontario.
Types of Licences
There will be three types of licences for condominium managers. Each requires an application to be filed by the manager, along with the fee and a police check. They will need to be renewed and may be revoked in some cases.
Limited Licences are designed for entry level managers with little experience or education in the field. A condo manager with less than 2 years’ experience will receive a deemed limited licence. A limited licence holder must have a supervising licensee. They cannot sign status certificates or use reserve funds. They cannot enter into agreements, spend more than $500, or give anything to owners without the approval of their supervising licensee.
A General Licence is designed for more senior managers with both education (i.e. RCM or equivalent courses) and experience. A deemed general licence is available to experienced managers who have successfully completed their RCM exams or other courses provided by ACMO. This is good news for all current RCMs.
Finally, a Transitional General Licence is for intermediate managers with some education and experience. A deemed transitional general licence is available for managers with more than 2 years’ experience. The transitional general licensee has up to 3 years to get their general licence. This will be good for managers who are currently working toward their RCMs, but are unable to complete the requirements before the new amendments come into force.
Exemptions from Licence Requirement
There are a few exemptions from the requirement to have a licence before providing condo management services to condominiums:
1.Certain professionals who have their own regulatory body (i.e. lawyers, accountants, engineers, insurance brokers).
2.A director of condo if self-managed, unless he or she receives compensation or reward for providing the management services.
3.A manager employed by a licensed provider or condo to only collect fees.
4.Contractors providing only construction or repair/maintenance services.
Complaints & Discipline
In addition to licensing, there will be a new complaint process for people to complain about the services provided by a licensed manager. The regulatory body will have investigative powers like the Law Society has over lawyers. It will also have broad powers to discipline managers and revoke their licences.
The management company will need a licence too. If the company is already providing condo management services when the changes come into force it will receive a deemed licence. The company must apply, pay a fee, and designate a principal condo manager.
The above changes will be in force later this year. Maybe as soon as July. Stay tuned for more information.