So the next phase of amendments is coming on February 1st, 2018. Excited? Overwhelmed with all the changes? Well, there is some good news for any of the overwhelmed directors and owners. Most of the changes this time are for the managers. Sorry to our manager friends out there.
As you know, some of the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015 (the “CMSA”) came into force in the Fall of 2017. Most of the changes focused on getting condo managers to submit their licence applications before January 29, 2018. On February 1, 2018, the parts of the CMSA regulating the licensed managers come into force. Here are some of the highlights:
- Contracts – condo managers must have written contracts with their clients and they cannot provide services except as set out in the contract. The regulations
- Disclosure – every condo manager must disclose in writing to their clients any interest in a contract or transaction involving the condo client.
- Proxies – condo managers may not solicit proxies where the meeting includes any matter related to the manager or the removal or election of directors.
- Records – upon termination of any contract for management services, every manager must immediately transfer all of the condo’s documents and records to the condo. The manager cannot hold the documents and records hostage to convince the condo to pay any outstanding fees to the manager.
- Upholding the law – the condo manager cannot falsify (or counsel another person to falsify), any information or document. The manager cannot provide or counsel another person to provide false or deceptive information or documents. The manager cannot counsel or assist a person in contravening the CMSA, Condo Act, or other prescribed Act.
- Complaints – the complaints process will be created to allow people to complain about a condo manager. The registrar will have powers, including trying to resolve the complaint, giving warnings, requiring the manager to take educational courses, and refering the matter to the discipline committee.
- Discipline – a discipline committee will be created to hear cases where it is alleged that a manager has failed to comply with the code of ethics. The CMRAO is currently looking for managers to sit on the discipline committee. The deadline for applications is February 16, 2018.
- Inspections & Investigations – the registrar will have the power to conduct inspections (with or without a warrant) of management companies and the properties they manage. There are different orders that can be made against a manager, including an order freezing its assets or requiring that it comply with its obligations.
- Offences – a person or entity is guilty of an offence if they furnish false information in any application or return under the CMSA, fail to comply with any order or direction, or contravenes or fails to comply with any section of the CMSA or regulations. There is also a process for where the manager breached the code of ethics. A person convicted of an offence may be liable to a fine of not more than $50,000.00 or imprisonment of not more than two years less a day, or both. Entities, other than individuals, may be fined up to $250,000.00.
For condo corporations, you should be aware that the Condominium Act, 1998, will be amended to prohibit condos from entering into an agreement with a manager unless the manager is licensed. The board should ask the manager to provide a copy of their licence or a status letter from the CMRAO to confirm they are licensed.
It has been a busy few months with the amendments being rolled out in November, January and February, but it looks like the next batch may be at least a few months away so take some time to relax (or get caught up on the changes).