I’ve had a few files recently where questions surfaced about the new restrictions on who can and can’t solicit proxies for owners’ meetings. When can a manager solicit a proxy? When can’t a manager solicit a proxy? It appears some people may be unaware of the changes to the rules governing the solicitation of proxies for owners’ meetings, especially by managers and others on their behalf. Continue reading
As you probably know, the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO) is set to start regulating condominium managers and management companies on November 1, 2017. The first phase will be the licensing of managers. The second phase will be the regulation of managers in February of 2018. From the information available so far, the regulation will be similar to other professionals in that there will be a complaints process that includes possible discipline if a manager has acted improperly in carrying out his or her duties. The details on the regulation of managers will be saved for another post; today’s post will focus on the licensing.
Who must apply?
All individuals and companies providing condominium management services, which includes:
- Collecting or holding contributions to the common expenses or other amounts levied by, or payable to, the corporation; or
- Exercising delegated powers and duties of the corporation or its board of directors, including: making payments to third parties on behalf of the corporation; negotiating or entering into contracts on behalf of the corporation, or supervising employees or contractors hired or engaged by the corporation.
Self-managed boards or others hired by condominiums (i.e. accountants, bookkeepers) may be exempt from the licence requirements, but care must be taken to ensure a licence is not required.
What type of licence do I apply for?
One of the most difficult questions for managers to tackle might be “Which licence do I apply for?” Because there are limits on the tasks that managers with limited licences will be able to perform, most managers will want to apply for transitional or general licences, if they qualify. On the other hand, no one wants to waste time (and money) applying for a licence that they won’t be granted by the CMRAO. Fortunately, the CMRAO’s website has a short guide to assist managers; there is even an interactive feature to help determine the most appropriate application if the manager is willing to answer a few basic questions.
How do I apply?
While the application forms themselves are not available as of the date of this post, there are detailed lists of the requirements for each type of licence:
Given the time involved in some of the requirements (i.e. police check), I would start gathering the required information sooner rather than later. There is a $150.00 application fee for each manager’s application. This application fee is on top of the annual fees that managers will be obliged to pay to the CMRAO.
Not surprisingly, there will be annual fees associated with the licences. For limited licences, the fee is $379.00. For transitional general licences and general licences, the fee is $607.00. For management companies, the fee is $799.00 plus $350.00/licensed manager employed. The fees for the first year will be prorated since licensing will be for the period of November 2017 to June 30, 2018. As an incentive to get applications in early, the CMRAO has indicated that managers who submit their applications between November 1 and December 15, 2017 and pay their fee thin 30 days of receiving their approval notice will receive a discount of 10% on their initial annual fee.
For more information, visit http://www.cmrao.ca. Given that we are only a few weeks away from mandatory licensing, I would check the website regularly for updates and the application forms.
Another draft regulation has been released by the government for comment. This new draft regulation deals with the areas of the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015 (“CMSA”) that were not addressed by earlier regulations, such as complaints, requirements for holding a licence, discipline, and appeals. The government intends to roll these changes out on February 1, 2018. Continue reading
We now have more information about the proposed fees for condominium managers under the Condominium Management Services Act (CMSA). The fees are intended to fund the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO), which is the not-for-profit corporation that will be designated as the administrative authority for the CMSA on November 1, 2017.
The proposed fees are:
|Transitional General License||$607.00|
|Condominium Management Firm License||$799.00 plus $350.00 for every licensed manager employed by the firm.|
You have until August 10, 2017, to provide feedback. Visit the CMRAO’s website to take the survey and provide your feedback: http://www.cmrao.ca/
The proposed fees seemed high to me when you factored in the fee charged to the management company for each licensed employee so I looked at a few other professions (i.e. accountants, doctors, engineers, and real estate brokers) to see how their annual fees compared. The range was $300 to $1100 with engineers and brokers closer to the low end and doctors and accountants at the high end. [For those interested, lawyers pay over $2,100.00 per year for our licenses plus a few thousand dollars (at least) for mandatory insurance].
On top of the annual fees, there will likely be extra fees for mandatory educational courses and exams required for managers to obtain and retain their licenses. I suspect that the fees will be similar to those paid by other professionals as well, but we will have to wait and see.
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.