Licensing of Condominium Managers- Six Questions Answered (Blog No. 5 in a Series)
We now have the draft regulations under the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015 (the “Management Services Act”). This is the fifth in a series of blogs that I am preparing in relation to the draft regulations.
In this Blog No. 5, I try to provide answers to a number of questions that we’ve received about the proposed licensing.
The draft regulations say that some applicants could be grandfathered in relation to the education and testing requirements – based on “equivalencies”. What “equivalences” will be accepted?
The short answer to this question is: We don’t know. This will be up to the Registrar of the Licensing Authority. The Registrar has the right to accept or not accept any given course or program. We’ve been told that someone who has previously taken courses or obtained certificates, diplomas or degrees may be exempted from some or all of the education requirements; but the expectation is that they would still need to pass the applicable exam(s). All of this will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
The draft regulations say that applicants must be “employed” by a licensed condominium management provider or directly by no more than three condominium corporations. How does this apply to managers who are independent contractors?
The Management Services Act contains the following definition of “employ”:
“employ” means to employ, appoint, authorize or otherwise arrange to have another person act on one’s behalf, including as an independent contractor.
So, a manager who is an independent contractor is “employed” (for purposes of the Management Services Act and regulations). In other words, the licensing legislation applies in the same way to managers “employees” and “independent contractors”.
Will a high school education be a requirement?
We’re told that a high school education is not expected to be a requirement.
The Management Services Act says that applicants may be asked for details of their financial circumstances (to show that they can be expected to be “financially responsible”). Is this expected to include a bankruptcy certificate (showing that the applicant is not an undischarged bankrupt and/or has not recently gone bankrupt)?
We’re told that a bankruptcy certificate is not expected to be a requirement.
Managers will have three or five years to obtain their General Licences. Will they need to show that they are working towards obtaining the necessary experience and/or education?
My short answer to this question is “no”, except that: There will be continuing education requirements that will have to be satisfied for each licence renewal. So, managers will have to show that they are continuing to develop and/or maintain their management expertise (by fulfilling the continuing education requirements).
What about assistants? Will they need to be licensed?
This is another tricky question. I’m told that this, again, will need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. But, the idea is essentially that “non-management staff” (like secretarial assistants) won’t require a licence – even if they occasionally assist with “management emergencies”. It will be a matter of assessing, in each case, whether or not the assistant has management responsibilities. As a reminder, here’s the definition of “condominium management services” in the Management Services Act:
“condominium management services” means any of the following services provided to or on behalf of a condominium corporation:
1. Collecting or holding contributions to the common expenses or other amounts levied by, or payable to, the corporation.
2. Exercising delegated powers and duties of the corporation or its board of directors, including,
i. making payments to third parties on behalf of the corporation,
ii. negotiating or entering into contracts on behalf of the corporation, or
iii. supervising employees or contractors hired or engaged by the corporation,
but does not include an activity excluded by the regulations.