Licensing of Condominium Managers – Who Needs to be Licensed? (Blog No. 1 in a Series)

We now have the draft regulations under the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015 (the Management Services Act).  This is the first in a series of blogs that I will be preparing in relation to the draft regulations.

In this Blog No. 1, I explore the following question:  According to the draft regulations, who will need to be licensed?

There are two types of licences – one or both of which may be required:

(a) A “condominium management” licence.
(b) A “condominium management provider” licence.

“Condominium management” licences

According to the draft regulations, anyone who provides “condominium management services” must apply for one of the following licences within 150 days after the Management Services Act comes into force:

(a) A limited licence (for applicants with up to 2 years of condominium management experience).
(b) A transitional general licence (for applicants with more than 2 years of condominium management experience, but have not yet satisfied the education requirements for a general licence).
(c) A general licence (for applicants with more than 2 years of condominium management experience who have also satisfied the education requirements).

[NOTE:  I will have more to say about the different licences in an upcoming blog.]

The Management Services Act contains the following definition of “condominium management services”:

“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.
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,
negotiating or entering into contracts on behalf of the corporation,  or
(iii)supervising employees or contractors hired or engaged by the
but does not include an activity excluded by the regulations.

This is quite a broad definition.  However, the draft regulations contain a proposed list of exemptions from the licensing requirements.   Under the proposed regulations, the following persons would be exempted (when acting within their statutory or appointed authority):

I.       Paralegals and Lawyers;
II.     Architects;
III.    Public Accountants;
IV.    Certified General Accountants;
V.     Certified Management Accountants;
VI.   Chartered Accountants;
VII.  Engineers;
VIII. Insurance Brokers;
IX.    Receivers appointed by Court order;
X.     Banks, loan and trust corporations, credit unions or caisse populaires;
XI.   Reserve fund analysts under the Condominium Act;
XII.  Inspectors and Administrators appointed under the Condominium Act;
XIII. Licensed Security Guards (even if they collect common expenses from owners, provided they promptly deliver those amounts to the condominium corporation or to a licensed condominium manager).

[My sense is that the above persons are to be exempted because they are otherwise licensed or regulated, so that additional licensing is felt to be unnecessary.]

But there are three additional exemptions which I think are most interesting:

XIV.   Condominium directors, unless they are providing condominium management services for compensation or reward.[So, for “self-managed” condominiums – if the directors receive any compensation for the management services – the proposed regulations say that those directors must be licensed.]

XV.    Persons who only provide repair and maintenance services to the condominium corporation (which I think would exempt most superintendents, provided they don’t become involved in management activities, such as contracting or accounting on behalf of the corporation).

XVI.  Other persons (such as bookkeepers or office assistants) who are employed by a condominium corporation or by a licensed condominium manager, provided they promptly deliver any common expenses that they receive to the condominium corporation or to a licensed condominium manager.

So in summary, the licensing requirements will apply to the typical condominium manager.  In “special cases”, one or more of the above exemptions may apply.  If in doubt, I think it would be wise to check with the regulating authority.

“Condominium management provider” licences

Anyone who acts as a “condominium management provider” will have to apply for a condominium management provider licence (when the Management Services Act comes into force).

The Management Services Act defines “condominium management provider” as follows:

“condominium management provider” means a corporation, partnership, sole proprietor, association or other organization or entity that, on behalf of others and for compensation or reward or the expectation of such, provides condominium management services or holds himself, herself or itself out as such.

To me this means that anyone who enters into a contract with a condominium corporation, for condominium management services, is a condominium management provider and requires a separate licence for this purpose – in addition to the licensing requirements that apply to condominium managers.

[NOTE:  See my future blogs for more comments on the obligations of condominium management providers.]