The new body set up to oversee the condo management industry has extended to March 30 the now-expired Jan. 29 deadline to apply for the mandatory licences required to practice in the profession. The move comes after the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO) found that more than 200 individuals had missed the original cut-off date based on information contained in applications from companies.
“Any individual or company that failed to submit a license application by the January 29 deadline, and continues to provide condo management services, has been doing so illegally,” Ali Arlani, CEO and registrar of the CMRAO, wrote in an emailed message.
This reality prompted Arlani to exercise his authority as registrar to extend the application deadline in cases where he believes entities or individuals would otherwise face undue hardship.
“To ensure transparency, objectivity, impartiality and fairness, there will be a single extension period for all potential applicants,” he said.
Arlani warned of “significant consequences” for those who miss the new March 30 deadline. Applicants who are eligible to apply for a general licence or transitional general licence and who fail to take advantage of the one-time grace period will have to start from scratch at the entry level of the two-stage licensing process. They will have to apply for a limited licence, which comes with conditions and supervision requirements, and fulfill education and experience pre-requisites before moving on to apply for a general licence.
He said that the CMRAO heard from individuals who couldn’t or didn’t submit their application online before Jan. 29 and that staff are available to help answer questions and troubleshoot technical difficulties.
“I want to acknowledge the efforts of individual applicants, condo management companies and industry associations in meeting this deadline,” Arlani added. “Our staff are diligently reviewing all applications and have begun issuing licences.”
Mandatory licensing for individuals and companies that provide condo management services comes from new legislation that is bringing the industry under regulation. On Nov. 1, when certain provisions of the Condominium Management Services Act started to come into force, individuals who had been actively practicing in the profession in the last year were deemed to hold a particular type of licence based on how much time they had clocked on the job in the previous five years.
Individuals with less than two years of experience were considered to hold a limited licence, and individuals with more than two years of experience were considered to hold either a general licence or transitional general licence, depending on whether they had satisfied certain educational requirements. But these deemed licences are only good until the CMRAO processes the licence applications of these individuals, which were originally due Jan. 29.
“Any individual or company that has not already applied is encouraged to do so immediately,” said Arlani.