What will supervision requirements under mandatory licensing mean for junior condo managers in Ontario?
The Condominium Management Services Act (CMSA) will significantly change the way condo managers manage. In order to understand how, and what kind of supervision licensing will require for junior managers, it is important to know what type of licensing condo management companies and condo managers are required to apply for by Jan. 29, 2018.
Before the CMSA, just about any person or company could manage condo corporations — even without any prior experience in condo management. The Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario (ACMO) established professional and educational standards through its registered condominium manager (RCM) designation and ACMO 2000 certification for condo management companies. However, they were not a requirement and not everyone in the industry chose to go through the process of meeting these standards.
The CMSA will now require, by law, condo managers and management companies to be licensed, and they will be required to meet the licensing requirements to maintain a license. There is a graduated licensing process with three classes of licenses: The limited license, the transitional general license and the general license, which will impact the working procedures of both condo managers and management companies.
The three types of licensing will fit the qualifications and education of the applicant. First, when managers apply for any one of these licenses, they will be required to file with their application a police criminal record check, which must have been issued to them no later than six months prior to the date of application.
The limited license class is primarily for junior managers who have less than two years of condo management experience. The holder of this class of license will be required to work under the supervision of either a general licensee or a transitional general licensee.
The limited license holder cannot hold his/her license indefinitely. The holder of this license will have five years to complete all the qualifications that are required to get the general license, including attaining at least two years of specific experience managing condos. During this time, the limited license will need to be renewed on a yearly basis.
The limited licensee, in addition to being supervised, will not be allowed to sign a status certificate or manage, control or disburse a client’s reserve fund account. In addition, a limited licensee will not be able to disburse clients’ general funds without the approval of the supervising transitional general licensee or the general licensee. This is a departure from the way condos have been managed.
The transitional general license and the general license holders, who will be the ones to supervise the limited license holders, will need to have the following qualifications.
The transitional general license is for applicants who have more than two years’ experience of managing condo corporations, but have not yet completed the educational requirements. The holder of this license will have three years to complete the educational requirements and apply for a general license.
The general license is for applicants who, in addition to having two or more years of condominium management experience and having provided management services in the 90 days preceding Nov. 1, 2017, have completed the educational requirements. Those requirements are successfully completing ACMO’s courses in condominium law, physical building management, financial planning for condominium managers, and condominium administration and human relations. Alternatively, applicants who have five or more years of experience managing condos can meet these educational requirements by successfully completing ACMO’s four challenge exams.
It is interesting to note what counts towards work experience, as one of the functions of a general license holder is to supervise the limited license holder. The work experience of the general license holder needs to include the following: planning/participating at board meetings and AGMs, preparing budgets, interpreting financial statements, presenting to boards, overseeing the maintenance and repairs of units (when required), common elements and assets.
This requirement will help ensure that condominium corporations receive qualified professional services as general license holders supervise limited license holders.
Shlomo Sharon is the CEO of Taft Management.