A final version of the first set of rules under new legislation that will require condo managers and condo management providers to obtain licenses is now available online.
The rules, which were published in draft form late last year, have undergone a number of changes following a public input process, but the general system of licensing remains the same. When the relevant sections of the Condominium Management Services Act are proclaimed into force, Ontario Regulation 123/17 will establish three types of licenses: a limited license, a general license and a transitional general license.
Condo managers who have less than two years of experience before section 34 of the act takes effect and provide condo management services within the preceding 90 days will be deemed to hold a limited license, which comes with conditions. Condo managers who have more than two years of experience within the five years before section 34 of the act takes effect and provide condo management services within the preceding 90 days will be deemed to hold a transitional general license.
After section 34 of the act takes effect, condo managers deemed to hold a limited or transitional general license will have 90 days to apply for a license or ask for an extension. The draft regulation originally proposed a deadline of 150 days. Application requirements will include paying a fee and submitting a recent police record check.
Condo managers with a limited license (or a deemed limited license) will be required to work under the supervision of a condo manager with a general license (or a transitional general license or deemed transitional general license). Limited license holders will also be prohibited from investing reserve funds and signing status certificates.
Condo managers with a limited license will further require advance permission from their supervisor to enter, extend, renew or terminate contracts and to make expenditures of more than $500 of client money, excluding the reserve fund. The final regulation adds an exemption to requiring this advance permission in cases of emergency, when the immediate safety and security of people and property are at stake.
To obtain a general license, condo managers will have to hold a limited license, complete education and exam requirements that have yet to be named, and clock two years of work experience, including specified activities, under supervision and in the five years preceding their application. Condo managers who are deemed to hold a transitional general license before section 34 of the act takes effect and have passed the Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario’s (ACMO) Registered Condominium Managers exam, courses or challenge exam will be exempt from these requirements. The registrar will have the authority to recognize other forms of education and experience as equivalent to these requirements.
Condo management providers will also have to obtain licenses, which will require designating as their principal condo manager the holder of a general license, transitional general license or deemed transitional general license who meets any education and exam requirements that may be specified. Whatever their form — corporation, partnership, sole proprietor — organizations providing condo management services immediately before section 34 of the act takes effect will be deemed to hold a license. Like condo managers, condo management providers will have 90 days afterward to apply for a license or ask for an extension.
Aside from deemed licenses, licenses for both condo managers and condo management providers will come with an expiry date. A provision in the draft regulation that said licenses would expire when a condo manager ceased to be employed does not appear in the final regulation.
The regulation incorporates other rules that flesh out provisions in the act requiring licensees to disclose material interests in contracts and transactions, prohibiting licensees from soliciting proxies in specified circumstances and requiring licensees to immediately transfer corporation documents and records when a contract is terminated. The final regulation increases the deadline for transferring documents and records to a client from 10 days after the contract is terminated to 15.
The Condominium Management Services Act comes as part of a broader bill, the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, passed in late 2015, which also reformed Ontario’s outdated Condominium Act. The legislation mapped out the coming changes in general terms, leaving specifics to the regulations.
The sweeping changes to Ontario’s condo laws will be rolled out in phases, starting later this year. Two other draft regulations were released for review earlier this year.
Proposed rules under the Condominium Act reforms addressed mandatory director disclosures and training as well as new meeting notice procedures, prescribed proxy forms, requirements for giving owners regular updates and maintaining records of owners. If adopted, other proposed rules would designate the recently created Condominium Authority of Ontario and Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario as the authorities that will administer the reformed and new pieces of legislation.