If you have any questions about any of the information on the CAO’s guided steps to common issues, please contact us directly.
Condo managers are responsible for overseeing the corporation’s day-to-day operations. Different types of condominiums have different management needs, depending on the size, age and nature of the property. Condo managers are accountable to the condo board, and the board is responsible for making sure that the condo manager is effectively performing their role.
Condo managers often have a wide range of responsibilities, and may:
- collect common expenses fees
- keep records for the condo corporation
- respond to owner complaints
- ensure maintenance and repair of the property
- hire and monitor service companies and oversee staff and contractors
- prepare draft annual budgets and oversee the reserve fund use
- implement an emergency management plan and respond to emergencies
- prepare status certificates
- issue meeting notices and report on the affairs of the corporation
- organize board meetings and oversee administration of all owners’ meetings
- monitor the corporation’s insurance
- prepare financial reports and arrange for audits
- advise the board on how to comply with the Condominium Act, 1998, legislated or mandatory repairs required by the government, and/or the financial responsibilities of the board (e.g., contributions to the reserve fund and long-term reserve fund planning)
In many condominium corporations, owners and residents will have more frequent contact with their manager than with their board.
Section 56 of the Condominium Act, 1998 (“the Act”) allows condo corporations to make a by-law that governs the appointment, remuneration, duties, and process for removal of employees of the corporation. This would include condominium managers.
Many condominium corporations create a by-law that describes the role and duties of the condominium manager. If you have an issue with something that your condo manager has done, you may wish to consult your by-laws to see if it is permitted by the by-laws.
In addition, section 17 of the Condominium Act, 1998 requires that all condo corporations enforce the Act, the declaration and the by-laws and rules of the condo. If you suspect your condo manager has done something that is contrary to the Act, your declaration, or by-laws, you should bring it to the attention of your condo corporation.
Under section 77 of the Act, you are entitled to the name and address for service for your condo manager and/or condo management service provider. If you do not know who is responsible for the management of your condo corporation, you may wish to request this information from the board.
Condominium Manager Licensing
The government recently introduced new legislation called the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015 (“the CMSA”). A new authority under the CMSA, called the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO), will be responsible for licensing and regulating condo managers and condo management service providers.
There will soon also be a new section in the Condominium Act, 1998 called section 17.0.1, which will prohibit condominium corporations from entering into an agreement with a condo manager or condo management services provider that does not have a licence.
For more information on the licensing of condominium managers and condominium management service providers, please visit the CMRAO’s website.
1. Understand your rights and obligations
The Act allows condo corporations to establish a by-law that sets out the role and responsibilities of a condo manager. Condo managers will also soon need to be licensed, and condo corporations will be prohibited from entering into agreements with managers who do not have licenses. Refer to the Legislation, by-laws and rules page to learn more.
If you have already read this information, proceed to step 2.
2. Communicate your concerns in writing to the board of directors
Your next step is to communicate your concerns to your condo board. You can do this by sending your board an email or letter. You can use the letter template on the Resources page to communicate with your board.
Notifying your condo board is an important step. Section 17 of the Condominium Act, 1998 requires that all condo corporations enforce the Act, the declaration and the by-laws and rules of the condo. This means that your board has a responsibility to ensure that your manager is complying with the act and performing the duties outlined in your by-laws. Your board may be unaware of your issue, so it is important to raise it with them so they can take action.
If your issue is not resolved by communicating in writing with your board of directors your condominium corporation, proceed to step 3.
3. Follow up in writing
If you have already written to your condo board and the issue persists, you may wish to follow up with your board in writing. Sometimes it may take some time to address the issue you have raised. Your board should be able to tell you what it plans to do in the meantime.
For future reference, you should keep a copy of the letter or email that you send and make note of the day that you sent it.
You can use the letter template on the How-to guide and letter templates page to communicate with your board or manager.
4. Contact the CMRAO
On November 1, 2017, The Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO) began licensing condominium managers and condominium management service providers. If you have an issue with your condominium manager or condominium management service provider, you may visit the CMRAO’s website for more information on the licensing program and how to contact the CMRAO.
Please note that the CMRAO will eventually implement a formal process for responding to complaints against managers and management service providers, but not until after its licensing program has been implemented.
What if the self-help tools don’t resolve my issues?
In step #4, there are further steps you can take if you’ve tried the steps above and still have an issue. These steps include private mediation, arbitration, and/or other legal actions.
Need more help?
Mediation and arbitration are effective ways to resolve disputes where the parties are unable to reach a resolution themselves. Mediation and arbitration are commonly used to help resolve difficult condo disputes and are sometimes called alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
Under section 132 (4) of the Condominium Act, 1998, all condo corporations in the province are deemed to have a provision in their declaration stating that disputes regarding the declaration, by-laws or rules must be filed for mediation or arbitration. Your condo corporation may also have a by-law establishing the procedure that must be followed in the event of a dispute.
If you have been asked to participate in a mediation or arbitration, you are likely legally required to participate.
If you want to try mediation or arbitration for an unresolved issue, you will need to find a mediator or arbitrator who can assist you. You can search for a mediator or arbitrator online and through organizations that provide ADR services, such as the ADR Institute of Ontario.
Mediation is a process where a neutral facilitator tries to bring the parties to a mutually agreeable solution. Mediation is the preferred approach because it’s often less costly and it gives the parties an opportunity to collaborate on finding a solution that everyone is comfortable with.
If mediation fails, binding arbitration is the next step. Arbitration is a process where an arbitrator (or panel of arbitrators) conducts a hearing and makes a ruling on the issues in the dispute. The parties involved in the dispute bring evidence to this hearing and then the arbitrator makes a binding decision. There are some cases where an arbitration decision can successfully be appealed to court.
Further legal action
If you are considering legal action against a neighbour or your condo corporation, you may wish to talk to a lawyer or paralegal. It is recommended that you try mediation and/or arbitration before taking a dispute to court.