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In many condo corporations, owners/or occupants will have more frequent contact with their condo manager than with their condo board.
Examples of common issues with condo managers include:
- Inaction from a condo manager regarding the day-today operations of the condo corporation
- Non-compliance with the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015 (CMSA), the Condominium Act, 1998 (the “Condo Act”) or the condo corporation’s declaration, by-laws, and rules (collecting called the “governing documents”)
The difference between condo manager and superintendent:
Owners/ occupants can be uncertain about the difference between a condo manager and a superintendent. Although these two types of individuals can work in a condo, their duties differ. A superintendent’s tasks usually relate to the maintenance of the premises (inside and outside) and can include (but are not limited to):
Performing or arranging for general building and fixture repairs;
Supervising general building maintenance.
A superintendent can be an employee of the condo corporation or can offer services on a contractual basis, either individually or through a company.
A condominium manager is a professional that is licensed by the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO) under the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015. The condo manager performs condominium management services that include (but are not limited to):
- Collecting common expense fees,
- Making payments on behalf of the corporation,
- Negotiating or entering contracts on behalf of the corporation, and
- Other services, as laid out by the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015.
More information about the services that condo managers perform can be found by visiting the CMRAO by clicking here.
Condo managers often have a wide range of responsibilities, and may, in no particular order include:
- Create and maintain records for the condo corporation
- Respond to owners’ inquiries/ issues and complaints
- Coordinate the maintenance and repair of the condo property and regularly inspect it
- Hire and monitor the performance of service providers, including staff and contractors
- Collect common expenses and coordinate follow up for unpaid arrears
- Implement an emergency management plan and respond to emergencies
- Report on the affairs of the corporation on behalf of the condo board
- Organize board and owners’ meetings and issue the applicable meeting notices
- Prepare financial reports and arrange for audits
- Prepare status certificates
- Monitor the corporation’s insurance
- Draft annual budgets and advise the board on its financial responsibilities (e.g. contributions to the reserve fund, long-term reserve planning
- Advise and assist the condo corporation/ condo board in complying with the Condo Act
Many condo managers provide their services through a condo management company. On such occasions, it is not uncommon for multiple people to contribute to the provision of management services to a condo corporation. Typically, certain responsibilities will fall to an “on-site” condo manager, who has dedicated hours at which they are present on the condo’s premises, including in any available on-site management office.
A supervising or “district” condo manager may attend owners’ meetings and guide the on-site condo manager while a condo management company’s “back office” may support administration and financial duties (such as surrounding the collection of common expenses, preparation of status certificates, budgets and cheque creation). This arrangement varies depending on the condo corporation and condo management company.
The scope of a condo manager’s duties may differ for each condo community. They are set out in the Management Agreement entered between the condo manager (or condo management company) and the condo corporation or the employment agreement if the condo manager is hired as an employee of the condo corporation. The amount of time and extent of support a condo manager receives will depend upon that arrangement.
References to the Condo Act
A condo corporation’s by-laws can address condo management in a few ways:
- Section 56 (1) (d) of the Condo Act, allows a condo corporation to create by-laws that govern the appointment, remuneration, duties, and process for removal of employees of the corporation including condo managers.
- Section 56 (1) (l) of the Condo Act allows a condo corporation to create by-laws to govern the management of the property.
In addition, under section 17 (3) of Condo Act condo corporations are required to all reasonable steps to ensure that everyone (including condo managers) complies with the Condo Act and with the condo corporation’s governing documents. That means that if your condo corporation is aware of an individual or situation that is contravening the Condo Act or the corporation’s governing documents, they are legally required to take action to address it.
Don’t have a copy of your condo corporation’s declaration, by-laws or rules?
The declaration, by-laws, and rules are important documents that govern the operation of the condo corporation. Click here for an overview of Governing Documents: Declaration, By-laws, and Rules.
Other Legal Considerations
A condo board has options when it comes to engaging the services of a condo manager. Often, a condo manager is hired through a contract between a condo corporation and condo management company. In such instances, it is not an individual who is contracted to perform management services. Instead, the duties, responsibilities, remuneration, etc. are set out in the Management Agreement and the condo management company arranges for the provision of the service offered through one or more individuals. In such a circumstance, the condo manager is not an employee of the condo corporation but instead an employee of the condo management company.
Section 17.0.1 of the Condo Act states that a corporation must not enter into an agreement with a condo management provider or a condo manager to receive condo management services unless the provider or manager is licensed under the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015.
Condo management companies must also be licensed by the CMRAO. Licenced management companies are listed in the CMRAO public registry, which you can access here.
Condo corporations can directly hire condo managers with a transitional general or a general license directly as an employee of the condo. In such instances, it is typically one or more specifically identified individuals who are obligated to perform the management duties established.
Condo managers with a transitional general or a general licence are listed in the CMRAO public registry, which you can access here.
To get more detailed information on the different types of licences, please click here.
There are advantages and disadvantages of the various forms of managerial service engagements that each condominium usually considers in the selection of what the board considers to be the best fit for the specific community.
It is not uncommon for condo corporations to involve the services of a legal professional in negotiating and finalizing a contract for management services.
Have a Question?
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.