The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) has been tasked by the Alberta government with regulating condominium managers. Licensing of condominium managers is expected to begin in late 2021.
In anticipation of this change, RECA is preparing Standards of Practice for condominium managers. These Standards of Practice will be the rules under which Condominium Managers in Alberta must do business, including the required content of service agreements between condominium corporations and condominium manager brokerages.
The consultation on the proposed Standards of Practice has closed. RECA is currently reviewing the feedback received. Updates will be posted to this page once the data has been compiled. Condominium manager brokers who would like to keep up with what’s happening can sign up to receive email updates:
There will be four classes of licence for condominium management:
Condominium manager brokers, associate brokers and associates may refer to themselves as “Condominium Manager” in their general practice, including business cards, letterhead, etc.
The provincial government has approved legislation that will bring into force the regulation of condominium management under the Real Estate Act effective December 1, 2021. It is anticipated that licensing of all classes of condominium management licensing will start October 1, 2021. All companies and persons providing condominium management services, unless exempted, will be required to be licensed by December 1, 2021.
Condominium managers currently providing condominium management services and who meet certain experience requirements will be given the opportunity to challenge the appropriate exam. If successful they would then be able to apply for the applicable licence. If they fail the exam challenge, they will be required to complete the appropriate course and then challenge the exam. Once successful they would be able to apply for the appropriate licence. It is anticipated that the experience requirements for the different licence classes will be released by June 1, 2021.
It is expected that condominium management competencies for the broker/associate broker and associate courses will be available by June 2021. Some condominium managers may wish to review the condominium management competencies before challenging the licensing exam. Anyone wishing to take the full course will have that option open to them as well.
Condominium Manager Brokerage Licensing
All companies providing condominium management services to condominium corporations fall into four categories as condominium management becomes a regulated industry.
Companies currently unlicensed – All unlicensed companies currently providing condominium services to condominium corporations will be required to apply for and obtain a condominium manager brokerage licence.
Property management brokerages that are currently licensed and only provide condominium management services – Most brokerages in this category will transition their licence from property management to condominium management. It would be appropriate to do this effective October 1, 2021, when the annual licence renewal process is taking place.
Brokerages that are currently licensed and provide services in two or more industry sectors, one of which is condominium management – As condominium management will be a separate industry sector from real estate, any real estate brokerage that provides condominium management services will be required to move their condominium management services to a condominium manager brokerage, separate from their real estate brokerage. The company that owns the real estate brokerage would be able to also own the condominium manager brokerage if they wish.
The real estate broker, if qualified as a condominium manager broker, can hold the broker’s licence for both the real estate and condominium manager brokerages. This is possible because the broker would be holding licences in two different industry sectors. The two brokerages can share office space and administrative staff. Any associate brokers and associates that practice in both real estate and condominium management can hold a licence in each and be licensed under both brokerages.
New condominium management brokerages being created – Companies wishing to be licensed as a condominium manager brokerage must meet all the licensing requirements for a new brokerage.
Please note that the following information is subject to change. There are many issues that have not yet been finalized so changes could occur.
|December 2020||New governance structure is implemented at RECA|
|December 2020||Residential Property Manager Industry Council forms and will be responsible for the regulation of condominium management|
|Jan-May 2021||Exam challenge eligibility requirements to be developed|
|Jan-Aug 2021||Condominium licensing education courses to be developed by course providers|
|Jul-Nov 2021||Persons meeting exam challenge requirements will be able to challenge the appropriate exam|
|Aug 2021 onward||Course providers will begin providing condominium manager courses for broker and associate licensing|
|Aug-Nov 2021||Condominium manager brokerages and licensees can make application for licensing|
|October 1, 2021||Issuing of licences for condominium management begins|
|December 1, 2021||All brokerages/companies or individuals providing condominium management services must be licensed by this date|
When will licensing and the regulation of condominium management start?
All companies and persons providing condominium management services will have to be licensed by December 1, 2021. It is expected that licensing of condominium manager brokerages and condominium manager licensees will begin on October 1, 2021.
Can condominium corporations self-manage?
Yes, condominium corporations can decide to self-manage their corporation. This can be done by the board of the condominium corporation directly or the condominium corporation can hire a person as an employee of the corporation who would assist the board in managing the corporation.
What is considered condominium management?
Section 1(1)(e2) of the Real Estate Act gives the definition of condominium management service:
(e.2) “condominium management service” means the exercising of a power or the performing of a duty of a condominium corporation on behalf of the condominium corporation including, but not limited to,
I don’t like the title “Condominium Manager Associate”. Can I use Condominium Manager?
Yes, Condo Manager has been the common term in the condominium management industry and it can continue to be used. There is no requirement to use the licensing category terms in day-to-day practice. Licensees can use Condominium Manager or Condo Manager on business cards, in signature blocks, on letterhead, etc.
Who sets the rules for condominium managers?
Under the new governance structure for RECA the Residential Property Manager Industry Council will set the rules for condominium management.
Will people currently carrying out condominium management be given credit for their experience?
Yes, anyone currently involved with providing condominium management services will be able have their experience reviewed to determine licence eligibility. Once it is confirmed that they have adequate experience, they will be given an opportunity to challenge the licensing exam for the appropriate licence. If they successfully pass the exam they would not be required to complete the licensing course. Should they not be successful then they would have to complete the course and rewrite the exam. The experience requirements will be communicated once they are finalized.
Who will enforce the requirement for condo managers to be licensed?
RECA will be responsible for following up on instances of unlicensed condominium management. When RECA becomes aware of possible unlicensed condominium management it will investigate. Should it be determined that a person or company is providing unlicensed condominium management services there will be a demand for them to cease providing those services. They must cease providing condominium management services. Should they want to be able to provide management services then they can go through the licensing process. If they fail to stop providing unlicensed condominium management services they could be subject to administrative penalties of up to $25,000 per breach of the Real Estate Act.
Who will enforce the rules around condominium management service providers?
RECA will enforce the requirements of the Real Estate Act, the regulations and rules. RECA investigates complaints or issues brought to its attention. RECA’s Professional Conduct Review department is responsible for carrying out the investigations. If it is determined there are breaches of the Act, regulations or rules, it would either result in an administrative penalty(s), letter of reprimand, or go to a professional conduct hearing.
What oversight will RECA provide of condominium managers and their brokerages?
In addition to investigating specific issues that come to RECA’s attention, RECA has a Trust Assurance and Practice Review department. This department will visit condominium manager brokerages and review their record keeping, practices and if they hold money in trust, they will review the trust accounts. The primary purpose is to ensure proper systems are in place and if there are issues or concerns raised during a review, the Practice Review Officer will assist the brokerage with putting the proper systems in place. The main theme is to educate the broker and administrative staff. However, if serious issues are discovered or the broker/brokerage is uncooperative there could be sanctions.
Is there a code of ethics or something similar that condominium managers will have to adhere to?
Yes, RECA has rules called the Standards of Practice that detail responsibilities, prohibitions and practices. They also include record keeping and financial management of condominium corporations.
Does there have to be a written contract between a condominium corporation and a condominium manager?
Condominium managers will not be able to provide management services to a condominium corporation unless there is a written service agreement in place. The RECA rules specify the minimum content of service agreements. Service agreements will typically be tailored to the specific needs of the condominium corporation. It is up to the condominium corporation’s board to determine what services they require and to ensure they are detailed in the service agreement.
Is there a standard or mandatory service agreement between condominium corporations and a condominium manager?
No, there is not a standard agreement. Every condominium corporation is different and has different needs. It is up to the condominium corporation to decide what services it requires and to include them in the service agreement they negotiate with a condominium manager. The RECA rules specify the minimum content for service agreements.
How often does the condominium manager have to provide financial reporting to the condominium corporation’s board?
The financial reports, which would be stipulated in the service agreement, must be provided monthly unless the service agreement specifies a different reporting period, such as quarterly.
How soon after the reporting period must the condominium manager provide the financial reports?
The reports must be provided to the board within 30 days of the end of the reporting period.
Do condominium managers have to disclose any conflicts-of-interests they may have?
Yes, there are several RECA rules that detail what must take place when a condominium manager has an actual or potential conflict-of-interest. These rules require that there be disclosure of the conflict or potential conflict to the corporation’s board. The board decides whether they have concerns about the conflict or not. If the board is prepared to move forward knowing of the conflict they must give a written acknowledgement of the conflict and written consent.
Can a condominium manager profit on business that it does on behalf of a condominium corporation?
A condominium manager must disclose any benefits or remuneration they may receive providing services to a corporation other than the fees agreed to in the service agreement. If they are going to receive fees or remuneration other than that specified in the service agreement they must have acknowledgement and written consent from the board of the corporation.
Can a condominium manager use repair, maintenance, landscaping, snow removal services, etc. that are owned by the condominium manager brokerage or owners/employees of the brokerage?
Yes, they can, but they must disclose their ownership position to the board of the condominium corporation. The board must acknowledge and given written consent for the condominium manager to use that service provider.
When our condominium corporation hires a condominium manager brokerage do we have to turn our funds over to the manager for them to hold the funds in trust?
No, the condominium corporation’s board can hire a condominium manager brokerage and still keep the corporation’s funds in the corporation’s own bank accounts. The board can, through the service agreement, decide to have the brokerage manage the accounts.
Who should be the signing authority on bank accounts holding a condominium corporation’s funds.
There are two situations, depending on whether the funds are in the brokerage’s trust accounts or in the condominium corporation’s own bank accounts.
Can a condominium manager who owns a unit(s) in a condominium corporation also manage that corporation?
Yes, but the condo manager must disclose to the board that they own one or more units in the corporation. It would be up to the board to decide whether they have any concerns before moving forward.
Can the condominium manager be responsible for investing funds on behalf of the condominium corporation?
Yes, the board can assign this responsibility to the condominium manager, usually as a term of the service agreement. The investments must be done with the same restrictions under the Condominium Property Act that would apply to the board of the condominium corporation.
Can a condominium corporation cancel a service agreement it has with a condominium management brokerage?
Yes it can, subject to the terms detailed in the service agreement.
What must the condominium manager brokerage do when their service agreement is terminated, either an early termination or on its expiry?
The rules specify that certain things must take place upon termination of a service agreement. They are:
Do condominium manager brokerages have to carry errors and omissions insurance?
Yes, all condominium manager brokerages must carry a minimum of $1,000,000 coverage that meets the requirements specified by the Executive Director of RECA.
How are the funds of condominium corporations protected from fraud or dishonest acts, such as theft?
The regulations under the Condominium Property Act require that every condominium corporation must carry Fraudulent or Dishonest Acts Insurance based on a formula that takes into account how much money the condominium corporation has it in its reserve fund accounts and how much money it collects annually in its operating account. This insurance must cover the board and employees of the condominium corporation, as well as any condominium manager that carries out work on behalf of the condominium corporation.
Can a person who is licensed as a condominium manager volunteer to provide unlicensed services to a condominium corporation in which they own a unit(s)?
Yes, but there are very specific requirements.
The Advisory Committee worked to finalize the draft Standards of Practice for condominium managers between January and June of 2019. The RECA Administrator reviewed the proposed Standards of Practice and approved the consultation in June 2020.
The consultation was open to the public from August 14 to November 12, 2020. Consultation on Proposed Standards of Practice for Condominium Managers has closed. RECA is currently reviewing the feedback received. Updates will be provided once the data has been compiled.
On June 27, 2019, Service Alberta announced the condominium regulations will be paused for six months for a red tape review.
RECA continued preparations for consultation on and implementation of Real Estate Act amendments for the regulation of condominium managers in order to be ready to consult with stakeholders once the Government of Alberta completes the Regulations under the Condominium Property Amendment Act.
The Condominium Manager Implementation Advisory Committee paused their meetings until Service Alberta finalized the regulations under the Condominium Property Amendment Act. In December 2019 Service Alberta announced the revised regulations would be effective January 1, 2020.
RECA’s Condominium Manager Implementation Advisory Committee met on February 20, 2018 to review the status of RECA’s project.
On December 14, 2018 the Government of Alberta announced the second stage of regulation changes to the Condominium Property Amendment Act and announced they will begin stage three consultation. RECA will be doing a separate consultation specifically on condominium manager licensing. For more information, contact Doug Dixon, Regulatory Compliance Advisor at: DDixon@reca.ca.
Information about the Government of Alberta’s progress on Condominium Property Act Consultation and Regulations can be found on Service Alberta’s website.
In December 2014, the Government of Alberta passed legislation that will require licensing for condominium managers. When the legislation takes effect, the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) will be responsible for setting standards, licensing and regulating individuals who provide condominium management services.
In fall 2015, RECA launched a consultation to gather feedback from condominium industry stakeholders, including condominium managers, boards, owners and consumers on the proposed regulatory model for condominium managers. That consultation process included a consultation paper and town-hall meetings in Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Ft. McMurray, Lloydminster, Edmonton, Edson, Grande Prairie, Calgary and Red Deer. Stakeholders were invited to respond to the consultation paper in writing by December 9, 2015 and attend one or more of the town hall meetings.
Results from Phase 1 consultation: Council approved a Regulatory Model for Condominium Managers.
The Real Estate Council of Alberta’s (RECA) Condominium Manager Implementation Advisory Committee (CMIAC) recently completed Phase 1 of the Condominium Manager Regulation Consultation. As a result of this consultation, CMIAC provided, and Council approved, recommendations in six areas:
Bonding or real estate assurance fund recommendation
Trust account audit & review program recommendations
Professional liability insurance recommendation
Unlicensed condominium manager activity and licensed condominium manager misconduct recommendation
RECA’s consultation on and implementation of Real Estate Act amendments for the regulation of condominium managers has been on hold pending the Government of Alberta’s completion of Regulations under the Condominium Property Amendment Act.
RECA’s Condominium Manager Implementation Advisory Committee met on February 20, 2018 to review the status of RECA’s project.
On December 14, 2018 the Government of Alberta announced the second stage of regulation changes to the Condominium Property Amendment Act and announced they will begin stage three. For more information, contact Doug Dixon, Regulatory Compliance Advisor: DDixon@reca.ca.
If you would like information about the Government of Alberta’s progress on CPAA Regulations, please visit the Service Alberta website at: http://www.servicealberta.ca/Consumer-condominiums.cfm.