Condominium Management

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 on December 1, 2021.

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Condominium Management vs. Property Management

Please note condominium management is a separate activity and a separate industry from property management. If individuals and companies would like to practice both condominium management and property management, they must do so under separate brokerages. A condominium management brokerage licence is required to offer condominium manager services, and a real estate brokerage licence is required to offer property management services. This regulatory model was set after Phase 1 Consultation with stakeholders on condominium manager licensing, conducted in the Fall of 2015.

Should a company wish to offer both services, they will need two brokerage licences, however, each brokerage can operate under the same corporation.


RECA will begin regulating condominium managers on December 1, 2021. In preparation for that date, the Residential Property Manager Industry Council set the following licensing eligibility standards, requirements, and fee amendments.

All individuals and companies that provide condominium management services in Alberta, whether they are already licensed with RECA in another industry or they have never held a licence, must follow these same criteria and meet the same standards.

Condo Management vs. Property Management

Condominium management is a separate activity and a separate industry from property management. If individuals and companies would like to practice both condominium management and property management, they must do so under separate brokerages. A condominium management brokerage licence is required to provide condominium manager services, and a real estate brokerage licence is required to provide property management services.

Please note the following information is subject to change due to realities outside of RECA’s control, such as third-party course providers not having education ready by December 1, 2021.

Licence Classes

Condominium manager licences are broken down into three licence classes: condominium manager broker, condominium manager associate broker, and condominium manager associate. A broker is the individual in charge of a brokerage. There is only one broker per brokerage. An associate broker is an individual who has all of the qualifications to be a broker, but is not in charge of a brokerage. They must be registered to a brokerage in order to offer condominium manager services on behalf of that brokerage. An associate is an individual who offers condominium manager services on behalf of a brokerage, and must be registered to that brokerage. There can be multiple associates and associate brokers registered to a brokerage. Brokerages themselves must also be licensed.

Timing of Licence Applications

RECA expects to open the licensing eligibility process in August, and start processing licence applications on October 12, so that the condominium management industry can complete their applications for licensing well before December 1, when the regulation of the condominium management industry will begin. Condominium management brokerages and brokers will have to be processed and approved for licensing first before individual condominium manager associates can complete their licensing application. It is strongly recommended that prospective brokers start that process as soon as it opens to avoid delays.

Licence Eligibility

RECA has created licence eligibility and education requirement flow charts to help current condominium managers navigate how to become licensed for December 1, 2021. They are based off the information below.

Individuals who are currently offering condominium management services who DO NOT hold a licence with RECA in another Industry

Individuals who are currently offering condominium management services who DO NOT hold a licence with RECA in another industry and who wish to obtain a conditional licence on December 1, 2021 must demonstrate*:

  • Ability to work in Canada
  • Minimum 18 years of age
  • Certified criminal record check
  • Good character
    *Note: approved lifetime withdrawal applicants are not eligible

Additional eligibility standards for current condominium managers who wish to become licensed as condominium manager associates:

  • two years of experience in condominium management within the last five years, by affirmation
  • must include the name(s) of five condo corporations managed

Additional eligibility standards for current condominium managers who wish to become licensed as condominium manager associate brokers & condominium manager brokers:

  • two years of experience in condominium management oversight role within the last five years, by affirmation
  • must include the name(s) of five condo corporations managed

 

Individuals who are currently offering condominium management services who hold a licence with RECA in another Industry
Individuals who are currently offering condominium management services who hold a licence with RECA in another industry and who wish to obtain a conditional licence on December 1, 2021 must demonstrate the following:

Associates:

  • two years of experience in condominium management within the last five years, by affirmation
  • must include the name(s) of five condominium corporations managed

Associate brokers & brokers:

  • two years of experience in condominium management oversight role within the last five years, by affirmation
  • must include the name(s) of five condominium corporations managed

 

New Condominium Managers
New condominium managers who wish to enter the industry after December 1, 2021 can become eligible to take licensing education by demonstrating:

  • Ability to work in Canada
  • Minimum 18 years of age
  • Good character
  • High school matriculation
  • English proficiency

 

Education requirements

Individuals who currently offer condominium management services who meet all eligibility criteria above will be issued a conditional licence by December 1, 2021. The licence will be conditional on successful completion of the pre-licensing education exams by December 1, 2022.

Challenging Exams
RECA strongly encourages existing condo managers to enroll in the pre-licensing courses to be recognized by RECA, but RECA will allow licensees with at least two years’ experience in the last five in condominium management the option of challenging the exam. However, some of the exam questions will relate to regulation and RECA’s legislation, which those who have never been licensed before may not be familiar with.

Courses
Education will be delivered by third-party course providers. We will notify all stakeholders immediately when course providers meet the RECA Course and Course Provider Requirements and are accepted as third-party course providers.

There will be three condominium management courses provided by third-party providers. RECA deems successful completion of the education requirement as a grade of at least 70% on the course exams. The three courses are:

1. Fundamentals of Condominium Management
Must be completed by:

  • New condominium manager associates entering the industry
  • All individuals who currently offer condominium manager services who DO NOT currently hold a licence with RECA in another industry

2. Practice of Condominium Management
Must be completed by:

  • New condominium manager associates entering the industry
  • All individuals who currently offer condominium manager services who DO NOT currently hold a licence with RECA in another industry
  • All individuals who currently offer condominium manager services who DO currently hold a licence with RECA in another industry

3. Condominium Manager Broker Program
Must be completed by:

  • New condominium manager brokers
  • All individuals who currently offer condominium manager services as an associate broker or broker who DO NOT currently hold a licence with RECA in another industry

 

Condominium Manager Competencies and Learning Outcomes
The Residential Property Manager Industry Council recently developed condominium manager competencies with the help of subject matter experts and competency experts, and consulted stakeholders on them earlier this year. The Residential Property Manager Industry Council approved the final competencies and learning outcomes at their June 4, 2021 meeting, and will be used by third-party education providers to assist in building their courses.

See the competency profiles and learning outcomes:

Please note that brokers will have to meet the associate and the broker competency profiles.

Fees

Condominium management brokerages
Firms applying to become licensed as condominium management brokerages on December 1, 2021 will be charged a licence fee but will not be charged the application review fee.

Changing your licence to become licensed in condominium management
Brokerages and individuals currently licensed by RECA who wish to terminate their existing licence and become licensed in condominium management will be allowed to do so at no charge on December 1, 2021.


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

Can the same corporation have two brokerage licences?
Yes. If you have a property management brokerage, and you open a new condominium management brokerage for December 1, 2021, the same corporation can own both brokerages. This is similar to other industries, as many real estate brokerages also operate a mortgage brokerage. They have two licences, as they are two separate licensed activities, but they can be owned by the same individual or corporation.

Why did the Residential Property Manager Industry Council decide to have condominium managers require a condominium management licence?
This decision was made to minimize red tape. Allowing condominium managers to operate under a real estate licence would have led to the following implications: Persons who are currently managing a corporation, partnership or proprietorship offering condominium management services would need to demonstrate condominium management services and oversight knowledge and experience, but they would also need to obtain residential, commercial, rural and property management education to retain a real estate broker licence. Current real estate brokers and associate brokers (~1600 individuals) would need to obtain condominium management education to keep their broker or associate broker licences, even if they don’t offer condominium management services, which the vast majority of them would not.

What consultation did the Residential Property Manager Industry Council carry out?
The regulation of condominium management has been in the works since 2015. In that time, RECA undertook two major consultations. One in 2015, conducted by the Condominium Manager Implementation Advisory Committee (CMIAC), and approved by Council as it was then, around the regulatory framework for condominium management. This consultation allowed Council to set the framework that condominium management would follow. Council concluded that it would follow the other industries, in that it would be a separate licensed activity, requiring its own licence, and would have associate, associate broker, and broker licence classes. A second phase of Consultation was undertaken by CMIAC in the Fall of 2020 around the proposed Standards of Practice for condominium managers. These standards were recommended by CMIAC and were approved for submission to the Minster of Service Alberta by the Administrator of RECA at the time. The Residential Property Manager Industry Council approved an extension of the CMIAC and consulted them extensively as they set licensing and education standards for condominium managers.

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,

  1. collecting, holding or disbursing, or attempting to collect, hold or  disburse, contributions levied by the condominium corporation or other amounts levied by or due to the corporation under the Condominium Property Act,
  2. enforcing the bylaws or rules of the corporation,
  3. negotiating or entering into contracts on behalf of the corporation, and
  4. supervising employees or contractors hired or engaged by the corporation, but does not include any activity excluded by the       Condominium Property Act, this Act or the regulations under either Act;

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.

  • If the funds are held in trust by the brokerage then the broker and any employees the broker has designated will have signing authority.
  • If the funds are being maintained in the corporation’s own bank accounts, the board can decide who will have signing authority. There are several options:
    • The board can have two members of the board be co-signers
    • There can be one member of the board and the condo manager co-signing cheques
    • The board can stipulate that the condo manager will have signing authority, not requiring a co-signer. There could be conditions placed on this option, such as the maximum amount for a cheque that the condo manager can sign.

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:

  1. After the termination of a condominium management service agreement, the brokerage must, as soon as possible but no later than 30 days:
    1. (i)  transfer control of the condominium corporation’s money to the condominium corporation or as directed; or (ii) disburse the funds to the condominium corporation; or (iii) if the condominium corporation engages another brokerage to provide condominium management services, transfer the funds to the other brokerage.
    2. return, at no charge, all property and documents belonging to the condominium corporation
  2. Despite subsection 1., the brokerage may retain sufficient funds to pay outstanding invoices related to expenses on behalf of the condominium corporation incurred before the termination of the service agreement.

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.

  1. They can only do this for a maximum of two condominium corporations where they own a unit(s).
  2. Before providing services, the condominium manager must disclose in writing to the condominium corporation, that:
    1. even though the condominium manager holds a licence under the Real Estate Act, they are not acting as a licensee in this case;
    2. the condominium manager is not regulated under the Real Estate Act in relation to the particular condominium management services; and
    3. the condominium corporation is not entitled to the same protections available under the Real Estate Act to condominium corporations who obtain condominium management services from condominium managers who are not acting under this section of the rules;
  3. The condominium manager must provide a copy of the written disclosure under paragraph 2. to the broker of the condominium manager brokerage with which he is registered;
  4. The condominium manager does not have sole signing authority for withdrawals of any condominium corporation funds and does not otherwise have sole authority for expenditures of any condominium corporation funds; and
  5. The condominium manager must not receive compensation or other benefits for providing condominium management services.
  6. The condominium manager must promptly deliver any money received to the condominium corporation.

 


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.

Consultation Background


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:

Licensing recommendations
  • RECA will license and regulate all persons who provide “condominium management services” for compensation. The eligibility and licensing structure will be similar to the other industries RECA regulates (brokerage, broker, associate).
  • Council will recommend the following licensing exemptions to the Alberta Government:
    • accountants who provide financial reporting to condominium boards (budgets, monthly financials, etc.)
    • self-managed condominiums
    • court-appointed administrators
    • industry members who are unit owners in a condominium corporation in relation to their provision of condominium management services to or on behalf of no more than two
    • condominium corporations (if certain conditions are met)
    • other parties exempt according to the REA regulations

Education recommendations

  • Council approved a transitional and ongoing education model
  • this education model will include conditional licensing, challenging exams with a passing grade of 70%, and a one-year experience to challenge exams to become an associate

Bonding or real estate assurance fund recommendation

  • Bonding as the means of protecting the condominium corporation’s funds
    • if a condominium manager brokerage holds funds in trust on behalf of a condominium corporation, the condominium manager brokerage must have its own bond.
    • if a condominium corporation holds its funds in its own bank accounts, the bond should cover the condominium manager, though the condominium manager brokerage may also have a separate bond

Trust account audit & review program recommendations

  • RECA’s Trust Assurance and Practice Review program will apply to condominium managers to improve trust accounting, record keeping, and administrative procedures
  • will include a mandatory trust account audit at the time of licensing a condominium manager brokerage that holds trust funds, and ongoing audits for brokerages that hold trust funds
  • only the broker, brokerage industry member, employee, or a lawyer or an accountant the brokerage has engaged, may sign on the brokerage trust accounts

Professional liability insurance recommendation

  • Condominium management brokerages will be required to hold a minimum $1 million in errors and omissions (E&O) professional liability insurance

Unlicensed condominium manager activity and licensed condominium manager misconduct recommendation

  • RECA will use the current complaint process for licensed condominium manager misconduct.

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.



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