Condominium manager licensing is now in effect in Alberta!
If you are a condo board member or involved in the condominium management industry, you are now aware that effective December 1, 2021, any person, or company providing condominium management services, must be licensed with the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA).
This is an exciting advancement in the property management landscape that took shape after consultation on condominium manager licensing that started back in 2015. The decision to license and develop educational requirements is in recognition of the specialized work condominium managers undertake. The desired outcome is ultimately for the benefit of and to protect condo owners, consumers, and professional condominium management by ensuring consistent professional standards across the condominium management industry.
Frequently asked questions about condominium manager and condominium brokerage licensing:
Who is RECA and why is this important for condominium corporations?
The Real Estate Council of Alberta or RECA is the independent governing authority that sets, regulates, and enforces standards for residential real estate, commercial real estate, property management, condominium management, and mortgage brokerage licensees under Alberta’s Real Estate Act.1
Essentially its mandate is to:
- protect consumers
- provide services to facilitate the business of licensees
- protect against, investigate, detect, and suppress fraud as it relates to the business of licensees
“Consumer protection is at the heart of RECA’s mandate and is the main purpose behind this licensing initiative,” explains Don Newell, Chair of RECA’s Residential Property Manager Industry Council. “Though many condominium management companies have operated professionally and successfully in Alberta for years, their clients now have the added protection of a regulated environment.”2
This is important for condominium corporations because it provides consumer protection with the added assurance that licensed professionals enjoy lifelong learning and education, in addition to the experience needed to provide quality service. Under RECA’s mandate, the goal and desired outcome is that licensed condominium managers and brokerages will be less likely to cause harm to consumers.
The Residential Property Manager Industry Council sets the rules subject to approval of the Minister of Service Alberta under the governance structure for RECA, for condominium management. Enforcement of the Real Estate Act, the regulations and rules for the condominium industry will be completed by RECA complaints or issues are brought to its attention.
What is “condominium management”?
The Real Estate Act (reference Section 1(1)(e2) defines condominium management services to be “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:
- 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,
- enforcing the bylaws or rules of the corporation,
- negotiating or binding contracts on behalf of the corporation, and
- 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.”3
Why does this matter for condo owners, condo boards and condominium corporations?
The professionalization of an industry is integral to the elements of a professional condominium manager and include the following characteristics:
- Specialized knowledge
- Honesty & integrity
These are examples of desired values that benefit condominium communities and for condo boards as it ultimately increases consumer trust in the real estate industry.
Licensed RECA condominium managers (aka Condominium Manager Associate) have meet the education and experience requirements to provide condominium management services. RECA is charged to regulate individuals and condo management companies and ensure that they follow standards of practice and meet operating and reporting requirements.
What about a code of ethics for condominium managers?
RECA has established a Standards of Practice which is like a code of ethics. The Standards outline responsibilities, prohibitions, and practices for condominium managers. Record keeping and financial management of condominium corporations as part of the Standards of Practice.
What is the difference between condo management and property management?
Based on the Real Estate Act and its definitions, condominium management is a separate activity and industry from property management. The distinction has to do with relationships.
For example, condominium managers enter relationships with condominium boards and perform condominium management activities on behalf of their client boards. In contrast property managers enter relationships with landlords and renters, negotiating leases, holding rental security deposits, and performing leasing related activities for their landlord or renter clients.
Individuals and companies can practice both condo management and property management – just under separate brokerages. The same company can operate a condominium brokerage while also providing property management services. Each brokerage will have its own licensed brokerage and can share ownership.
Timelines and Conditions of Licensing
- Education: RECA has mandated that a license is conditional on the successful completion of industry specific exams and courses. Courses are currently in production. It is anticipated that courses will be open shortly. All condominium managers looking to conduct condominium management services in Alberta are to have their conditional license by December 1st, 2021
- Certified Criminal Record Check must be completed
- Condominium managers and brokers will be required to go through the pre-licensing exam challenge / education by November 30, 2022. Applicants will have different exam/education conditions placed on their licence depending on their individual circumstance
- Apply with required documentation to RECA for review and approval.
Note: There will be three condominium management courses provided by third-party course providers (not by RECA):
- Fundamentals of Condominium Management,
- Practice of Condominium Management, and the
- Condominium Manager Broker Program.
The courses you must take, or challenge the exams for, will depend on your current licence status with RECA, your experience, and whether you oversee a condominium manager firm.
Consumers can perform a quick search to see if your condo manager is licensed using the Find a Licensee tool on RECA’s website.
Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. has been a licensed brokerage for several decades with RECA and excited about this advancement in the real estate industry. We are proud of our legacy of providing responsive and licensed property management services to rental properties, commercial owners, and condominium corporations. Our system and processes have been developed to bring peace of mind and full-service offerings including customized maintenance services, administrative support, leasing and specialized management services. To learn more about our goal to enhance the quality of live by managing and providing great places to live and work, request a management proposal today!
Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. has provided proven property management solutions to Calgary & Area for close to 50 years. Its specialized suite of services includes condominium management. Additionally, the team at Emerald is a licensed brokerage providing professional management services to rental properties, apartment building, commercial and industrial properties, and homeowner associations. Profit from our experience, contact Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. at www.emeraldmanagement.com or call us at 403-237-8600
- Legislation & Standards | RECA
- December 1, 2021 – Condo manager licences are now required | RECA
- Exemptions Announced for Condo Manager Licensing | FIELD LAW