For the past few years, Alberta has been moving toward requiring condominium managers to obtain education and maintain provincial licenses. The Government of Alberta, through the Ministry of Service Alberta, selected the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) to define and regulate a condominium management industry, separate and apart from other industries RECA oversees such as property management and real estate trading.
The Real Estate Act, RSA 2000 c R-5, regulations enacted thereunder and Rules approved by the various RECA Industry Councils have been substantially modified in recent years to accommodate the new condominium management licensing regime. For example, section 1(1)(e.2) of the Real Estate Act now defines "condominium management service" as "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 entering into 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
Clearly, this definition encompasses a broad range of activities (notice the wording: "including, but not limited to"). This was likely intended to cast the net as widely as possible and ensure that all condominium management service providers actually do become licensed. But it may also capture others unintentionally.
Fortunately, an Order in Council (O.C. 318/2021) has recently been announced that will carve out some important exemptions from the condominium manager licensing regime. These will be set out in the Real Estate Exemption Regulation (AR 111/96) and come into force December 1, 2021.
One of the new exemptions is for administrators appointed under section 58 of the Condominium Property Act, RSA 2000 c C-22. In rare cases, administrators can be appointed by the Court to assume the powers and duties of the Board of Directors over a particular condominium corporation. Without the exemption, any person acting as an administrator for a condominium corporation would have required a license.
Other new exemptions include the following scenarios and activities:
- where all the condominium units of a condominium corporation are owned by the same person, group of persons or entity, and
- where the only condominium management service engaged in is collecting, or offering or attempting to collect, on behalf of the condominium corporation, money payable as rent for the use of corporation-owned units or property, or contributions levied by the condominium corporation or other amounts levied by or due to the corporation under the Condominium Property Act.
These exemptions could not have come sooner since the new condominium manager licensing requirements begin December 1, 2021. If you provide condominium management services after that date, and do not qualify for one of the existing or soon to be in force exemptions under the Real Estate Exemption Regulation, then you must apply for and obtain an interim license issued and overseen by RECA.
If you have questions about whether you should be licensed or not, please reach out for legal advice.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.