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Proposed Code of Ethics for Condo Managers

The province is again seeking input and comments on proposed regulations under the Condo Management Services Act. Of particular interest, the province has circulated a proposed Code of Ethics for condo managers. Here is what it is likely to look like.

New proposed Regs under the CMSA

In a communiqué issued on August 30, 2017, the province of Ontario has released additional proposed regulations to be adopted under the Condo Management Services Act.  This regulation instalment proposes to deal with:

  1. Complaints, insurance and other requirements for condo managers (such as disclosure requirements and duties in relation to clients’ records); and,
  2. A proposed Code of Ethics and Discipline procedure for condo managers.

Code of Ethics

The proposed Code of ethics is easy to read and understand.  Everyone with an interest in the topic should take a moment to read it. In  a nutshell, if adopted as proposed, the Code of Ethics would include (but not be limited to) the following obligations:

  • Managers shall treat every person they deal with fairly, honestly and with integrity. They shall also treat every person they deal with equally, without discrimination, harassment or violence and they must provide reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities;
  • Managers shall provide conscientious, courteous and responsive service and must demonstrate reasonable knowledge, skill, judgment and competence when providing services and opinions. They shall use best efforts to prevent error, misrepresentation, fraud or unethical practices;
  • They should not provide any opinion or advice unless they have the necessary education or experience to do so;
  • They are to ensure they use current forms and documents;
  • They shall make and keep all reasonably required records;
  • They shall be financially responsible in providing condo management services;
  • They cannot misrepresent the type, class or conditions of their licence (general, limited or transitional);
  • They shall not engage in any act or omissions which, in the circumstances, would be regarded as disgraceful, dishonourable, unprofessional or unbecoming of a licensee;
  • They are not to unreasonably interfere with the use and enjoyment of the common elements, units or assets of the corporation by owners, occupiers or directors;
  • They shall keep their client informed of all significant steps being taken by them. They must promote the best interests of their clients and they shall act diligently in executing their obligations towards the clients. They shall refer their client to someone else if they are not able to provide the required service with reasonable knowledge, skill, judgement and competence;
  • Except as otherwise required by law, they shall not disclose to a third party any confidential information without prior written consent of the person to whom the information relates.

Any breaches to the Code of ethics could eventually be referred to a Discipline Committee.  Such Committee would be composed of at least 2 condo managers (or members of the profession) and at least one person who has never been a manager or a management provider. Naturally, the proposed Code of ethics paints the manager’s ethics obligations with a broad brush.  How the cookie will crumble will depend on the specific circumstances of each cases.

When will this come into effect?

While mandatory licensing of managers will take effect on November 1, 2017, the proposed Code of ethics is expected to come into force on February 1, 2018.

The province wants your input

The province is seeking your input and comments on these.  Comments must be received before October 16, 2017.  You can send your comments by email or by mail at 56 Wellesley Street, West, 6th floor, Toronto M7A 1C1. Make sure you quote proposal # 17-MGCS018.

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