Regulation in the Interest of Consumer Protection

The following article was originally published in CM Magazine and has been reprinted with permission from the Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario (ACMO).

The Public Registry provides basic information about condominium managers and management companies, such as their legal name, licence number, status of their licence, and current employer. In the future, it could include additional information required under regulation.

The Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO) works in the public interest to license and regulate the condo management profession. As an administrative authority tasked with licensing condominium managers and condominium management companies, the CMRAO has an obligation to make certain information about licensees available to the public. That said, it is important to note that the CMRAO treats information about its licensees with great discretion and only publishes what is required under the law.

Broadly speaking, the information we are required to publish is outlined in section 36 of the General Regulation (O. Reg. 123/17) under the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015 (CMSA). This information can be grouped into two categories: 
  • general information about licensed managers and companies; and compliance.
  • compliance
  • compliance can be further broken down into:
  • registrar’s proposals (when the registrar makes a proposal to revoke or suspend a licence, which the licensee can appeal to the Licence Appeal Tribunal)
  • registrar’s actions (when a licensee has appealed the registrar’s proposal to revoke their licence, but the Licence Appeal Tribunal has upheld the registrar’s proposal and the licence is now revoked)
    • Discipline decisions
    • Offences
The regulation also has a broader provision that states “… if the registrar becomes aware of information respect-ing a licensee, former licensee, a director or officer of a licensee or a person who is carrying on activities that require a licence and if the registrar is of the opin-ion that the information could assist in protecting the public if the public knew of it, the registrar shall make the information available to the public.”

The CMRAO has taken a two-pronged approach to publishing this information on our website: 

1.    through our Public Registry; and
2.    under a section called Compliance.

At the most basic level, the public has a right to know who holds – or in some cases held – a condo management licence. This information is accessible on our website through the Public Registry, which is a searchable database available to everyone. As we are a new regulator, our registry primarily contains informa-tion about current, active licensees, as well as individuals whose licence applications have been refused. 

The Public Registry provides basic information about condominium managers and management companies, such as their legal name, licence number, status of their licence, and current employer. In the future, it could include additional information required under regulation. For example, if the Discipline Committee determines that a manager failed to comply with the Code of Ethics and that decision is upheld by the Appeals Committee, the contents of the order would be published on that manager’s profile in the Public Registry.

Similarly, there will also be a dedicated page under the Compliance section of our website for discipline decisions. This is why we say it is a two-pronged approach: if someone searches for a licensed condo manager in the Public Registry, they will also see if there have been any upheld discipline decisions made against the licensee. It is also possible to browse all discipline decisions. The same applies to licences that have been suspended or revoked – the information will be in the registry and also listed in the Compliance section. 

It is worth noting that we do not publish or make available to the public certain information, particularly regarding complaints. The CMSA states: “72 (1) A person who obtains information in the course of exercising a power or carrying out a duty related to the administration of this Act or the regulations shall preserve secrecy with respect to the information and shall not communicate the information to any person except, (a) as is required in connection with a proceeding under this Act or in connection with the administration of this Act or the regulations…”

Essentially, this means that the CMRAO will not publish the details of every complaint we receive. Even when dealing with the original complain-ant, our team goes to great lengths to only disclose as much information as is required to administer the CMSA or the regulations. 

The CMRAO was established through legislation as a result of the government’s review of the Condominium Act, 1998, and implementation of the Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015. Our mandate to provide condominium management oversight is set out in the CMSA and addresses a key recommendation of the review to provide stronger consumer protection for people living in condominiums across the province. Through effective regulation, the CMRAO is strengthening the condo management profession and helping to protect consumers in Ontario’s complex and rapidly growing condominium sector. 

Sandy Vizely is the Deputy Registrar for the CMRAO and oversees the organization’s day-to-day operations, which includes managing the licensing and compliance team.