What Should Be Done to Improve the Management Situation?

Management should be dragged into the 21st century era of professionalism and credentials. Management has to become the real profession that it deserves to be (see last section below).

  • Colleges and universities should offer degrees in property management. This would provide a more systematic education. Such degrees or diplomas could take place within faculties of administration or even business schools.


  • However, seasoned managers with years of experience and who are extremely knowledgeable should receive credits. After a meeting with an accrediting board, these highly qualified persons should receive an accreditation and an equivalency diploma or degree. Otherwise, the condo industry would lose some of its best persons.
  • This education would include a “stage” or internships during which students would work in various types of condos (and apartment buildings) under the supervision of a professor and experienced managers. The model of faculties of education, nursing, and social work can be considered in these respects.
  • A professional group should exist that would accredit managers, as is the case for nurses or social workers, under an appropriate government ministry’s jurisdiction.
  • After obtaining a diploma or a degree, graduates would begin paid employment as assistant managers and receive proper supervision from an accredited management company. They would become full managers after a few years of experience.

Management companies should be regulated (see below).

  • Mandatory evaluations of managers and management companies should be carried out yearly by boards of directors with the understanding that companies are bound to meet reasonable standards and have to make an effort to improve a deficient situation.
  • A special independent Condo Office (independent from interest groups), or a Condo Ombudsman, should receive and enforce these evaluations. As well, the Office would support competent managers who encounter difficult problems in a condo.

Regulate the Management Industry

Indeed, a large source of problems for owners in Ontario and other provinces resides in the lack of regulation and licensing of the management industry. As things stand, anyone can start a management company and anyone can become a manager—and, often, anyone does...!

While many management companies, both small and large, are very competent, others lack competence and even integrity. Management companies should meet certain government standards and should be regulated by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs. Efforts are made in this direction by groups of management companies themselves but they have no authority in setting and enforcing standards. They are voluntary groups that, in effect, can easily be derailed by conflicts of interest from within the industry.

Professionalize Managers

Currently, there are many avenues that lead to becoming a condo manager or administrator but none involves a commensurate education or professional training resulting in a degree.

At times, management companies turn to office staff who may be qualified in accounting and general record keeping, and promote them to the management of one or more condo buildings. Another avenue taken consists in management companies transforming superintendents into managers or administrators. Yet another avenue sees concierge staff become managers.

There is nothing wrong with promoting persons or with persons changing their line of work. Quite the contrary. However, what is wrong here is that this occurs without the necessary education and training. And condos pay the price.

As well, on-site “training” is usually detrimental to condos because it is not backed up by management companies. In fact, some companies discourage and downplay the efforts of conscientious boards who try to train inexperienced managers.

Let’s think of it this way: Hospitals do not transform janitors or secretaries into nursing staff! If a superintendent wants to become a nurse or an assistant nurse, he returns to college for a proper term of education and training.

Similarly, secretaries do not become instant business managers: They return to college to acquire the necessary education or, yet, go through years of acquiring experience before reaching this goal.

Condos must be the only multi-million-dollar businesses around that are managed by persons without commensurate credentials.

Support for Management Companies Faced with Distressed Condos

Some of these buildings end up under court-ordered administration because their situation is so desperate. But were the Condo Act improved to include more oversight, and with a Condo Office or Ombudsman in charge, owners, directors and managers who can see the handwriting on the wall would have recourse long before the situation becomes extremely detrimental.