ACMO The Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario Thu, 08 Mar 2018 15:51:38 +0000 en-CA hourly 1 Recipe for Stress-Free AGM Preparation Sat, 24 Feb 2018 18:15:35 +0000 Preparing for an AGM involves a lot of work and can be quite stressful. The new Act adds a few new requirements, but also provides a few ways to facilitate things.

As is always the case, the trick is to plan ahead, plan in detail, and execute the plan in a timely manner. There are no workarounds and no shortcuts!

Here are a few tips to help you do the job in as stress-free a manner as possible.

First off, if you haven’t already done so, make sure that you have the consent of as many owners as you can to receive notices electronically. This will substantially reduce your workload by cutting down on the number of AGM packages that you have to print, collate and mail. Download the electronic notice form from CAO website, make the necessary adjustments and email it to all unit owners (or mail it to those with no email on file), advising them that by consenting to receive notices electronically, they will save the cost of printing and mailing. Don’t forget to specify a deadline for them to reply back. It is important to send a follow-up reminder for those who have not responded within two weeks.

Now to the actual AGM prep.

Give yourself two months from the tentative date of the AGM. Prepare a check-list.

Suggest a preferred date (with one or two alternatives) and get the board’s approval. Pre-book the room for all those dates. Then invite the auditor, minute taker, district manager and the lawyer (if necessary). Having alternative dates allows you to finalize the date with all parties without having to go back to the board for new dates, should someone not be able to attend in your preferred date. Finalize the booking of the room.

In the meantime, start working on your

  • AGM Notice,

  • Notice for Nomination to the Board,

  • President’s Letter,

  • Proxy Forms (download from CAO website and fill the relevant sections), and

  • Ballots.

Also, don’t forget to arrange for the chairs and tables if necessary.

Once you have a list of those owners who have agreed to receive notices electronically, make a list of the rest that should receive the AGM package in the mail. Get your envelopes, labels and papers ready.

As soon as you receive the Auditors’ Report and President’s Letter, you are ready to put your package together. It should include:

  • President’s letter

  • Minutes of last year’s meeting

  • Audited Financial Statements

  • Copy of current insurance

  • Proxy forms

  • Any new rule or by-law

  • A copy of PIC (if the date you’re sending out the package is within five months of your financial year-end)

  • Candidate’s resumes

The package must be ready to mail or email 17 days before the AGM.

Start following up with the owners three days after you’ve sent the package to ensure quorum will be reached.

Set up a meeting with your board a week or so before the AGM to review the logistics and go over last year’s achievements and challenges to prepare for what will come up in the meeting.

At the time of the meeting, be sure to have on-hand a list of owners for registration, the ballot box and enough pens and pencils. And don’t forget to order your food and drinks in advance.  Good luck!


Rose Farahvashi, RCM, is a Condominium Manager with Del Property Management 

Managing a Manager’s Workload Fri, 02 Feb 2018 18:04:21 +0000 Time Management Tips for Condominium Property Managers

As a general rule – daily, weekly, monthly and annual tasks required of a Condominium Property Manager can and should be scheduled.  It’s easy to use calendars and checklists to plan out your regular activities.  Good Managers have already developed these tools for use on their properties.

But in the fast-paced world of condominium property management – emergencies arise, special projects need to be planned, or complicated matters come up.  If your days are already filled with scheduled tasks, how can you fit these into your busy schedule?

Take Care of Simple Quick Tasks First

When you look at your inbox, does your heart start to flutter?  Are you overwhelmed by the sheer number of items that need your attention?  Take a deep breath!  At least half of these items can be taken care of in less than 5 minutes each.  Schedule an hour to get away from distractions and set your mind to resolving as many simple matters as possible.  Also use this time to quickly respond to any items that will take more time to fully resolve with a quick message acknowledging receipt.  Just make sure to note any follow-ups required so you can come back to them when time allows.

Once your mountain of work becomes a small hill, it is easier to focus your mind on the matters that need your attention.


Where do your time and energy really matter?  It’s ok to take a moment to review all your tasks and determine priorities.  While Mrs. Jones and her leaky window is important, the 20 units affected by a major kitchen sink back-up must take priority.  Once you’ve figured out your priorities, you can plan your time accordingly.

Communicate Realistic Timelines

So you’ve taken the time to resolve the simple issues, and you know where your attention needs to be focused.  Do you know how long it will really take you to accomplish what is being asked of you?  Do the people asking for your attention understand how and when you will help them?

Now it’s time to take a minute to communicate the realistic timelines you’ve set for yourself.  If you can’t see Mrs. Jones’ window until tomorrow, tell her when you will give her your attention and why you are delayed.  Most people are reasonable and will be happy that their request has been acknowledged and that they know when you will help them.

Whatever you do, do not make promises that you can’t keep.  If you consistently promise that it will only take you a week to finish a month-long project, you will develop a reputation of making commitments that you can’t honour.   The result is wasted time when people need to follow-up with you constantly about meeting your deadlines.   It is also important that once you realize you can’t meet a commitment, to let people know you have fallen behind.  This message is better received early on, than once the deadline has already passed.  Proactive communication is key.

Bring in Support

What resources are available to you?  Do you have a team at your workplace that can be of assistance to you?  A supervisor or administrative support?  What about the contractors working with you on a special project?

The condominium property management business is all about collaboration.  Very rarely is a property manager solely responsible for the full scope of a project.  This ties us back to communication.  Make sure everyone responsible for a project understands their role and the expected timing for delivery.

Show your Commitment

Do you appear as committed to your work as you feel you are?  How are you showing your commitment to your work?  There’s one very important lesson I’ve learned in my 15-year career in condominium property management.  If you show your commitment through effective regular communication, following through on your tasks, and do it all with general enthusiasm, your clients will be more forgiving when you don’t hit your targets every once in a while.

Lyndsey McNally, RCM, is a Team Leader with Malvern Condominium Property Management

How to Retain Successful Condominium Managers Fri, 26 Jan 2018 20:17:36 +0000 The condominium industry landscape is always shifting. Market and regulatory pressures mean you need to have property managers in place who can juggle both while meeting the needs of all stakeholders.

There’s no doubt that finding qualified condominium managers can be highly challenging; the introduction of the Protecting Condominium Owners Act  has put into place legal requirements for condominium property managers in Ontario to be licensed and to have undergone a minimum level of training and education.

With condominiums accounting for 91% of new homes sold in Toronto in June 2017 alone, leading to an even greater number of available property manager positions, retaining these vital personnel will become even more challenging.

Why are Good Condominium Property Managers So Important?

Good property managers are essential for a condominium building to operate efficiently.

They are more than just responsible for the day-to-day operations of a condominium property – which is, in itself, a challenging job. They act as advisors to the condominium board of directors and are also charged with carrying out and enforcing the policies set out.

Condominium property managers’ duties typically include:

  • Providing guidance and recommendations to the board

  • Enforcing and implementing policies set by the board

  • Consulting with the board on budgeting matters

  • Acting as a liaison between the board and owners

  • Arranging quotes and making recommendations for supplier contracts

  • Carrying out regular inspections

  • Ensuring the property is proactively managed

  • Preparing financial reporting for the board

A good property manager will be trained in dealing with conflict, which comes in handy when condominium owners find themselves with opposing interests.

They will also handle property inspections and are ultimately responsible for the building and premises being maintained in a good state of repair for safety and to preserve the property’s value.

Condominium fees have to be collected, financial reporting and auditing carefully conducted, and the financial health of the condominium itself needs to be overseen.

Ultimately, it’s the property manager’s job to be a jack-of-all-trades, and they serve a critical function that will make the difference between a healthy, vibrant, and well-run building versus a dysfunctional mess.

How Do You Retain Successful Condominium Property Managers?

As a property management company, finding the right personnel to manage your contracted condominium properties is only half the battle. Given the shortages of qualified people to fill these roles and the competition for their services, you’ll be especially pressured to find ways to retain them.

So how do you retain successful condominium property managers? Apart from salary considerations, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure that you are able to keep them on staff. But they will ultimately boil down to one thing: the company’s culture.

Let’s take a look at some of the elements going into a great corporate culture that will help you retain your successful property manager.

Elements of a Great Culture

Let’s stop for a moment to examine some statistics:

From these numbers, it’s not hard to see the importance of making employees feel engaged in their work. Culture, in fact, is a leading factor in attracting and retaining top talent.

What, then, goes into a good culture? There are several things that your property management firm can do to keep your staff – and your condominium property managers – engaged.

Create a “Family” Environment

An employee should have the same feeling walking into their workplace as they do when they return home to their family. This doesn’t happen by itself – it’s vitally important that this type of tone is established by leadership.

Your workforce should be hand selected with a mind towards culture first, not the other way around. Staffing your environment with like-minded people who foster an atmosphere of respect and collegiality will pay enormous dividends down the road.

But ultimately, the top leadership has to lead by example. Taking the time to recognize people, listen to them, and get to know them will give them the sense that the company they work for truly values them.


In a great culture, communications involve more than just the dissemination of policies and procedures. Part of the communications strategy needs to include reinforcing the idea of the culture itself.

It’s important that you are always communicating what you stand for – your values, what is important to you, and that you understand what your employees’ hopes and dreams are. It will convey that you get their challenges, that you trust them, and that you want what is best for them.

Good communications will ultimately lead to a great culture.

Listen to Their Dreams

At ICC Property Management, we instituted our Dream Foundation program. Simply put, we asked employees to write down and send in their dreams. One is chosen at random and is granted.

This has a dual purpose of making employees feel extremely valued while instilling the idea that dreams can come true. It’s a great way to let your workforce know that they are valued and that you are always looking out for their best interests.


Retaining an experienced condominium property manager isn’t always easy, given the market conditions and pressures today. But the buildings in your portfolio depend on having good management, and it’s an essential part of your own bottom line.

By putting in place best practices for creating an engaging company culture, you’ll go a long way toward retaining your top talent for years to come.


Steven Christodoulou, RCM, is President and CEO of ICC Property Management Ltd. 

Is it ever okay to say ‘no’ to the condominium board? Wed, 20 Dec 2017 16:50:50 +0000 When you’ve been hired to manage a condominium, it can sometimes put you in a difficult position. If you’re doing your job properly, then serious conflicts will be avoided. But what happens when the condominium board sets out a policy that goes against the advice of management?

The sad reality is that conflicts of interest can and do occur. On the one hand, you are contractually and legally bound to provide a duty of care to the board. On the other hand, laws, regulations, and best practices may contradict them.

Unfortunately, there is no easy solution. The short answer is yes – under certain conditions, you may be legally bound to refuse to carry out the board’s wishes, especially where not doing so will expose you to additional risk. But it’s usually not that black and white, and how you choose to proceed will ultimately depend on the circumstances.

 Let’s examine why you may need to say ‘no’ to the condominium board of directors.

Conflict Prevention is Critical

The best way to handle conflicts of interest is to prevent them from happening in the first place.

As a condominium manager, it’s your responsibility to execute and facilitate the board’s decisions. It’s therefore vital that you establish best practices from the beginning and follow them. Doing so will help ensure that you have a productive and healthy relationship with condominium leadership that mitigates the chances of running into conflict.

If the board refuses to endorse or consider your recommendations, it usually occurs for one of three reasons:

  1. The board is making unethical requests

  2. The board is breaking relevant laws

  3. The condominium manager is not doing their job properly

It’s, therefore, incumbent upon effective condominium managers to operate in such a way that gives the board every opportunity to be successful. As the “professional” in the room, you have the big picture view. So use that to create an environment where all parties can be in agreement.

These condominium management best practices include:

  • Maintaining open lines of communication with board members

  • Operating with transparency

  • Managing the board’s expectations

  • Employing good governance

A good condominium manager will ensure that there is full transparency between themselves and the board at all times. All parties need to understand their legal responsibilities, their financial responsibilities, and their myriad of other responsibilities.

There needs to be an inherent level of trust for the relationship to work. If that working relationship is dysfunctional, then the condominium manager usually has no choice but to end the relationship.

Otherwise, a board that breaks the law, acts unethically, or chooses to remain ignorant of their legal responsibilities will just expose the condominium manager to further risk. In those cases, you as the condominium manager have no choice but to say “No”.

Duty to the Board vs Legal Responsibilities

Ontario enacted new legislation effective November 1, 2017, that impacts the relationship between property management companies and condominium boards. At the end of the day, the new Protecting Condominium Owners Act  is designed to protect consumers who purchase condominium units, and it spells out certain legal responsibilities for condominium managers.

Up until recently, there were no requirements for acting as a condominium manager, however, this has changed. Condominium managers are now legally required to be licensed and have undergone a certain degree of education and training.

The Act outlines severe penalties for misrepresentation and malpractice by condominium managers, specifically:

Anyone convicted of an offense under the act could be liable to a fine of up to $50,000 or imprisonment of up to 2 years less a day. Management firms could be liable to a fine of up to $250,000. The Licence Appeal Tribunal would hear appeals against licensing decisions of the registrar.

However, the Act recognizes that condominium managers must walk a fine line between adhering to the board’s wishes and fulfilling their legal obligations. It states:

In addressing these concerns, Ontario has aimed to strike a balance between:

  • giving boards sufficient flexibility to authorize work that needs to be done on the property

  • the risk of mismanagement if boards have too much leeway in spending decisions

The Act also entrenches the obligation of board members as well, adding education and training requirements for anyone wishing to serve on a condominium board. This was partly as a result of reported cases of corrupt practices by some condominium boards.

So this brings us back to the original question of when it’s okay to refuse to cater to the board’s wishes. Many times, the issue will boil down to the issue of raising fees.

When You Should Say ‘No’ to The Board

Among other things, the new Act sets the legal requirements to ensure that condominiums have enough funds to operate. There is a duty to ensure that budgets are properly funded to meet all anticipated needs and to make sure that there is a reserve fund to cover any additional costs.

The condominium manager, in their capacity of providing financial advice to the board, will take these factors into account and make budgetary recommendations which may involve fee increases. The board, on the other hand, under pressure from unit owners, may resist the idea of fee increases, and direct the condominium manager to remove them from the proposed budget.

In this case, the condominium manager would be placed in a difficult situation. After all, they take their marching orders from the board, and if they ask for fee increases to be removed from the budget, it’s difficult to argue.

Yet the condominium manager also has a legal obligation to follow the relevant laws. If removing fee increases and presenting a non-balanced budget resulting in an illegal deficit, they would be in breach of the Act.

So, the condominium manager really has little choice but to refuse to follow the board’s wishes, even if it results in the termination of their management contract.

There are other instances where a refusal to raise fees can put the condominium manager in a conflict. At the end of the day, management is responsible for carrying out a fixed set of duties; if there is not enough funding in the budget to fund those duties, the condominium manager can’t do their job. An example is maintenance – if there isn’t enough money in the budget to keep a property in good repair, it can have cascading negative consequences that increase the condominium manager’s liability.


Navigating conflicts with the board starts with you as the condominium manager doing your job properly. Following best practices, keeping communications open, and operating with trust and transparency will go a long way toward preventing conflicts.

If despite your best efforts, the board asks you to execute directives that interfere with your ability to provide effective property management services or place you at legal risk, then you may as a last resort have to say “no”.

Steven Christodoulou, RCM, is President and CEO of ICC Property Management Ltd. 

Parking Structures Consultation Webinar Mon, 18 Dec 2017 16:29:16 +0000 From the Ministry of Municipal Affairs:

As you may be aware, on December 14, 2017, Ontario passed Bill 177, Stronger, Fairer Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2017. Schedule 2 of this Bill outlined proposed changes to the Building Code Act, 1992. These amendments enable the ministry to establish Building Condition Evaluation Programs for prescribed types of buildings.

On November 16, 2017, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs released a consultation paper on a proposed Building Condition Evaluation Program to be established for certain types of parking structures pursuant to the Act amendments.

For your reference, the consultation paper can be found on the Ontario government’s regulatory registry, here:

We encourage you to read the consultation paper and to send comments in writing.

Please send comments to:

The informational webinar will provide details about the parking structures consultation paper and provide time for questions so that you can better understand how this may be relevant to your organization.

The webinar will be held on:

Friday, January 12, 2018 10:00am to 11:30am

If you would like to register to attend the webinar please click on the link here.
In order to register, you will require the following password: mma2017

Please note that due to space constraints on the webinar platform, we recommend attendees from the same organization register as a single user.

Thank you in advance for your participation in this consultation. Your contribution to the process is valuable, and your feedback will be considered before the government makes final decisions on the proposed amendments.

Should you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact:

Suzan Krepostman
Senior Policy Advisor
Building Code Policy Development
Building & Development Branch
Ministry of Municipal Affairs
(416) 585-6018


Janet Tsang
Policy Advisor
Building Code Policy Development
Ministry of Municipal Affairs

Tips for Dealing with Trauma as a Condominium Manager Tue, 28 Nov 2017 21:49:13 +0000 Over my 20-year history as a Condominium Manager I have encountered several traumatic situations that have challenged my strength, experience and perseverance including two fires that exceeded 5 million dollars in property damage. I have learned from the “highs and lows” and encourage Condominium Managers to consider the following tips to assist in any traumatic situations:
  • Maintain a friendly, calm and understanding relationship with the client. Let them know they are not alone and you are there for them, and they will likely reciprocate in kind.

  • Reach out and accept support whenever offered. You do not have to go it alone.

  • Be self-aware and know your limits. Always ask when you “do not know” and do not assume anything.

  • Surround yourself with a great office team. Learn to lean on each other when in need.

  • Be aware of any available internal and external resources and tools to help you through.

  • Don’t be an island. Seek guidance from others who may have experienced similar situations elsewhere.

  • Utilize systems to keep you organized and on track — this will help guide you and alleviate the feeling of being overburdened.

  • Pace yourself. Do not feel pressured and rush into potentially reckless and damaging decisions.

  • Take the time to do your homework, ensure thorough research and consider all options.

  • Be open-minded and creative. Although highly stressful, the pressure of these moments often creates some of the best “outside of the box” solutions.

  • When the situation seems out of control take a step back, breathe, slow down and gather your thoughts.

  • Stay on course. If the plan has been well researched, organized and supported by a strong majority it should proceed without any stress caused by doubt or hesitation.

  • Before you get close to the breaking point, speak with Human Resources for support or options you may not be aware of or considered.

  • No matter what, make time for yourself and others in your personal life. Making time for yourself outside of work will refresh you and have a positive effect on your efforts at work.

  • Maintain a balanced lifestyle. Plan to get away physically, mentally and emotionally by participating in recreational or general interest activities such as concerts, movies, cooking, sporting events & camping.

Property Management can be very demanding.  When compounded by a traumatic situation, these tips may well help you work through the added pressure and further allow you to mentor others to help them avoid potential pitfalls.


Thomas Kortko, RCM, is the Client Relations Manager for Maple Ridge Community Management Ltd.

(Note: ACMO RCMs, use your Member Assistance Program (MAP) benefits to speak to someone if you need help)


ACMO recognizes launch of condominium management licensing Authority Wed, 01 Nov 2017 15:37:09 +0000  


TORONTO, ON, November 1, 2017 – The Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario (ACMO) wishes to congratulate the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CMRAO) on the launch of its program to administer licences to professional condominium managers.

ACMO has been the leading provider of condominium management education in Ontario for 40 years. Now, as a provider of education for the government mandated licensing process, we stand ready to work with CMRAO to help ensure the ongoing protection of consumers.

“We wish CMRAO success in administering the new licensing program for condominium managers in Ontario,” says ACMO President, Robert Weinberg. “As a key educational partner, we reaffirm our pledge to work steadfastly alongside them to produce the best possible education and continuing education programs to equip managers for success.”

ACMO has been a supportive partner of the licensing mandate since discussions began in 2012 and is happy to welcome CMRAO to the condominium management landscape. We are confident the new regulations will be directed with professionalism and will bring a higher level of credibility to the industry.


About ACMO

 The Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario was formed in 1977 to represent the collective aims of all condominium managers. ACMO’s Mission is to enhance the condominium management profession in Ontario by advancing the quality performance of Condominium property managers and management companies.


For further information, please contact:
Kristy Joplin
Manager, Marketing and Communications
Phone: 905-826-6890

New Condominium Law Changes Tue, 24 Oct 2017 15:02:03 +0000

The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services released fact sheets to help condominium managers and owners navigate the new regulations.

Follow the link below to read the Ministry’s message and access the fact sheets.

What condo owners and managers need to know about the condo law changes 

Condominium corporations required to register and pay assessment fees Wed, 11 Oct 2017 14:37:29 +0000  

Attention all condominium corporations!

It’s been one month since the CAO launched its website to the public with a goal to help improve condominium living by providing services and resources for condo owners.

As part of the changes to the Condominium Act, 1998, that came into effect on September 1, 2017, all condominium corporations in Ontario are required to pay annual assessment fees to the CAO. The initial assessment covers the period from September 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018.

Corporations must register through the CAO’s website and pay their initial assessments no later than December 31, 2017.

The CAO is currently reaching out to all condominium corporations in Ontario via mail and email, and through their condo management firms and/or condo managers.  If your condominium corporation or manager has not received a letter from the CAO, condo boards and managers are encouraged to designate one individual to contact the CAO at to receive an invitation code and register the condominium.

Note:  For condominium managers or management firms that manage more than one corporation, the CAO can provide multiple invitation codes on request.  Managers can register all condominium corporations that they manage using a single account through the CAO site.

Calculation of Fees

The fees assessed to each condominium corporation have been calculated based on the equivalent of $1 per voting unit, per month. According to the Condominium Act, 1998, the total assessment fee for each condominium corporation is to be added to the common expenses. Individual condo owners are to be charged based on the percentage that they contribute to the common expenses, as set out in the condominium corporation declaration.

For more information visit the CAO website at

— Submitted by Condominium Authority of Ontario

Licensing Update – Early Application Discount Tue, 10 Oct 2017 14:45:06 +0000 CMRAO will offer a 10% early application incentive on the initial licence fee for individuals and firms who submit their application between November 1 and December 15, 2017 and pay their initial license fee within 30 days of receiving their approval notice.

You can find a complete list of fees on the CMRAO’s website at