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RECA Webinar Recap Magnum York Doug Dixon

Magnum York recently hosted a Zoom webinar with Doug Dixon from the Real Estate Council of Alberta to discuss the quickly evolving industry of property management and discover the power of setting the standard for effective governance to minimize risk and empower communities.

Doug Dixon – Regulatory Compliance Advisor RECA

Doug Dixon is one of the real estate Regulatory Compliance Advisors for the Real Estate Council of Alberta.  He has worked in many facets of the real estate industry over the last 40 years, including as the Nova Scotia Real Estate Association Executive Officer and the Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission Executive Director.  Prior to his association and regulatory management work, Doug was a salesperson and a broker for 14 years.  This included condominium sales and working with developers.  During his 25 years as a regulator, he has dealt with condominium issues that involved condominium corporations, boards and unit owners.  Doug lives in a bare-land condominium and has served on the corporation’s board for nine years.  This familiarity certainly provides Doug with a good understanding of issues around condominium management.  Prior to his real estate career, Doug was a Navigation Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Who is RECA?

The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) is the independent governing body for Alberta’s real estate brokerage, mortgage brokerage, property management, and condominium management licensees. Alberta is one of the few North American jurisdictions where real estate sectors are fully self-regulated. Self-regulation is a privilege granted in the public interest and for the public good. Licensees must meet certain criteria to enter the industry. They’re required to comply with the Real Estate Act Rules, the standards of practice for competently assisting the public of Alberta in buying, selling, or managing a property or condominium, or obtaining a mortgage.

Why did RECA begin licensing and regulating Condominium Managers?

As of December 1, 2021, all individuals and companies that provide condominium management services in Alberta must be licensed by RECA. There had been regular feedback from condo owners, board members and some management companies that the industry needed to be regulated.

Service Alberta, through its consultations for changes to the Condominium Property Act, decided that the industry should be regulated and that RECA would be the regulator. This will allow condominium managers to hold a license and get continued education, which will protect consumers buying into and living in condominium complexes.

What licensing is required for condominium managers?

There are four types of condominium management licenses:

  1. Brokerage – the company contracting condo management services
  2. Broker – the person responsible for supervising the brokerage
  3. Associate Broker- a condo manager with the same credentials as a broker, but not responsible for supervising the brokerage
  4. Associate – front-line condo manager

A licensee must be employed by a licensed brokerage. All three levels, broker, associate broker and associate are licensees but often refer to themselves as a “Condominium Manager”. They can use different terms as long as it’s not misleading.

New Licensing to be introduced in October 2023

Effective October 1, 2023, a graduated licensing program will be available for brand-new people entering the industry. The benefits of graduated licensing include the following:

  • Up-front costs are reduced with courses and exam expenses spread over a 2-year period.
  • Brokers are able to assess the candidate’s abilities early in their employment.
  • Candidates are able to assess whether the condo management industry is a career fit for them.
  • A graduated licensing system will speed up the number of new candidates entering the condominium management industry.

Licensees under graduated licensing must complete 2 levels:

Level 1 – complete Fundamentals of Condominium Management

Level 2 – complete Practice of Condominium Management

Graduated licensees have up to 1 year to complete each level. While they are in levels 1 and 2, there will be a list of activities that specify whether they can do the activity on their own or if they must be supervised by a condo manager and/or broker or can’t do it at all. This list will change whether they are on level 1 or 2.

What are the current licensing statistics in Alberta?

Can anyone see who is a Licensed Condominium Manager?

Yes. License status can be checked on the RECA website at the top banner of the website: Clicking on the brokerage will provide further information on who is licensed under that particular brokerage.

What is the definition of Condominium Management Services?

This definition can be found in the Condominium Property Act:

(e.2) “condominium management services” means 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,

(i) 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.

(ii) enforcing the bylaws or rules of the corporation,

(iii) negotiating or entering into contracts on behalf of the corporation, and

(iv) 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 regualtions under either Act;

What is the difference between Trust Accounts and Condo Corporation Accounts?

Condominium funds, whether operating funds or reserve funds can be held in one of two ways; either a Trust account through the brokerage managing the corporation or the condominium corporation bank accounts. The RECA Practice Review Team will do reviews of the accounts to ensure things are being done properly. In both cases, condo corporations are required to do annual audits under the Condominium Property Act (CPA). With changes to the legislative requirements for prompt payment and the additional security and processes for trust accounts, many condominium corporations and brokerages are moving to the use of Trust Accounts.

Trust Accounts

  • These accounts are controlled by the condominium management brokerage and often pay interest to the corporation.
  • Signing authority is the broker and anyone delegated by the broker.
  • Many protections are tied to trust accounts.
  • Brokerage trust accounts must be audited for RECA annually.

Condo Corporation Accounts

  • These accounts are basic bank accounts in the name of the condo corporation.
  • The condo manager and broker may have signing authority.
  • It’s recommended that two corporation board members also have signing authority.

Why is it important for condo corporations to use experts?

It is important that board members and condo managers use people with expertise and knowledge on the various subjects that may come up when running a condo corporation.

Expertise can vary considerably based on the background of individuals. Even a board member or manager with some expertise on a subject has to consider they are making decisions on behalf of the corporation, as well as possible personal liability.

Whenever significant maintenance or capital expenditures are being considered, experts in those fields should be consulted, whether it is engineers, architects, HVAC specialists. There can be considerable value in hiring project managers or engineers to oversee large projects.

How does RECA handle disputes or complaints?

Top 5 Questions & Answers

  1. In terms of the graduated license program, how does the manager get practical experience as they go? Is there a co-op type opportunity that goes with it?
    RECA’s expectation is that the brokerage hiring someone on the graduated licensing program will know from the level 1 activities that are listed what that person can and cannot do on their own. The broker will have to supervise the person or assign a condo manager to mentor the person who holds that license.
  2. Do you advise that condo boards change their condo bank accounts to trust accounts?
    Not necessarily. It really depends on the comfort level and preference of the condo corporation’s board of directors. One of the advantages of a trust account is that accounting can be more efficient when it comes to making payments of invoices.
  3. With respect to dispute resolution, in other provinces, there are means for condo boards to deal with disputes. Do you expect to see that in the future in Alberta?
    Both Ontario and British Columbia have this in place, although the one in Ontario is restricted in what they will hear and what someone can bring to that process. There is a great demand from unit owners, condo boards, and those who are in this industry to push the government to create an arbitration process in Alberta. The Alberta provincial government has committed to creating this process however, about 2 years ago they put a hold on moving this project ahead quickly.
  4. What ratio of currently licensed managers are there to condominiums in Alberta?
    RECA does not know how many condominium corporations have managers. It has been estimated that there are approximately 10,000 condominiums in the Province and there are 600 licensed managers. The majority of brokerages keep approximately 8 – 12 properties per manager but unfortunately in Alberta, this has not been tracked.
  5. Is the treasurer required to keep on top of the financials and budget of the corporation? The definition of the treasurer in the Condominium Property Act indicates the treasurer is responsible for overseeing all of the financial matters. In most cases, when a property manager is involved, they take care of most of this but the treasurer should still be overseeing and reviewing the monthly financials.

Further information regarding the resolution tribunal in Alberta: Alberta’s Condominium Dispute Resolution Tribunal Will Not Proceed At This Time

Thank You!

Thank you to Doug for taking the time to join us on this educational webinar. A special thank you to those who attended and had questions for Doug. If you would like to sign up to attend future webinars, register at

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