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Professional Standards Manual

Strata Management Services

2. Practice Standards

(b) Unlicensed Assistants and Strata Management Services

[06/15/2010 The following information added to Professional Standards Manual]

Those who provide strata management services for a fee, unless they are exempt, must be licensed under the Real Estate Services Act (RESA). “Strata management services” is defined in section 1 of RESA as follows:

“Strata management services” means any of the following services provided to or on behalf of a strata corporation:

(a) collecting or holding strata fees, contributions, levies or other amounts levied by, or due to, the strata corporation under the Strata Property Act;

(b) exercising delegated powers and duties of a strata corporation or strata council, including

(i) making payments to third parties on behalf of the strata corporation,

(ii) negotiating or entering into contracts on behalf of the strata corporation, or

(iii) supervising employees or contractors hired or engaged by the strata corporation

but does not include an activity excluded by regulation;”

Strata management services are not restricted to those being performed within “regular business hours”; the definition also applies to services being provided “after hours”, including on-call and/or emergency services. A brokerage cannot “contract out” or “source out” services for which a licence is required under RESA.

Collecting strata fees, contributions, or levies

Section 2.18 of the Real Estate Services Regulation provides the following exemption from the requirement to be licensed for strata caretakers employed by a strata corporation or brokerage:

“Exemption for strata caretakers employed by strata corporation or brokerage

2.18 (1) Subject to subsection (2), an individual who is employed as a caretaker or manager by a strata corporation, or by a brokerage that provides strata management services to or on behalf of a strata corporation, is exempt from the requirement to be licensed under Part 2 of the Act in respect of collecting strata fees, contributions, levies or other amounts levied by, or due to, the strata corporation under the Strata Property Act.

(2) On receipt of money referred to in subsection (1), the exempt caretaker or manager must promptly deliver the money to the strata corporation or brokerage, as applicable.”

The exemption requires the relationship between the brokerage and the unlicensed individual to be that of ‘employer-employee’. Therefore, in order for an independent contractor to collect strata fees, contributions, levies or other amounts on behalf of the brokerage, the contractor must be licensed. If in doubt, brokerages may want to seek independent accounting or legal advice to ensure that their relationship with an unlicensed individual providing these services is structured as an employer-employee relationship according to the Canada Revenue Agency guidelines.

Other activities

The Real Estate Council has developed the following lists of additional activities which may and may not be performed by an unlicensed person employed or contracted by a brokerage licensed to provide strata management services. This includes strata caretakers acting under the section 2.18 exemption. The ‘may’ list is divided into three parts.

The first part sets out the duties an unlicensed person may perform, subject to the general direction and supervision of the brokerage or a related licensee, on an ongoing basis. The second part requires the brokerage or a related licensee to provide instructions to the unlicensed person on a specific situation or event before any action is taken. The third part provides that an unlicensed person may, in accordance with the brokerage’s standard processes and procedures, prepare documents but that the documents produced must be approved by the brokerage or a related licensee before they are considered complete.

An unlicensed assistant may:

1. Under the general direction and supervision of the brokerage or a licensee engaged by that brokerage:

  • answer the telephone and take messages;

  • place advertising;

  • schedule appointments for a licensee (this does not include making telephone calls, telemarketing, or performing other activities to solicit business on behalf of the licensee);

  • maintain strata and brokerage records;

  • supervise the inspection of strata records;

  • act as a courier to deliver strata forms and records, pick up keys, and other similar items;

  • coordinate and distribute keys and other building security devices;

  • assemble strata notices and agenda packages;

  • assist a licensee at a strata council or general meeting provided that the unlicensed assistant does not advise the strata council or strata corporation;

  • obtain public information from a courthouse, municipality, regional district, etc;

  • perform bookkeeping or office functions, including:

  • record and deposit trust funds,

  • record third party charges and payments, and

  • record charges and payments of strata fees, liens and fines;

  • contact trades to assess the need for repairs.

2. As authorized on a case by case basis by the brokerage or a licensee engaged by that brokerage:

  • arrange for approved repairs, services and purchases;*

  • obtain quotes;

  • arrange access to common property.

* Brokerages and their related licensees must ensure that an unlicensed assistant obtains direction from a licensee or the strata corporation client before a decision on expenditures is made which would bind the strata corporation client to costs or liabilities that are not covered under a maintenance contract. Making these decisions involves exercising the delegated powers of a strata corporation or strata council and, therefore, these decisions should only be made by a licensee or the strata corporation client.

3. For the approval of the brokerage or a licensee engaged by that brokerage:

  • prepare strata notices and agenda packages;

  • prepare minutes of annual and special general meetings and strata council meetings;

  • draft correspondence for signing by a licensee;

  • prepare financial statements and reconciliations;

  • prepare cheques for signature by a licensee or strata council member(s);

  • prepare Strata Property Act forms.

An unlicensed assistant may not:

  • exercise delegated powers of a strata corporation or strata council, including:

    • making payments to third parties on behalf of the strata corporation,

    • negotiating or entering into contracts on behalf of the strata corporation, and

    • supervising employees or contractors hired or engaged by the strata corporation;

  • present, negotiate or explain any service agreement;

  • negotiate or agree to any management fee on behalf of a licensee.