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Navigating the Condominium Manager Shortage in Ontario: Why Cooperation is Key


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The condominium living experience in Ontario has been increasingly impacted by a significant shortage of qualified condominium managers. This shortage, driven by various factors including increased demand for condo living, stringent regulatory requirements, and an aging workforce, has created challenges for condo boards and residents alike. The importance of working collaboratively with your property manager cannot be overstated. This blog post explores the current condominium manager shortage in Ontario and highlights why cooperation with property managers is essential for a harmonious living environment.


 

Understanding the Condominium Manager Shortage


The demand for condominium living has surged in Ontario, particularly in urban centers like Toronto, due to affordability issues and a desire for convenient, low-maintenance lifestyles. However, the supply of qualified condominium managers has not kept pace with this demand. Let’s explore the factors contributing to this shortage; 


Increased Demand

The rapid growth of condominium developments has outpaced the number of trained and experienced managers available. According to the Ontario Newsroom, there are over 11,000 condominium corporations across Ontario and this number will continue to grow as 55% of homes under construction in Ontario are condominium units. CBC recently reported that only 2,500 general licensed managers are overseeing these condominium units. In theory, each manager would be responsible for almost 5 corporations at any given time. Talk about workload! 


Regulatory Changes

Ontario’s Condominium Management Services Act, introduced in 2017, mandates stringent licensing and continuing education requirements for condominium managers. While these regulations ensure high standards, they have also made it challenging for new managers to enter the field.


Aging Workforce

Many seasoned condominium managers are nearing retirement, and there are insufficient new entrants to replace them. This could be due to many factors, however, it’s hard to ignore the less-than-desirable aspects of the job when the managers are already spread thin and there has been no indication of easing up. 


Job Complexity

The role of a condominium manager is multifaceted, involving property maintenance, financial management, conflict resolution, and regulatory compliance. The complexity and stress associated with the job deter many potential candidates.


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The Importance of Cooperation


Given the current shortage, it’s more crucial than ever for residents and condo boards to cultivate a cooperative relationship with their property managers. Here’s why:


Enhanced Efficiency and Effectiveness

A collaborative approach fosters an environment where property managers can perform their duties more efficiently. When residents and boards support their managers, tasks like maintenance, financial planning, and compliance with legal requirements are handled more smoothly. This support allows managers to focus on their core responsibilities without being bogged down by unnecessary conflicts or miscommunications. To best support property management, residents and the board of directors should direct maintenance requests or complaints to management, and avoid scheduling vendors, maintenance, or quotes without notifying management to prevent conflicts or surprises, which allows property management to perform their duties effectively.


Improved Communication

Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful relationship, this is true for the dynamic between condo residents and their managers. By working together, both parties can ensure that issues are addressed promptly and transparently. Regular meetings, open forums, and clear lines of communication help in preemptively solving problems and avoiding misunderstandings.


Mutual Respect and Trust

Building a relationship based on mutual respect and trust can significantly enhance the living experience in a condominium. When residents understand the challenges faced by property managers and vice versa, it fosters a sense of community and shared purpose. Respectful interactions and a willingness to listen and compromise can go a long way in maintaining a positive living environment.


Proactive Problem Solving

Collaboration encourages proactive problem-solving. When residents and property managers work together, they can identify potential issues before they escalate into major problems. This proactive stance can prevent costly repairs, legal disputes, and other complications that arise from neglected issues.


Stress Reduction

The role of a condominium manager is inherently stressful, given the myriad of responsibilities and the need to balance the interests of various stakeholders. By cooperating with their managers, residents can alleviate some of this stress. A supportive environment enables managers to perform their duties more effectively, leading to a well-managed property. Residents and board members alike can aid with stress by ensuring their approach to managers is not combative, but genuine. 


Practical Tips for Cooperation

To foster a cooperative relationship with your condominium manager, consider the following practical tips:


Stay Informed: Educate yourself about the responsibilities and challenges of condominium management. Understanding the scope of the manager’s job can foster empathy and cooperation.


Communicate Clearly: Use clear, respectful communication channels. Report issues promptly and provide constructive feedback.


Participate Actively: Engage in community meetings and decision-making processes. An active and informed community can work more effectively with management.


Show Appreciation: Acknowledge the hard work of your property manager. Simple gestures of appreciation can boost morale and encourage a positive working relationship.


Be Patient and Understanding: Recognize that your manager is likely dealing with multiple issues simultaneously. Patience and understanding can go a long way in maintaining a harmonious relationship.


 

The condominium manager shortage in Ontario is a significant challenge, but it also presents an opportunity for condo residents and boards to foster stronger, more cooperative relationships with their property managers. By working together, we can ensure that our communities remain well-managed and enjoyable places to live. Cooperation, communication, and mutual respect are key to navigating these times successfully and ensuring a positive living environment for all.



 

Sources:

Ontario Launches Guide for Residential Condo Purchasers. Ontario newsroom. (2021, January). https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/59872/ontario-launches-guide-for-residential-condo-purchasers 

Balintec, V. (2023, June 4). Ontario is lacking condo managers and some worry it’ll only get worse as more units get built | CBC news. CBCnews. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-condo-manager-shortage-1.6861777

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