Condo manager licensing long overdue: Marchese

TORONTO: The government has known for a long time that too many condo managers are underqualified, and mandatory licensing is long overdue, said Trinity-Spadina MPP Rosario Marchese today. Licensing of property managers was a key part of Marchese’s Bill 72 to amend the outdated Condominium Act, which he introduced last year for the fourth time in five years.

A long-time advocate for condo owners, Marchese has repeatedly said that the government’s 18-month review of the Condominium Act imposes needless delays on necessary reforms. In April, Marchese said, “The pace of the review is about equal to that of a snail.”

Marchese said any new licensing system must be transparent and accountable to condo owners, noting that the government’s condo review “expert panel” is stacked with affiliates from two condo industry lobby groups, the Canadian Condominium Institute and the Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario.

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READ MORE: Click to read Rosario Marchese’s Toronto Star op-ed article, “Ontario government failing condo owners” (April 16, 2013)

“This government has a fondness for self-regulatory models that entrench private interests while shutting out consumers,” said Marchese, noting the government’s refusal to consider reforms to the Tarion Warranty Corporation, the developer-run private corporation in charge of protecting new condo buyers. Earlier this month, a Toronto Star investigation found that Tarion was keeping records about home builder deficiencies but was not disclosing this crucial information to consumers. Marchese’s Bill 72 included several reforms to Tarion, including a requirement that half its board must represent consumers, and not the home building industry.

Marchese urged the government to move quickly with the other reforms called for in his bill, including the establishment of an independent Condo Tribunal that would resolve disputes between condo owners, boards, managers and developers quickly and cheaply, instead of forcing people to fight long and costly lawsuits in the courts.

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