From the CMRAO Quarterly Newsletter, Winter 2021 | Vol. 4 | Issue 1
The CMRAO has recently received inquiries about its discipline process, including questions about how a case is referred to the Discipline Committee, how the hearings process works, and when decisions are published.
The Registrar of the CMRAO is responsible for handling complaints against CMRAO licensees, as well as complaints about unlicensed condominium managers and condominium management provider businesses. In handling a complaint involving unlicensed practice, the Registrar may refer the matter to the CMRAO’s Statutory Director, who oversees investigations and prosecutes cases in provincial courts. Similarly, the Registrar can propose to suspend or revoke a licence, and the licensee can appeal that decision to the Licence Appeal Tribunal.
In making decisions about complaints, the Registrar can address the allegations in several ways, including referral to CMRAO’s Discipline Committee. Like a court or tribunal, the CMRAO’s Discipline Committee is an independent adjudicative body established under the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015 (CMSA). The Discipline Committee hears cases involving licensees referred by the Registrar of the CMRAO. The Committee serves a specific function: determining if a licensee has failed to comply with the Code of Ethics.
When the Registrar refers a matter to the Discipline Committee, they will give notice to the licensee that the matter has been referred to the Committee and will provide the licensee with a statement of allegations, outlining the conduct that led to the referral, as well as the specific sections of the Code of Ethics that the licensee is alleged to have violated. The CMRAO will also notify the Chair of the Committee of the referral.
Prior to a Discipline Committee hearing, there will normally be a pre-hearing conference, which is chaired by a member of the Committee and attended by the licensee and the prosecutor representing the Registrar. The intention of this pre-hearing conference is to:
If a settlement cannot be reached, then the case will proceed to a hearing. If the case is referred to a hearing, the Chair of the Discipline Committee will assign a panel of three or more committee members who will hear the case and make a decision based on law, evidence, and caselaw (past decisions made on similar CMRAO cases, cases from other regulatory authorities, and court decisions). This is done to ensure consistency and fairness with how decisions are made. The decision could include monetary penalties and/or an order to take educational courses.
Once a decision has been made, the panel will write a decision and send it to the licensee and CMRAO prosecutor. If the Committee finds that the licensee violated the Code of Ethics, then the licensee will have 30 days to appeal that decision to the Appeals Committee. If after 30 days the licensee has not appealed the Committee’s decision, then the CMRAO will publish the decision.
The CMRAO publishes decisions of the Discipline and Appeals Committees on its website, and updates the Public Registry to ensure that the public has access to information about licensees who have violated the Code of Ethics. Transparency is imperative for public protection, and through effective regulation the CMRAO helps to strengthen the condominium management profession and give consumers confidence in the people and companies that manage their important investment.