Condo Manager or Property Manager: What’s the Difference?
Condo Managers and Property Managers are not the same thing. There, we said it. While they are similar, there are clear differentiators that separate these two roles. It’s important that your condo board delineate the differences between the two services to ensure that you and your condo unit owners receive the proper service and protection that you expect.
What is a Property Manager?
In its simplest terms, a Property Manager is a third party individual or company hired to handle the day-to-day operations of a property, such as collecting rent, coordinating contractors for repairs, screening applicants to rent a property, etc. A Property Manager can manage all types of properties, including multiple units in a condominium to single family homes.
In Alberta, the governing body for Property Managers is the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA). To be a Property Manager in Alberta, one must have completed the Real Estate Associates Program (REAP) through RECA.
Specifically within a condo building or townhome, Property Managers often deal with the leasing of individual units and are able to hold a bank account to manage the money of the individual leasing the property.
What is a Condo Manager?
A Condominium Manager is responsible for ensuring the day-to-day operations of a condominium building are supported. The Condo Manager or Condo Management company work closely with your condo board, providing guidance on building management issues such as maintenance, reserve fund studies, determining and managing budgets, and so forth.
Like Property Managers, the governing body for Condominium Management Companies in Alberta is also RECA. It should be noted that RECA currently does not have any formalized curriculum or regulations to govern condo managers, however the Alberta Government is looking to update this and released its most recent amendments in the Spring of 2017.
While a Condo Manager can also manage the funds of individual unit holders, they must keep it “in-trust” to settle the bills of the individual unit. In addition, unlike a Property Manager, a Condo Manager cannot lease an individual unit on behalf of the unit owner.
The easiest way to think of a Property Manager versus Condo Manager is this:
- Property Managers are often responsible for individual units and the individual money and maintenance of these units.
- Condo Managers are responsible for whole condo building and are not able to lease individual units*. Condo Managers must understand the whole building and how it runs for the benefit of the entire condo building community.
With clear distinctions between Property and Condo Managers, it’s important that you know the roles of each party. Yes, each role is important for a condo – particularly if you have unit owners who lease their units – but it’s important to know what responsibilities legally fall to each party.
If you have specific questions or are looking to connect with other condo owners, condo managers, or property managers, visit Alberta Condo Owners for Change and joing the conversation.
*Condo Managers who are also accredited Property Managers may lease individual units on behalf of a unit owner.