Competences required

The person responsible for the management of a syndicate of co-owners’ real estate assets, the condo manager plays a strategic role. His competence level can make the difference, especially if the board of directors knows next to nothing in such matters. Knowing how a co-ownership works, as well as taking charge of the stewardship of the immovable, requires knowledge that is not a given to everyone. In addition, a condo manager must demonstrate professional interpersonal skills, namely to be a good communicator, to act with rigor and organization, to demonstrate diplomacy and to have a sense of negotiation.


Skills and Abilities

To carry out his duties properly, the manager must be competent in the field of administrative, legal, technical and financial co-ownership management, since this function requires analytical and organizational skills, being a responsible person, and a knack for negotiations.

The protection of the interest of the co-owners must be the top priority of the manager. To accomplish his mission successfully, he must:

  • Have technical building and construction knowledge. This will allow him to control the operational and maintenance expenses;
  • Understand the legislative framework that governs co-ownerships, as well as the various rules set out in the declaration of co-ownership, particularly regarding notices of meetings, quorum, voting rights, the allocation of common expenses  (condo fees) and the syndicate’s duties and responsibilities;
  • Have in depth staff management knowledge;
  • Control the co-ownership’s accounting peculiarities;
  • Undergo, from time to time, rigorous training to keep himself up to date;
  • Be a skilled communicator, to inform the syndicate of the state of repairs of the immovable and of its management;
  • Master computer programs;
  • Adapt to the different levels of stakeholders, such as tenants, co-owners, technical staff, building professionals, financial institutions and service providers;
  • Adhere to the new policies related to energy savings, the responsible management of residual organic matter, the responsible use of paper and the use of low environmental impact materials;
  • Observe the rules of ethics to prevent conflicts of interest, or possible fraud.

Inadequate legislative framework

Currently, anyone who wants to act as a co-ownership manager can use this title without being accountable to a governing body or agency. This state of affairs can undermine the protection of the public. Several observers believe that this is an unacceptable situation, given the gigantic task the manager must assume. His work requires great rigor and mastery of a vast range of knowledge, more particularly in co-ownership law and in the intricacies of the declarations of co-ownership themselves. Whoever improvises being a condo manager can cause severe injury to a co-owners’ community, because he can be the cause of the deterioration of personal relations between co-owners or of the state of repairs of the building. He could also, for instance, neglect to have the immovable insured for its full reconstruction value.

In addition, the skills of the manager must be adaptable to each co-ownership’s peculiarities. He could just as well manage a skyscraper or an immovable with two floors and eight units, or a co-ownership by phases? Not all immovables offer the same degree of complexity. On the other hand, all co-ownerships have a common denominator, they require rigor and sound knowledge in property management.

From competence to professionalism

Currently, condo managers can choose their own training level. As they are not required to join a professional order, nobody controls their operation, apart from the syndicates themselves, as the latter have a vested interest in supervising their manager. However, training courses are offered in this field, by such non-profit organizations as the “Regroupement des gestionnaires et copropriétaires du Québec”- RGCQ (Quebec Association of Managers and Co-owners). Other training programs intended for managers and their employees are offered in several colleges and universities. Ideally, they should be a prerequisite to holding a license for anyone involved in co-ownership management.  

Whatever their previous experience, those who wish to do so have access to these courses. For example, the training program "Condo 101", offered by the RGCQ in partnership with Yves Joli-Coeur, of the the lawyers and notaries of Therrien Couture Joli-Coeur, offers a one day seminar on the basics concepts of co-ownership management. Those who want to further their knowledge can follow a professional training program in co-ownership management at ESG UQAM, also offered by the RGCQ. This course, which consists of five 30-hour modules, covers the legal, technical, financial and human co-ownership components.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW!​ The choice of a manager is crucial to the proper operation of the syndicate. One must keep in mind that an unfit and/or dishonest manager poses a great danger to a syndicate of co-owners. TO KEEP IN MIND: The Québec Co-owners and Manager Association (Regroupement des gestionnaires et copropriétaires du Québec (RGCQ) is a partner in the continuous education training program in co-ownership management set up in 2016 à “l’École des sciences de la gestion de l’Université du Québec à Montréal” (ESG UQAM). This program is intended without limitation for managers wishing to acquire in depth knowledge in the field.

 WARNING! Some co-ownership managers are in charge of real estate assets worth tens of millions of dollars. The budgets at their disposal are sometimes greater than those of small or medium size Quebec enterprises. However, despite their best intentions, many managers do may have the competence required to manage these large co-ownerships.


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