Condominium Management
Regulatory Authority of Ontario

First CMRAO Prosecution Trial Results in Conviction on All Counts

On May 30, 2023, the CMRAO’s first prosecution concluded with the two defendants, Azza Nefzaoui and Manifold PRO Management and Consulting Services Inc. (“Manifold”), being found guilty of all eight charges for acting as a condominium manager/management provider, respectively, without a licence.

The charges stemmed from a number of complaints from residents of a condominium located in Mississauga in early 2019. The residents alleged that Ms. Nefzaoui was acting as the condominium manager without a licence. According to the residents, Ms. Nefzaoui was also the President of the Board of Directors for the condominium corporation, and under her leadership the board appointed Ms. Nefzaoui and her company, Manifold, as the condominium manager.

Following these complaints, the CMRAO launched an investigation. The investigators spoke with Ms. Nefzaoui, numerous residents, and tradespeople who serviced the condominium. Over a three-year period, the CMRAO executed four search warrants at the condominium’s management office, as well as the bank accounts for Ms. Nefzaoui and Manifold.

Throughout the investigation, Ms. Nefzaoui disputed that she required a licence. She attempted to rely on the exemption for directors of a condo board who may provide condominium management services without a licence, by insisting that the condominium was “self-managed.” However, the court confirmed that this exemption only applies when there is no remuneration for these management services.

The CMRAO Laid Identical Charges on Four Occasions, Covering a Period of Three Years

Manifold was initially charged with acting as a condominium management provider and for performing the services of a condominium management provider, in violation of s. 34(1) and 34(2)(b) of the CMSA.

Ms. Nefzaoui, as the sole officer and director of Manifold, was charged under s. 68(1) for failing to take reasonable care to prevent Manifold from committing offences under the CMSA and also in a personal capacity for acting as a condominium manager.

The CMRAO continued to lay new charges as time went on, as the evidence showed that the defendants continued to take payments for condominium management services despite charges being laid.

The charges did not deter Ms. Nefzaoui. She continued receiving payments every two weeks from the condominium corporation. In an attempt to stem the flow of money, the CMRAO’s Statutory Director issued an Order to Ms. Nefzaoui and Manifold from taking any further payments from the condominium corporation. However, the payments continued unabated.

Once it became clear that Ms. Nefzaoui and Manifold continued to receive payment for condominium management services, and in another attempt to protect the condominium corporation and the residents of the condominium, the CMRAO sought an Order from the Superior Court of Justice ordering Ms. Nefzaoui and Manifold to refrain from taking payments from the condominium corporation and to repay the monies that had been taken since the issuance of the Director’s Order. The Order was granted. Unfortunately, the Order was entirely ignored by Ms. Nefzaoui and Manifold who continued to receive payment from the condominium corporation.

In total, Ms. Nefzaoui and Manifold received payments in excess of $400,000.

The Defendants Were Found Guilty of All Charges

In January 2023, a week-long trial took place at the Mississauga Provincial Offences Court. On May 30, 2023, Her Worship Lin rendered her decision. Ms. Nefzaoui and Manifold were found guilty of all charges.

Some of Her Worship’s findings included that Ms. Nefzaoui:

  • continued to receive compensation throughout the time period of the charges, and she even received a wage increase;
  • was the main person residents of the condominium approached with their problems relating to the common elements; and
  • directed trades and held herself out as the manager of the condominium corporation.

While the defence brought some evidence that Ms. Nefzaoui was doing these things as part of her role on the Board of Directors, Her Worship Lin noted that at no time did Ms. Nefzaoui indicate that she was not the person in charge. It would have been difficult for residents to discern which hat she was wearing, that of an employee, board president, or director of Manifold. Her Worship also found that Ms. Nefzaoui was aware of the new licensing regime and that she did not take any reasonable care to prevent Manifold from committing an offence under the CMSA. Lastly, Ms. Nefzaoui and Manifold were not exempt under the regulations because they received compensation for their services.

On June 23, 2023, the court issued the sentencing decision in Mississauga Provincial Offences Court:

  • Manifold PRO Management and Consulting Services:
    • fines totalling $25,000 for all counts
  • Azza Nefzaoui:
    • fines totalling $25,000 for all counts
    • one year probation
    • cannot be employed in condominium management services for a period of one year

The CMRAO has appealed the sentencing decision.