What Every Condo Owner and Resident Should Know
Living in a condominium is different from owning a single-family home, living in a housing co-op, or renting a home. It is a fantastic form of home ownership that works for many people.
By and large, condominiums function very well, as attested to by their ongoing popularity. However, it is important to keep certain things in mind.
Here are some facts everyone should be aware of:
Documentation and Rules
It is important to remember that in a Condominium, you are living in close proximity to your neighbors. Various rules and laws exist to ensure we can live together in harmony. It is important for everyone to be familiar with these.
The key rules governing our condominium are described in this handbook, based on the following documents that you should familiarize yourself with before purchasing or moving into any Ontario Condominium:
- Condominium Act - Governs how all Ontario Condominiums operate.
- Declaration - Ground rules originally established when the suites were first sold. All owners should receive a copy of this at the time of their purchase. In most cases, the Declaration can only be changed if 90% of unit owners vote in favour of the change.
- By-laws - These are enacted by vote by owners, and require that 50% of owners vote in favour of the bylaw.
- Rules & Regulations - These may be updated from time to time by the Board of Directors.
For an alphabetical guide to the OCSCC 815 Rules
, and policies, see 90 George Rules Guide below.
What I own
Condominium ownership is divided into two parts:
- The boundaries of your suite/unit(s) are described in Declaration section 1.4
, and Schedule “C” Boundaries of Units and Monuments
. You are responsible for the maintenance and repair of anything defined as part of your suite/unit(s).
- Along with all other owners, you also own an interest in the Common Elements. See also Disclosure Statement sections 2.5
, and Declaration section 3
. The Condominium Corporation is responsible for maintaining these Common Elements, and individual owners are prohibited from making alterations to the Common Elements. However, you should care for the Common Elements as if you own them - because you do.
Condominiums are not run as co-operatives where everyone has a say in all decisions, but as democracies, where most decisions are made by a Board of Directors who are elected by owners. In a community the size of ours, there will always be differences of opinion. Part of the reason condos are so successful, as opposed to grinding to a halt, is that Boards are charged with decision making responsibility for most decisions.
For this reason, it is important for owners to step forward when there is an election for an open position on the Board of Directors. This happens at the Annual General Meeting of Owners which takes place each year. The Annual General Meeting also provides a key opportunity to become aware of and involved in issues affecting all unit owners, so it is very important to attend this meeting.
While the volunteer Board of Directors is focussed on long-term improvements, and overseeing the operation of the Condominium Corporation, day-to-day management is handled by a paid Property Manager. Inquiries you have should be directed to the Property Manager. In most cases, the Property Manager will be the only one who is in a position to assist with your inquiry. When the Board needs to be involved, the Property Manager will in turn seek direction from the Board. The Property Manager can be reached through the Front Desk 613-680-5781, or at email@example.com.
It costs money to properly run and maintain any condominium. As with most things, these costs increase with inflation. The Board and Property Manager establish an Annual Budget and ensure that costs are kept to a minimum, while maintaining the standards of our Condominium. Payment of condo fees is through Pre-Authorized Debit (PAD). A PAD form is attached.