When you own a condo, you can reap the convenient benefits of a maintenance-free lifestyle similar to that of apartment living but you have your name on the title — all while sharing ownership of the common areas. Amenities are also often abundant for most units as most condominiums are relatively new to our market, with air conditioning, landscaping, modern kitchen appliances and laundry included in most properties.
Condo living is available for everyone: from first time homeowners, working professionals, families and seniors. There are some communities or buildings that are childfree, so be sure to do your research!
Usually, Condo Board of Directors, (as it’s commonly referred to in Alberta) are elected by you and the rest of the owners of the condominium corporation community — and must be composed of at least two-thirds owners or mortgagees within your community. The Condo Board typically sees management from a governance perspective and leaves the day-to-day operations to a property management company.
However, as with most living situations, there are caveats of owning a condo. Living in a condominium unit isn’t like owning a single-family home.
Here are just a few of the regulations that you’ll be expected to follow:
Follow your condo’s, bylaws and rules
Condominium owners are subject to contributions (commonly referred to as condo fees) — which include costs for insurance, professional tasks, exterior repairs, maintenance of items such as siding and windows and landscaping, and funding the Reserve Fund. Failure to pay them on time, can result in being charged interest, or in extreme cases: legal issues or even foreclosure.
Condo owners are also responsible for looking over and understanding all documentation on bylaws provided to them by their Board of Directors. This includes important resources like board meeting minutes, insurance certificates and notices advising of specific changes in your community’s day-to-day operations. Voting and the administration of the Owner vs. Board of Directors is outlined in the Condominium Act of Alberta.
While your province’s specific guidelines can vary, common bylaws include condo owner insurance requirements, pet restrictions — commonly weight restrictions or certain breeds disallowed. Noise level restrictions are also common, with quiet hours sometimes enforced.
Failure to comply with these bylaws and regulations can and will have consequences for you as a condominium owner , so we suggest you ensure that you’re knowledgeable on all bylaws and any new developments with your particular building or condominium community.
Repair and maintain the unit
Some may not be fully aware, but you are 100% responsible for all plumbing, appliances, fixtures and wiring in your condo unit (unless its defined as common or management property. Another good reminder to understand what is in your bylaws!)There’s a common misconception that just because you pay condominium fees or perhaps live in an apartment style building that your internal maintenance will be covered. Be sure to consistently keep your unit in good working order, with all plumbing and wiring issues attended to as soon as is reasonably possible.
Your guests can also be subject to regulation — specifically, the number of nights a guest is allowed to stay over consecutively. Rules regarding guests have been a source of light controversy, but this is mainly in place to avoid too much noise or as a reminder that owners are responsible for their guests when on common or managed property. Some legislative bodies have also placed restrictions on numbers of people allowed during COVID-19 as a health and safety measure.
Your exterior space can also subject to some restrictions — particularly hanging clothing to dry, barbequing and hanging decorations.
Most communities have regulations on renting your , but most allow it on the basis that certain standards are met and to be in compliance with Human Rights legislation. In the same vein, use of your condo as an AirBnb usually is not permitted, although specifics on this can be verified with your Board of Directors.
Call your Calgary property management experts today!
Our team at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. is more than ready to help Condo Boards and Condominium Corporations address their Condominium management needs. . We service Condominiums in Calgary, Airdrie & Area Our property management offerings can be tailored to fit your condo community.
Give us a call at (403) 237-8600 or contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your next steps!