Condo Documents: Why Read and Keep?
There are a number of reasons why referencing to your condo docs will continue to serve you well. From knowing the correct process for renovating your unit to understanding the rules associated with the Condo Corporation and multi family living, the documents can provide a lot of insight into the way a particular condominium is run.
Is the document that creates the Condominium Corporation. It contains certain provisions that are mandatory, legislated by the Condominum Act. Some key points to make note that are at the Declaration are:
- Understanding the boundaries of your unit and the occupation / use stipulations you are required to follow. For example, in this section you will find what items may require Board review and approval before you renovate. This may include needing approval for: electrical, plumbing, HVAC or structural changes to your unit. It will also confirm if you are required to hire only trade companies that can provide a current insurance certificate.
- PETS! Are you looking to expand your fur family? Can you have pets? How many? What kind? You can find out if you are allowed to have pets at your Condominium before you fall in fur love and if you need to register your allowed pet(s) with the Corporation.
- If you have in mind that you want to lease your unit, you can find out what does your documents say about subleasing or leasing levy.
- If something breaks in your unit or on the property, you can find out what is maintained by the Condo Corporation and what is to be maintained by the unit owner. These responsibilities are outlined in your Declaration.
- What if something major occurs within your unit such as a water leak? If there is damage, how does the insurance coverage work? Knowing who is liable for repairs and what the Condo Corporation covers will help you in navigating with this type of situation.
- There will come a time when you will need to vote on a number of issues. The Declaration will provide details on voting.
By-Laws are the set of rules established by an organization or community to regulate itself, govern its internal operations and external dealings. By-Laws will speak to more specific things like what the leasing levy amount is, or fine amounts for infractions (if these items are applicable to your building), Board positions, what an AGM agenda should include, and how to give your proxy and/or nominations for such a meeting should you so choose.
Reserve Fund Study
Is the study prepared by a specialist, like an engineer, that determines how much money needs to be in the fund to ensure that repairs can be paid in the future. Understanding your Reserve Fund Study will help you to know what projects are potentiallly coming up for your property and the associated expenses expected for such projects.
In summary, we find that the most peaceful and co-operative living environments are found when neighbours are following the rules and regulations. It’s important to know what the rules are, and to kindly remind each other to abide by them.
by Sabrina Lewis, Property Manager