Condos are becoming an increasingly popular choice for homeownership in Canada. Many people are intrigued by the idea of living in a community where there is a shared common space and maintenance is professionally handled. But what is a condo corporation, and what does it mean to you as a condo buyer? In this blog post, we’ll answer those questions and more. If you’re looking at condos for sale in Toronto or any other place, then we hope you find this blog post helpful. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about condo corporations.
What is a condo corporation, and what do they do for condo owners?
A condo corporation is a legal body that represents the interests of the collective owners of units that make up a condominium. These are usually regulated by things like Ontario’s Condominium Act of 1998. Though a condominium, or condo, is often referred to as an individual unit or home, it is actually the entire building of independently-owned units and shares ownership of common elements. It’s one reason why condos sometimes get compared to apartments. The owners of each unit then share the costs of running and maintaining the property’s common elements.
How are condo corporations structured and run?
The condominium owners are responsible for electing their board of directors at their general meeting held every year. Owners will either elect another member (unit owner) or volunteer to join the board. Depending on the corporation’s bylaws, there will be between three and seven board members elected.
Directors of a condominium corporation have an obligation to act truthfully and in good faith. It is critical they do not put their interests ahead of the condo members and serve the well-being of the condominium corporation.
In general, the board of directors for a condo corporation is made up of several positions, including:
The treasurer is in charge of the condo corporation’s various accounts, including bank accounts, reserve funds, and investments. They are often one of the people who sign the cheques. The treasurer also reconciles the corporation’s budget and usually, with the help of the property manager and others, plans for the condo corporation’s monetary needs by helping arrange the finances to benefit the corporation.
The secretary represents the board in communicating with the property owners and service providers. They plan and schedule meetings and are in charge of the minutes from each meeting. The secretary also keeps track of the condo corporation’s calendar and activities, as well as makes sure the insurance of common elements is up-to-date, and that the unit owners are covered.
The vice-president is essentially an assistant to the president. They may represent the president in their absence, and sign off on materials and messages with the secretary. The vice-president completes tasks approved by the board.
The president is the executive officer and acts as the general manager. They create a regular meeting schedule as well as schedule any additional meetings. The president signs all important documents such as reports, contracts, and business statements of the board of directors. They also assign tasks to board members that may not be detailed and hire contractors and employees. The president also makes sure all tasks are completed, and most importantly, answers to the condominium board on all business matters.
Maintaining a condominium can be a full-time job. Many condo boards will hire a third-party management company to handle the day-to-day maintenance. This makes the job easier for the board members but still leaves them in power to make decisions and hold responsibility.
What are the rules and regulations that govern condo complexes?
Each condominium complex has a set of rules and regulations called ‘Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions,’ or CC&R’s, and can also be known as ‘declarations.’ The condo corporation enforces these rules with the intention of maintaining common elements and establishing authorized behaviours for the condominium.
Here is a list of things that might be mentioned in the condominium’s CC&R’s:
- common and recreational areas, such as condo pools
- trash/garbage disposal
- noise levels
- vehicles and parking
- maintaining the architecture of units.
Failure to comply with the condo corporation’s rules and regulations may result in a penalty. First, unit owners may get a written warning and a fine. If the occurrence happens again, the fine may be higher. If the fines go unpaid, it could cause a lien on the unit owner’s property.
Condo corporations are important for their owners’ well-being and financial security, and keep everything running smoothly. By understanding how they are structured and what their rules and regulations are, you can be a more informed condo owner and participant in your condo corporation. If you have any questions about your condominium corporation, don’t hesitate to reach out to its board or property manager.