There is a unique set of rules, regulations and by-laws that governs every condominium and may be very strict or very relaxed depending on the corporation of the condominium. These are essential in making sure that the condominiums are properly maintained and operated, while defining the rights and obligations of the individual owners. Condominiums may have restrictions on the number of people living in each unit, pets, noise, parking and when certain amenities may be used, while at the same time having respect for the rules regarding individual owners.
Many condominiums have strict rules concerning the alteration of the unit space or its appearance. For example, the condominium corporation may require all the exterior doors of units to be the same colour to keep the architectural and community aspect of the condominium intact. Additionally, you may have to get the permission from the condominium’s Board of Directors before you change exterior fixtures or install a satellite dish, especially as some changes may affect the condominium structure or safety.
Noise is an important consideration, especially for people moving from a single-family dwelling to a multi-unit condominium. Many condominiums have rules regarding what noise levels will be tolerated and at what hours. For example, if you are hosting a party in your unit, you may be asked to turn the music down at a specific hour. You may wish to clarify the rules regarding noise, and if possible, talk to current residents about any noise problems they have experienced in the past and how they were handled.
Individual condominium owners may be obliged to attend condominium meetings or serve on condominium boards and committees. Almost all condominiums have requirements for the payment of monthly condominium fees. There can also be mandatory charges for unforeseen repairs to the condominium common elements.
Ensure you carefully review and consider all rules and obligations when considering the purchase of a condominium. They should be available from the unit’s vendor (the seller), the property manager or the Board of Directors. The rules of the condominium will be clearly outlined in the condominium governing documents, and you should become familiar with them prior to purchasing a particular condominium unit.
While the rules and regulations of condominiums may initially seem to be overly strict, particularly to those used to rental housing or owning their own home, they help to ensure that condominiums are safe and enjoyable communities to live in for all concerned.
Your Guide to Ottawa Condos