THINGS YOU SHOUD KNOW ABOUT CONDOS
As an owner of a condominium, you are part of a Strata Corporation, which is made up of all owners in a building. A strata is the legal ownership of multi-unit complexes. As a strata property owner you have legal title of you unit plus a portion of the common area such as the hallway, gym, garden, parkade and other aminitied in your building.
As a strata owner you pay a monthly fee for the upkeep of the common areas of the building. The fee will depend on the size of the unit and the amenities in the building.
The Strata Corporation of any building has bylaws that govern the responsibilities of the owners. When reviewing the bylaws, it is important to note things suvh as the guideline on rentals, children and pets.
Strata units have what is called a 'contingency fund' where a portion of the monthly maintenance fees goes toward a pool of money that is a safeguard for any major repairs such as roofing, plumbing or exterior painting.
Homeowners elect Strata Council to oversee the goings-on of the building. They hold regular meetings to discuss issues pertaining to the building and for owners to vote on purposed bylaws and building issues.
The Strata Council keeps records of their meetings to record what was discussed, and any issues and resolutions that were made. It is important for a new purchaser to review the minutes in order to know what is happening in the building or complex.
When reviewing the Strata Council minutes, look for:
- The amount of contingency fund
- A maintanance plan
- Any past problems and review how they have been remedied
- Proposed ideas for the building
Talk to owners in the building and ask them about the building, the Strata Concil and the community where you will be living. You can learn more about buying into a strata property by contacting a realtor in your area.