For some homeowners, buying a condo has its appeal, whether it’s located in a convenient place or not needing to worry about snow shovelling. But you also need to be aware that there are certain rules that need to be followed, especially since you’re living in much closer proximity to your neighbours.
Boomers and Millennials are fuelling the booming condo construction and there also a more affordable investment option for someone looking to own property that they can live in or rent out.
If you’re looking to buy a condo, one important aspect of ownership is how a condominium corporation works and what your role is as a condo owner.
You might think it’s not important, but how a condo is run makes a difference to your condominium fees, your use of common areas, along with any rules or regulations that you’re expected to abide by.
Who handles the day-to-day operations
Before purchasing, you’ll want to know what the management structure is ahead of time. Condos can either hire a property management company to handle the day-to-day affairs or the condo may be “self-managed” by the board of directors. Some of the tasks handled by condo management include maintaing common areas, including ensuring that utility bills for the spaces are paid for; snow and garbage removal and ensuring the condo’s HVAC is maintained and operational.
Most condos rely on property management firms since when it’s self-managed, the day-to-day affairs are run by volunteers and they may not have enough time to ensure everything is running smoothly. Condo owners would save money through self-management.
The condo’s board of directors are made up of individual condo owners who are nominated to join the board. The board of directors is responsible for running the condo, including deciding on property upgrades or repairs, finances and the building’s policies.
While the board of directors make some of the building’s decisions, condo owners still have a say when they vote on certain decisions. How many votes a condo owner has depends on ownership, which varies from a vote per unit or proportion of the unit compared to the condo (otherwise known as the unit factor).
When a vote is needed to make a decision, there needs to be a certain percentage of condo owners present at the meeting, known as quorum. It’s in your best interest to be involved so you can have a say with how the condo is run since it will affect your condo fee payments or your use of the common facilities.
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