Strata or condo living is not for everyone. However, it is often the most affordable option for people wanting to get into the real estate market in pricier urban areas. Condos are also good options for those ready to downsize and cash out the equity in their homes to make their retirement years more enjoyable and manageable financially.
Communal-type living requires all residents to be aware of their obligations, not just their rights as owners. Here is where being a good neighbour is of critical importance especially when an owner hopes to remain happily in their condo for many years to come.
When shopping for a condo, make sure you take advantage of the two years of strata council and AGM/SGM minutes you are entitled to review. Read them carefully as they are the best source of information about how the strata corporation is run and what kinds of potential costs (both financial and personal) you may be facing in the first few years of your ownership.
It is also important to read the Strata Corporation Bylaws and any Rules or policies that are in place. Don’t rely blindly on your realtor to tell you about any little surprises that might be contained in the bylaws or rules. That’s not their job. You have to take some responsibility to protect your own interests by at least reviewing the minutes and the bylaws before you buy. These are the laws that will apply to you as soon as you become an owner. Become as knowledgeable as you can before you actually remove your subjects and conclude the deal.
If you have a question about how any of the strata corporation’s ‘laws’ might affect you down the road, get some legal advice. It will be worth it. The purchase of any home is a significant investment but people often spend more time researching their big screen TV options than they do their housing options.
In our blog articles, we try to present and discuss different issues that could become expensive legal problems for condo owners. If you have an idea for a blog article, or a burning question relating to strata corporations, please let us know.