Calgary Condo Guide to Condo Corporations
Why is it important when it comes to understanding condominium corporations? Let’s start off with a few of the basics.
What is a condominium corporation?
A condominium corporation is a legal entity consisting of all the unit owners identified in the condominium plan. This condominium plan is submitted to the Alberta Land Titles Office by the building’s developer during registration with the government.
A board of directors made up of unit owners is democratically elected by owners in the building to carry out the associated tasks and responsibilities of the condo corporation. These include decisions on maintenance and condo finances as well as upholding of Condo Act, by-laws, rules and regulations.
A condo corp. can sue someone or a company for damages to common property in the building and be sued by another person, company or other legal entity on any matter for which the owners are reliable for. In regard to such matters, an agent or employee, such as a lawyer, can act on behalf of the condominium corporation.
Bylaws regulate the condo corporation and provide directions for administration, management and control of the buildings units, common property.
They also distinguish differences between common property and personal property, and what owners can or cannot do with those properties.
Every condo board is different and may have bylaws that are quite unlike that of another condo boards. Here are a few examples:
- Example #1 – one high-rise condominium in downtown Calgary might allow up to two dogs as long as they are registered with the condo board, while another beside it may not allow pets at all.
- Example #2 – the same two buildings may differ in how you are to go about renovations on the interior of your unit. One building may require approval from the condo board while the other may not.
Knowing the bylaws for your current building or a prospective building will give you an idea of what your rights and responsibilities are.
Health of a Condo Corporation
When buying a condo you’re not only buying the living space itself, but also a share of ownership in the condominium corporation. When all is well, your building will function and run smoothly and be maintained and managed properly.
When the building is however not managed properly, it can make your unit extremely hard to re-sell. Furthermore, most banks won’t make loans on buildings that don’t have an adequate reserve fund and diligent management as their loan is not properly collaborated in the security of the property.
This is why a professional review of condo documents is essential before making a purchase – to determine the health of a condo corp.
Other side effects of an unhealthy or under-capitalized condominium corporation can include the potential for special assessments where a bill paid by each condominium owner for their proportionate share of the condominiums cash shortfall needed for repairs.
When a special assessment is necessary, condo owners can be pinned with an incredibly expensive bill – sometimes in the tens of thousands of dollars – to pay for repairs. Can you imagine getting a bill for $70,000, for example, and having no choice but to pay it or go into foreclosure?!
Make the Best Decisions
Another integral part of safeguarding your decision is working with an experienced Certified Condominium Specialist (CCS®) and REALTOR®, one who knows the condo market intimately and the ins and outs of buying and selling condo properties.
Be sure to check out our Complete Resale Calgary Condo Guide for several more tips and tricks to buying a condominium in Calgary.
Questions about Condos in Calgary?
As a highly experienced Certified Condo Specialist and REALTOR® in Calgary, I promise to help guide you every step of the way through your condo transaction while taking care of all the details – guaranteed.
Call me anytime at 403-370-4180 or message me below for a prompt response. I am looking forward to helping you accomplish your real estate goals.