Download our condominium document review checklist here.
Buying a condominium is a unique way to own real estate. They offer a mix of private and shared ownership. You generally own the portion of the property in which your living unit is located and share ownership of the common areas (such as hallways and yards) with the other owners of your condominium complex. Since ownership of the common property is shared among a number of owners, there are a number of rules and regulations that affect how you can use your condominium.
Many condominiums have bylaws that impose restrictions on its occupants. For example, some require occupants to be a certain age and others imposes restrictions on pet ownership. Additionally, since you share ownership of common areas, condominium corporations have to adopt budgets and collect condo fees to pay for day-to-day operations and save money for future repairs on items such as the roof, exterior finishes, and underground parkades.
It is important to understand if anything about the condominium that may affect how you use the property or if there is anything about the building that could have a financial impact on you. For example, if the condominium corporation has not been setting aside much money for repairs, there is a possibility you will wind up paying a special assessment at some point in the future.
When buying a condominium, you are usually given a stack of documents to review before deciding whether or not to move forward with your purchase. These documents include items such as by-laws, reserve fund studies, minutes of meetings of the board of directors, and financial statements. Sometimes it is difficult to decide where to start when reviewing these condominium documents.
Colistro Law has developed a Condominium Document Review Checklist to help identify some of the key issues to investigate when performing a review of your condominium documents. Although a checklist cannot possibly identify every issue that may be relevant to your condominium purchase, this checklist provides an excellent starting point for your analysis and can help you identify issues for which you need to seek additional information before deciding whether or not to move forward with your purchase.