What should you know about condominium ownership and living.
Condominium ownership is a lifestyle alternative which is becoming increasingly popular and accepted throughout North America, particularly among individuals and couples who no longer wish to contend with the cost and inconvenience of maintaining a single-family home. In many respects this form of ownership combines the best of two worlds - the financial security and benefits of home ownership with the freedom from maintenance responsibilities associated with single-family homes. When you buy your condominium unit you receive outright ownership and legal title - this part of your purchase is no different than if you are buying any other home and you are free to sell or finance your residence as you please. In addition to owning your unit, you share ownership in the common areas of your building through your Condominium Corporation.
What do I own?
You own your individual dwelling unit and any surface parking stall plus a proportionate share of all common areas of the building. Certain common areas such as balconies, covered parking stalls and storage lockers are owned and maintained by the Condominium Corporation but are designated for your exclusive use.
What is a Condominium Corporation?
A Condominium Corporation is constituted under the laws of the Province of Saskatchewan and is responsible for the management of the condominium. Every homeowner in a condominium community is a member of the Corporation. A Board of Directors is elected by the homeowners of the community to oversee the activities of the Corporation in accordance with its Bylaws.
What are Bylaws?
Every Condominium Corporation must have Bylaws which are the constitution of the Corporation and govern its responsibilities and actions. Homeowners receive a copy of the Bylaws when they purchase a condominium unit and agree to abide by them.
Who provides ongoing maintenance and management of the property?
This may be provided by the members of the Condominium Corporation themselves. Alternatively, some Condominium Corporations engage a property management firm to perform ongoing and day-to-day management.
Who pays the common costs of the condominium and what is included?
The homeowners do - each paying an assigned and proportionate share. An operating budget is prepared annually and each owner is then assessed their share of common costs in the form of a monthly condo fee.This fee covers such items as:
- Central hot water heating
- Building and liability insurance
- Garbage collection and snow removal
- Elevator maintenance
- Common area maintenance
- Water and sewer
- Common area lighting
- Replacement reserve fund