If you are considering buying a condo, be it an apartment, a townhouse or a bareland condo, it is important to understand that each condo complex in Alberta comes with its own set of rules, called the bylaws of a condominium corporation or the condo bylaws. If you are interested in a certain unit or condo, it is important to know what exactly is in the bylaws of that specific condo complex, as these rules will generally speaking, be enforced by the condo boards. A few of the most common rules we encounter in the condo bylaws regard pet restrictions, age restrictions, interior finishing restrictions, and restrictions on the use of outdoor spaces.
The following are examples. Some condo bylaws allow pets, some don’t and some only allow certain pets or only pets up to certain weight. Another important rule could be age restriction. If there is any age restriction in place, it is usually 18+, 21+ or 40+, but we have seen examples of 30+ as well. And yes, it has occurred where people bought a condo with a new born or while pregnant and moved in to find out that the building is 18+ and the baby “is not allowed”. Other examples are the non-allowance of satellite dishes, barbecues, bikes or clothing lines on balconies, no hardwood flooring, no “for sale” signs etc. It is maybe hard to imagine, but the rules in these condo bylaws are strictly enforced by condo boards and most will not hesitate to start a legal suit against the unit owner if he or she does not cohere to the rules.
It is important to know the condo bylaws before you purchase a condo as they might influence you immediately or down the road. Make very sure you get all the condo documents (including the condo bylaws) that must be provided by the seller ahead of time for you to review. This can be done by putting a condition in the offer to purchase. We highly recommend bringing all the documents to a condominium document review company that is specialized in reading and interpreting these documents. This specialist will explain to you what is and what isn’t allowed in the condo complex, so you are fully informed before you waive your condition and make your purchase firm.
Besides the bylaws, a condo building also comes with financials. Read more about condo fees and financials of a condo building.
For any additional information or names of condo review companies, send us an email or call, anytime.
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