Buying a Condo: Know the Rules

Rachel Loizos in Legal

Finding the right space for your lifestyle is usually a challenge, but finding out too late that you can’t use your space how you want is frustrating. Before you commit to purchasing a condo unit, make sure you have reviewed the rules. Some examples of the items that the condo rules will detail are as follows:

  • Forbidding barbeques on balconies/terraces
  • Forbidding the installation of satellite dishes
  • Controlling the colour of drapes your unit may have
  • Restricting any kind of changes to the interior of your unit
  • Forbidding commercial/business uses of the unit
  • Tenancy requirements should you decide to rent your unit
  • Controlling the type/style of flooring to control noise transmission to lower units

The cost for non-compliance can be high as the condo corporation has the right to obtain a court order to force you to comply. You may also get stuck with their legal costs in the matter. Before you submit an offer, you should request a copy of the rules for the condo and review them to see if there is any restricted activity that would affect you. Unfortunately, this is not always something that your agent is going to be able to help you with. As an example, the condo that you are interested may have a restriction on the parking of commercial vehicles in the parking lot. Your agent may not know that your girlfriend owns a catering company and will expect to park her emblazoned delivery truck in your spot. If you don’t review the rules in advance, you may have a problem that you won’t know about until after the transaction has closed.

Rachel Loizos is an associate lawyer at Sotos LLP in Toronto. She practices in the areas of real estate, corporate and commercial law, estate planning and administration.
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