Businesses in condo units
Most residential condo Declarations have a provision that the units
must be only used for single-family residences. (I would never buy a
unit in a condo that does not have that provision.)
Types of businesses
Some owners or renters run commercial business offices out of
residential condo units. These include mortgage brokers, small law
offices, construction and landscaping offices, import/export companies.
Some owners use residental units for unlicenced commercial bakeries and
catering companies. Others run boarding or rooming houses or illegal
day care centres, mosques and churches in residential
units. Others offer personal services such as hair dressing, tattoo
parlours, music, dance and language lessons.
Textile sweat shops
A few owners may operate industrial sewing machines in their units. The
constant noise will upset the neighbours.
Some condo units contain body rub parlours, majhong tables,
bootleggers, brothels, drug dealers,
grow-ops and drug labs.
are not paying commercial real estate taxes. This is
costing the city millions in lost revenue.
| These businesses
may not meet required municipal safety and fire codes.
| The employees and
customers create parking problems.
| The extra traffic
prematurely wears out the common elements such as the carpets and the
| The condo will
have higher utilities and waste removal costs that are shared with the
| There may be an
increase in security issues.
| The condo may
face insurance problems.
| Noise may be
It is the board's responsibility to close these commercial activities
in the residental units.
Failure to act when this first becomes a
problem may cause serious difficulties later on when the number of
residents running businesses and rooming houses out of their units
become so numerous, they can prevent the board from taking action
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