What is a condo?

A condominium is a private non-profit corporation where a collection of people share ownership in a property. The owners elect a board of directors who monitor and control the management of the property.

A condo owner's property is divided into three tiers. There is the private unit which the owner owns outright. All repairs and maintenance within the private unit is the owner's responsibility.

Then there are exclusive-use elements, usually the balconies, perhaps a terrace and sometimes the unit's parking spot. The unit's residents are the only ones who can use these elements although the corporation, as a whole, owns them and pays to maintain them.

Finally there are the elements of the property that the owners own in common. These include the hallways, elevators, amenities, heating and air conditioning equipment, plumbing systems, roof, windows and the parking garage. The owners must pay their share of the costs to maintain and repair the common elements.

This is a form of home ownership, and an investment, where:
Purchasers own their private units.
The Hazelton Hotel & Residences with
the Four Seasons in the background
They may own a parking spot and locker or have the exclusive use of a  common element parking spot and a locker.
Shared use of the common elements.
(The common elements consist of the hallways, staircases, amenities, roadways, garbage chutes and compactor, boilers, elevators, roofs, outside walls and windows. All of the common elements are listed in the Declaration.)
An owner may enjoy the exclusive use of a designated part of the common elements.
(This may be a balcony or a terrace outside of their apartment or their townhouse front and back yards. Ground floor commercial units may also have exclusive use of outdoor patios and parking spaces.)
The value of your unit can rise or fall depending on how clean and attractive your private unit is but also on how well the common elements have been maintained and on the financial well being of the condominium corporation.
The owners pay monthly common element fees to pay for utilities and the costs of maintaining the common elements, services and amenities and for the reserve funds needed to pay for future major repairs and replacements.
Condominium corporations are controlled by a three to seven member board of volunteer directors that are voted into office by the unit owners. The board enforces the rules and regulations, makes an annual budget, sets the common element fees and mandates special assessments when they are required.
The corporation has an Annual General Meeting where the board of directors report on the activities of the corporation, give the owners the current audited financial report and hold elections for openings on the board of directors. There is one vote per unit.
A condominium corporation is an unlimited liability corporation.

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