Condo boards and bylaws
Living in a condo is a very different from living in a home and owning the land underneath you. You own shares in a condo corporation, and a Board of Directors (BoD) makes most of the decisions on behalf of all owners. They do have a set of bylaws that were created at the time the complex/building was completed, and often a set of rules to further define the bylaws.
The board is the one who approves the budget, although members approve the auditor. Weird, but true. The board can also declare a special levy, (aka special assessment) when needed. Read more about special levies HERE.
Meetings can be held virtually, and there are some condo boards who don’t have meetings, they vote on requests by email. That is quite rare, but it can happen. There will be a requirement to have an annual general meeting once per year, and that is the time owners can ask their BoD questions and get an update on what is happening in their complex/building.
Another fun fact: boards can also levy fines for those in breach of bylaws. That will be outlined in the bylaws.
The bylaws will also let you know if short term rentals are allowed in the complex/building. They cannot restrict renting or leasing your unit – but they can restrict short term, AirBnB, and tenants that do not meet any age restrictions in the building. Your tenant must follow the bylaws, so it is best to give them a copy of the bylaws, or at minimum, highlight the bylaws that could impact them.
Living in a condo is great, because you don’t have to worry about the exterior of the building, or dealing with things like roof repairs or replacement, you are only responsible for what is in your unit. That said, it is important to know and understand your responsibilities as an owner, and the bylaws is a great place to start!
If you are thinking about buying a condo – call me, let’s chat! I own an apartment and townhouse style condo, have been on the boards of each property, so have a very good understanding of the pros and cons of condo living!