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Frequently Asked Questions from Condo Owners

November 05, 2013
FAQ
Not sure of the answer to a burning question?  Perhaps the answer is in one of our downloadable E-Guides.  We’d love to hear from our clients and prospective clients about what you need help understanding.  Drop us a note and we’ll see if we can help!  In the meantime, here are some frequently asked and misunderstood concepts:

What are the responsibilities of the owners?

Enjoyment of a condominium lifestyle depends on respecting the rights of those who live in close proximity and knowing and following the bylaws and rules.  In addition, owners should:

  • attend or provide their proxy to the Annual General Meeting to elect the Board of Directors and contribute to the decision making process for the corporation
  • pay property taxes for their individual unit
  • ensure adequate insurance to cover personal property, contents of their unit as well as personal liability coverage as an individual
  • keep Documents such as budget and fee schedule, notice of Annual General Meeting and the prior AGM minutes, audited financial statements and insurance certificates provided every year and Reserve Fund Studies and Declaration, Bylaws and Rules provided if they change.  Owners are responsible for keeping this information and providing to realtors when selling a unit.  If documents are not kept, there will be a cost to owners to have them reproduced. (link to Documents, Certificates and Forms)

 

What is the Board of Directors’ role?

The Board of Directors are owners elected by owners of the Condominium Corporation at an Annual General Meeting.  They exercise all of the powers, and carry out all of the duties of the Corporation including:

  • administering the affairs of the Corporation
  • maintaining the common property
  • setting policies and programs, making rules and regulations for the community
  • enforcing all requirements of the Corporation’s declaration, bylaws and rules and the provincial Property Acts
  • setting the Corporation’s budget and collecting the required amounts from the owners

 

What do condo fees cover?

Condominium fees are paid monthly and are based on the Corporation’s annual budget for shared common expenses.  Each owner pays a portion of the budget based on their unit factor.  These expenses vary widely depending on the building and amenities available like pools, concierge services and exterior features, etc.  They can include:

  • maintenance expenses of the corporation such as landscaping, snow removal and waste removal
  • common area repairs, insurance and utilities and in some cases individual utilities
  • contributions to reserve funds which is money set aside to fund major repairs and replacement of property components and systems that deteriorate over time

If the fees budgeted are not sufficient to meet the common expenses, the corporation may assess and collect a special contribution to cover the additional anticipated expenses in addition to the monthly condo fees.

The annual budget is initially developed by management in consultation with the Board of Directors. The Board reviews the budget in detail, makes adjustments and approves it. Resident safety and property values must be protected and budgets must consider these responsibilities first before popularity. Directors are owners too and must pay the same fees therefore share overall concern.

Larlyn uses its national purchasing power to negotiate favourable pricing in numerous bulk purchase arrangements within our Approved Vendor Relationships. Effective internal controls and contractor supervision help ensure maximum value. Competitive bidding on contracts and purchase/work orders help ensure that costs are kept as low as possible. We work diligently with the Board to provide the necessary services, meet statutory requirements and perform the required maintenance and repair while keeping costs reasonable so as to ensure that the condominium corporation offers superior value and fees remain competitive in the real estate marketplace.