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New to the Condo Way of Life? Watch Out For These Common Rules!

New to the condominium way of life? Unsure of what rules you may need to abide by? If so, this article may be for you!

As a unit owner, you are required to abide by both the condominium act and the governing documents of the condominium corporation in which you inhabit. While the condominium act is stagnant for all condo associations, the governing documents for your specific association may differ depending on circumstances. There are however some common issues that these documents may address, as described below.

Nuisances:

It would not be incorrect in assuming that you or your companions have been disturbed by some unnervingly loud sounds from the individuals next door at some point, causing lost sleep, irritation and maybe even some grey hair within your unit. This is described as a nuisance. The condominium act, as well as your governing documentation includes regulations on what are considered nuisances and punishments based on the severity and eligibility of your case. It also may describe what actions you must take if you experience such inconveniences. Nuisances do not only include noise, but also matters like odors, smoke & vapor, light, and noise & vibrations that disrupt the quality of life of the individuals around you.

Garbage Disposal:

It may seem obvious, but in most cases you cannot dump your trash in the hallway. The condominium documentation should address how unit owners are required to dispose of their garbage. In nearly all situations, most condo associations ask that garbage is disposed through a garbage chute, unless the item is carboard or large, where there would be an accessible garbage room.

Pets and Animals:

One of the most controversial topics in condominium rules is the issue of pets and animals. This section of the document outlines what types of pets are allowed in the building and how many of those pets are permitted within each unit. In relation to the number of pets, most condominium associations restrict individuals from breeding their pets as well. In condos that allow pets, there are restrictions in place for the behavior of pets, for example the limiting of certain areas to walking cats and dogs. Owners may also be required to vaccinate their pets, for safety reasons. Believe it or not, rules against pets can be enforced by law, for example when an 89-year-old woman was attacked by a dog let loose from its leash in her condo and was awarded costs when she attempted to sue the condominium corporation in a court of law.

Architectural Maintenance:

Architectural maintenance rules protect the architectural integrity of the building. This means that in most circumstances, unit owners are not permitted to alter the structural base of the common areas. These by-laws should not only explain what is allowed in outer areas, but also within each individual unit. If a unit owner wishes to start a renovation on their said unit, or even hang a hot pink curtain for their daughter, for example, they must submit a written proposal to the relevant board of directors in their condominium and await written eligibility approval before commencing the project.

We can guide you through the various complex by-laws associated with your respective condominium regulations. This material is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice and is solely in accordance with the laws of Ontario. To book a consultation with Buzaker law firm regarding rules on your condominium, contact us at: info@vblegal.ca or 905 (370) – 0484.


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