Condo and Townhome Ownership
Strata titled property
The term strata titled property refers to a form of legal ownership, as opposed to a style of construction. Strata held properties are most often thought of as high-rise residential buildings, but this form of ownership can also apply to townhouse complexes, individual houses and low-rise residential buildings.
What you will own
When you a purchase a condo or townhome you will own the unit you dwell in as well as a percentage of the common property elements in the development.
Common property components of a building:
- Recreational facilities
- Central heating and air conditioning systems
- Parking facilities
Maintenance duties for the strata corporation
The strata council of a development has a responsibility to maintain and repair the components of the development.
Items the strata may be responsible to repair:
- Common plumbing, electrical and heating and air-conditioning systems
- Roof and wall repairs
- Windows and doors-repairs and replacement
- Grounds cutting, watering
- Parking areas
- Any other part of the property that is not part of a unit
Each owner in a strata held property will pay a monthly strata fee to pay a portion portion of the operating expenses of the common property elements.
The maintenance fees often include:
- Property management fees
- Building repair and maintenance
- Salaries of any strata held property employees (e.g. superintendent, security guards, concierge)
- Amenities (e.g. use of pool, recreational facilities, party room)
- The corporation’s insurance policies
Rules and restrictions imposed on strata held properties
Every Strata held property is governed by its own unique rules, regulations and by-laws. These may be very strict or very relaxed depending on the nature of the strata corporation. Rules are restrictions ensure that properties are properly operated and maintained, and protect rights of the individual owners.
Common rules and restrictions within a strata property:
- The number of occupants per unit
- When certain amenities may be used
- Number of rentals allowed in the building
Many strata held properties have strict rules concerning the alteration of the unit space or its appearance. For example, the strata corporation may require all the exterior doors of units to be the same colour to keep the architectural and community aspect of the strata held property intact. Additionally, you may have to get the permission from the strata’s Board of Directors before you change exterior fixtures or install a satellite dish, especially as some changes may affect the property’s structure or safety.
If you are interested in purchasing a strata held property, or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact Liz Penner at 604-376-3350.