Glossary of Condo Terms
If you want to understand how a condominium is run it is recommended that you become familiar with the terms listed below.
- BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- A board, elected in accordance with the Condominium Corporation Act and By-laws, that consists of 3 persons or a greater number for a period of 3 years or less as specified by the by-laws. (Our board has 5 directors)
- Standard rules regarding a condominium corporation's internal operations that involve governing, establishing procedures, borrowing, remuneration for directors and other regulatory matters. (We have passed some by-laws)
- COMMON AREA
- The area used by two or more tenants, and/or third parties, which is not under the control of any one tenant, i.e., lobbies, corridors, stairways, elevators, washrooms in lobby area.
- COMMON ELEMENTS
- The boundary of a unit described as the outer edge. The exterior brick or door identifies the commencement of common elements which are regulated by the Board of Directors of the Condominium Corporation or authorized manager. One or more owners may have exclusive use of selected common elements, such as parking spaces or lockers.
- COMMON EXPENSES
- A term used with the cost of operating, managing, maintaining and repairing the common elements including administration. i.e., bulk measured utilities, maintenance and capital expenditures.
**Note: Payment of these expenses can be enforced by a lien registered against the defaulting owner's unit.
- CONDO FEES
- Each unit owner is responsible for a proportionate share of common expenses relating to common area and common elements and reserve fund. As a guideline, the allocation of ownership and responsibility for common expenses are in direct proportion to the unit size in relation to the total size of all units. (Click here for calculation)
- Each owner holds title to a specific unit as well as owning a share of the common property. A condominium may be an apartment, a row of townhouses, a detached or semi-detached unit or a vacant lot.
- The constitution of the condominium that effectively creates the condominium and sets out the responsibilities of the owners and the corporation. (Read our declaration)
- PROPERTY MANAGER
- The property manager handles the day-to-day running of the condominium, such as hiring of staff, maintenance and repairs. The property manager is under contract to the condominium corporation. A representative from the property management company usually attends board meetings. Some condominiums may not have a property manager. These are sometimes referred to as self-managed condominiums. The Board of Directors, with the help of volunteers, will assume responsibility for the day-to-day management in these cases.
- RESERVE FUND
- A fund set up by the condominium corporation as a special account, in trust, for major repair and replacement of common elements and assets of the corporation. i.e., roofs, exterior finishes, sidewalks, electrical, heating and plumbing systems, and recreational/parking facilities
- RESERVE FUND STUDY
- A study to determine whether the amount of money in the fund and the amount of contributions collected, to date, are adequate. (Read more)
- Directions and regulations developed by a condominium corporation that promote the safety, security, and welfare of owners, property, and assets of the corporation, and prevent unreasonable interferences with the use and enjoyment of common elements.
(All residents should know the rules)
- SPECIAL ASSESSMENT
- When a condominium incurs expenses for projects or repairs that have not been budgeted for, the individual homeowners are assessed for the cost of the repair or the intended project.
A well run and maintained condominium rarely has the need for special assessments.
- STATUS CERTIFICATE
- A document containing information regarding the operational, legal and financial dimensions of the condominium corporation.
The information contained within this document is vital from a buyer's perspective.
(Example of a status certificate)