In our previous post, the Document Checklist for Buying a New Condo, we gave you an overview of the necessary paperwork that comes with your purchase of a new condo. Since there’s plenty of information to take in, we’ll look at each one a little more closely.
Read on to learn more about the condominium plan, one of the most important and useful documents you’ll want to understand.
What is a Condominium Plan?
When a condo building is built, it needs to be registered with Land Titles Office, and the documentation of this is called a condominium plan. This registration then creates a condo corporation, of which each condo unit owner is considered a part of. While a condo corporation is an individual legal entity, the power and responsibilities can be enacted by an elected board of directors.
Beyond this, a condominium plan is required to include information that will be relevant to you as a condo unit owner. Before you buy, you should be given access to this plan so you can review the information and decide if it’s the right place for you to live.
What Does it Include?
Unit boundaries refer to the size of each condo unit. The condo plan will also indicate the boundaries of "common" property that you, as the unit owner, will have exclusive ownership of (such as a balcony or storage unit.) This will tell you exactly what is included with your purchase of a unit.
Condo living involves paying condo fees, but they aren't always the same for all unit owners. The cost of condo fees for each unit is determined by what is called a unit factor.
Unit factors are measures that correspond to the size of each unit, and your condo fee contribution will depend on this. This means the owner of a larger condo unit may pay more in condo fees than the owner of a smaller one.
Similar to unit boundaries, property boundaries refer to the size of the whole condo development. The condo plan will give you a description of the land boundaries, including roads and utilities in the development.
This may be especially important if you’re considering purchasing a unit in a condo development that’s still under construction, so you’ll know what the finished product will look like in relation to the surrounding area.
A condo plan is also required to have a few other documents filed along with it. These documents are referred to as “certificates” completed by professionals and are confirmations of legal requirements. This includes:
- Boundaries & Easements – a certificate of a land surveyor. It ensures the condos’ land boundaries comply with the Surveys Act. This is needed to show that no infringements on neighbouring properties exist.
- Unit & Post Tension Cables – certificate of an architect, engineer, or land surveyor. This confirms that the units presented in the condo plan match those existing on the property, and where post-tension cables can be found in the building.
- Approval of Proposed Division – certificate of the municipal authority. This document will be signed by a municipal authority to confirm the division of individual units within the single building is approved.
Why is it Important?
When making large purchases, such as a new condo, the related documents are always important. A condominium plan is especially important because condo ownership is not the same as other forms of home ownership.
You’ll want to have a clear idea of your unit boundaries to know exactly what you own, and you’ll want to confirm all the legal requirements of the condo development have been met to avoid future complications.
Your condo unit will be registered in your name, but you’ll also have shared ownership of common property throughout the building. Be sure to read through the condominium plan prior to purchasing, so you are absolutely sure about your responsibilities as a unit owner. That way, the only surprise you may encounter after purchase is how much easier your life really is in a low-maintenance condo!