Condominium Living: there is more to it than just moving in



What is so great about the condominium lifestyle? This question can be answered by asking and answering other questions, such as: 
  • What is a condominium? 
  • What is the role of the board? 
  • What is the purpose of FirstService Residential? 
  • What are the responsibilities of the owners? 
 
Let's answer these questions so you know what to expect when moving into a condominium. 
 

What is a condominium?

A condominium is, in its essence, a type of real property ownership. Each owner owns the unit to which they hold title and jointly owns a portion of all the non-unit or joint property. A volunteer board of directors are the ones responsible for maintaining and operating the property. The owners generally elect these board of directors at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).
 
There are several types of condominiums:  
  • Residential apartments;
  • Townhouses;
  • Single-family dwellings;
  • Commercial spaces (offices and retail operations).
 

What does the board do? 

The board are representatives for the owners. They have the important responsibility of deciding on corporation policies, programs, and budgets. This requires numerous board meetings where they take the time to go through each part of their agenda, including: 
  • How to administer the corporation's affairs;
  • Ways to maintain the common property;
  • Making new rules and policies as required; 
  • Enforcing corporation bylaws;
  • Creating and adhering to the corporation's annual budget 
 
 
 

What is the role of FirstService Residential?

As professional community managers, FirstService Residential turns the board's policy and program decisions into reality. We work closely with the board to ensure that tasks are organized and fully executed for the community's betterment. This includes: 
  • Contracting landscaping;
  • Snow removal;
  • Common property repairs;
  • Maintenance
 
We collect the operating funds at the board's direction, invest the reserve fund contributions, pay the bills, and ensure compliance with the bylaws. We are your partners that want to help you succeed in every area, including the finances and administrative functions. 
 

What are the responsibilities of the owners?

The owners should have involvement and say in the process. If you have the time and capability to volunteer on the board of directors, do so. It will be an eye-opening experience!
 
When living in a condominium environment, there are many rules. These are implemented for the safety and comfortability of all homeowners and residents and enforced by community managers. Every owner or resident should have a copy of the bylaws. This helps everyone understand the corporation's responsibility and what an owner can and cannot do within its condominium's jurisdiction. A simple example is deciding to make exterior alterations. If it involves the deconstruction of the property, you will generally not be allowed to do so unless you have written approval from the board. In other cases, there may be bylaws that do not allow pets in the condominium or only allow specific pets with limited sizes. 
 
To find out what exists for your community, contact FirstService Residential. To learn how a community management company adds value, read here.

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