Retirement Condominiums: What You Need to Know about Rules and BylawsThinking about taking the plunge, selling your house and moving into a retirement condo? Condominium living can be an attractive choice—finally, no more lawn care and exterior painting!—but understanding all the rules and regulations that come with that choice can be daunting.
Before you buy a retirement condominium unit, you should take the time to:
Review the retirement condominium’s bylaws. Bylaws set out how the retirement condominium is run. They often address matters such as the collection of condo fees, the election and responsibilities of the board of directors, and how meetings are run and rules passed. Check your province’s or territory’s condominium legislation to find out exactly what bylaws are permitted to cover. (Note: A few provinces don’t differentiate between bylaws and rules.)
Review the retirement condominium’s rules. Rules deal with day-to-day life in a retirement condo. They often cover issues such as pets, parking, noise and how many occupants are allowed in each unit. As well, they can address what may or may not be permitted on a balcony or deck and when the retirement condo’s amenities, such as its exercise room or rooftop terrace, may be used.
Speak with the retirement condominium’s residents. You can get a good sense of just how strict the rules are in a particular retirement condo by chatting with some of its current residents. Ask them if there have been any issues over pets, parking and odours, for instance, and how they were resolved.
Understand your voting rights. Once you own a unit in a retirement condo, you are automatically entitled to vote at meetings—and have a say in how the condominium corporation is run. Before signing an agreement of purchase and sale, ask your real estate lawyer how your voting rights are determined.
by Sara Bedal
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Have you purchased a retirement condominium? What did you learn about rules and bylaws? Share your experience in the comments section below.