Condo Talk

September 25, 2015

So you’re planning on purchasing a condo and you’ve been doing a lot of research online. While you’ve found some great information, every now and then you come across words that are alien to you. Condo jargon is frequently tossed around by realtors, property managers and real estate bloggers, but terms like 'reserve fund' and 'common elements' hold little meaning if you’re new to the condo scene. Hopefully this brief condo terminology list will make your purchasing process a little easier.

Amenities: Useful features and cool extras that add to your building’s attractiveness and value. This includes pools, outdoor spaces, barbeques, party rooms and more.

Board of Directors: Each condo has a Board of Directors that is elected by and made up of unit owners. The Board is responsible for administration and management of the condominium corporation, including policy and finances, and decisions about maintenance of communal property. 

Closing: The final step in purchasing a condo. This is when you receive the title to your home.

Common Elements/Common Property: Common elements or common property are the things or spaces in a condominium not owned by an individual unit purchaser. They are shared and co-owned by all the individual owners of the condominium corporation. Common elements or property include corridors, elevators, recreational facilities, lobbies, heating and air conditioning systems, and parking.

Condominium Fees: A monthly fee paid by each homeowner. This money goes towards the operation and upkeep of the common elements.

Condominium Property Act: This is an act of legislation that regulates most aspects of condo formation, purchasing, living in, and governance. Each condo document has to follow this Act which, in Ontario, is in theory the responsibility of the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations. Each province has its own act because housing is a provincial jurisdiction.

Declaration: The constitution of the condo that effectively creates the building and sets out the responsibilities of the owners and the corporation.

Interim Occupancy: The occupancy of a proposed unit before you receive the title to your home.

Reserve Fund: This is a fund set up by the condo corporation as a “when things in the building break” fund. This money is used to cover the costs of major repairs and replacement of the common property elements over time.

If you’re hoping to move closer to downtown Toronto, give us a call. Plaza specializes in modern condo developments, and we can help you out with condo terminology, too!