Check regulations before buying your condo

Several condominium directors have informed me that they are very frustrated with new owners who do not check out the corporation rules prior to purchasing, especially parking availability. This practice not only leads to unauthorized parking but also creates chaos and severe headaches for everyone involved, especially for the directors who are responsible for enforcing the rules. For instance, I once witnessed a family with four vehicles move into a unit that only provided parking for two. This family assumed the visitor parking area was available to park their extra vehicles. This was a foolish assumption as visitor parking is off limits to owners. These people had no other choice but to find alternative parking off the complex.

Condominiums built in Ontario have a number of ways that provide a unit owner with rights to a particular parking area. Parking spaces may sometimes seem very complicated because of the different types available. The following are some of the most common:

• Exclusive use portion of the common elements are specific parking spaces that are allocated in the condominium declaration to be used by the owners of the specific condominium units. Owners in most cases are free to lease but cannot sell these spaces.


• Parking units are spaces owned by individual unit owners. These spaces are often subject to lease and sale restrictions that are outlined in the condominium declaration.

• Assigned parking spaces are spaces that some condominium declarations permit the condominium board of directors to allocate for the use of occupants of the residential or commercial units. If the board of directors has assigned designated parking spaces from time to time pursuant to the condominium declaration, there may be restrictions or conditions. If there are a limited number of parking spaces at the condominium, it is even more important that such conditions or restrictions are reasonable in order to be valid.

• Unassigned parking spaces, outlined in some condominium declarations, are silent regarding allocation of parking and this creates a free-for-all with the respect to parking spaces.

• Leased common elements parking are parking areas other than exclusive use common elements the condominium corporation may lease to individual unit owners. Before any such lease can be entered into, it must be authorized by a bylaw of the condominium corporation.

Before you sign on the dotted line, carefully read the condominium declaration and confirm with your lawyer that there is sufficient parking for all your needs. Good luck! marilyn lincoln for New Homes