Questions & Answers

Q. What are By-Laws and how do they affect me as an owner?
A. All Condominium Corporations must adopt the by-laws guided by the Condominium Property Act Of Alberta. However, Corporations (owners) may have their own amendments or interpretations of by-laws put in place as long as these do not conflict with "The Act". All owners must abide by these by-laws.

Q. What are my condominium fees paying for?
A. A portion of the condominium fees is used for the day to day operating expenses of the Corporation and also monthly contributions to the Reserve Fund (the Corporations (savings account). The Board Of Directors is supplied with monthly financial statements and at year-end, an audited statement is provided to the owners.

Q. What happens if I don't make my condominium fee payment?
A. The Condominium Corporation has the authority to charge extra interest in addition to the amount owed (in arrears) and if it persists, you may have a "caveat" placed on the title of your unit, preventing sale of the property.

Q. Can I offer my unit for rental after purchase?
A. Rentals are permitted with proper notice given to the corporation in writing and particulars stated. If the owner of the unit does not pay their condo fees, the corporation can direct the tenant to pay all or part of the rent to the corporation.

Q. How do I become a member of The Board Of Directors?
A. At every Annual General Meeting, the existing board members step down and a new board is elected by the ownership.

Q. Can I have a pet?
A. All condominium corporations have their own by-laws and rules regarding pets. Sometimes pets are allowed with a size restriction. At all times owners must request, in writing to the Board of Directors, permission for the pet.

Q. Who is responsible for exterior maintenance and landscaping?
A. The Condominium Corporation is responsible for including these cost items in the yearly budget, which are paid for through the monthly condominium fees.

Q. Do I automatically have a parking space allotted at time of purchase?
A. Some Corporations have assigned parking stalls while some are Titled Stalls included with ownership. The Corporation condominium plan will indicate ownership.

Q. Who do I call in case of an emergency regarding the building?
A. If you have a Management company, they have someone on-call 24 hours a day. If not, your Board of Directors will advise whom to contact.

Q. Can I install a hardwood floor?
A. Your by-laws would be the place to go for this answer, as many Corporations differ regarding requirements for installation of flooring i.e.: sound barrier and method of installation. A request, in writing, for same to the Board of Directors.

Q. Do I need insurance on my suite since The Corporation already has insurance?
A. Yes. The Corporation Insurance covers only the building replacement. The owner must have their own insurance in case for personal contents, as well as incidents caused within the unit such as freezing water lines and water leaks due to an appliance inside the unit.

Q. What does a Management company do?
A. A Management Company is hired by the Board Of Directors to look after the day to day needs of the Corporation. This would include Condominium fee collection, banking, financial statement production, advising The Board on matters regarding the budget, forming volunteer committees, requesting quotes from contractors regarding repairs or projects and maintenance. A Management Company may also be on-call 24 hours a day for emergencies that may arise.

Q. Why would I hire a Document Review Service?
Purchasing a condominium is more complicated than purchasing a single family home. Therefore, the "required documentation" provided to a buyer can be overwhelming. One must not only read through these documents, but also understand the implications. We at CondoMax help you to understand your potential investment by ensuring you understand how Condominiums are managed from "A to Z" and by showing you the financial and physical health of the Condominium Corporation at that particular site.

Q. What is a Reserve Fund Study (RFS) and why is it needed?
The RFS is a report compiled by RFS planners or engineers and is a requirement of the Condominium Property Act of Alberta, completed every 5 years.  They provide a comprehensive report for all owners, regarding all "Capital Cost" components on the site (i.e. roofs, siding, windows, elevators, parking areas). They also list and recommend required repairs/refurbishment/replacement of these components. The results are presented in a comprehensive 25 year cash-flow forecast, with a time-line for the work to commence and the approximate cost.  This enables a Board of Directors to plan what they must budget for the "Corporation's savings account" (The Reserve Fund).

Q. Why purchase a condominium as opposed to a single detached home?
The management of a Condominium Corporation is legislated by the Province of Alberta under the "Condominium Act Of Alberta". The act includes requirements to ensure the property is regularly maintained.  Therefore everyday maintenance of the property is dealt with on your behalf.  No more painting, lawn mowing or snow shoveling!

 Q. Why are Owner Annual General Meetings important to attend?
It's your Life Investment - Why wouldn't you? Your input at the AGM is helpful to the Board Of Directors (owners) in order for the ownership be a part of the decision making process.  The best resources of a Condominium Corporation are it's owners! 

Q. What are my condominium fees paying for?
Condominium fees are used to pay for all maintenance of "common areas". This would be any portion of the building (interior and exterior) immediately outside your unit.
 i.e. Plumbing, mechanical, parkade cleaning, landscaping, snow removal, Management Company services, insurance, water/sewer/waste removal.