Owning a condo isn’t rocket science. All you need to know are a few key points in order to make the most out of your new home.
Prével condos are “divided”—meaning they include:
- Private areas that are for your exclusive use (i.e. your condo);
- Common areas that belong to all co-owners (hallways, roof, shared patios, sports centre, etc.);
- Common areas with restricted use (your balcony, storage space, etc.).
Here are some basic principles of condo life to help get you started.
Our condos all start off under the administration of a management company selected by Prével. This company is in charge of the upkeep of the building and common areas, as well as the administration of all operations. Once co-owners have moved in, you will elect a board of directors made up of co-owners at your first general meeting. This condo association may opt to keep the same management company, replace it with a different one, or manage the condo themselves.
Condos function like a democracy, where every co-owner has a voice. During a general meeting, you have a right to a vote, which is based on the relative value of your condo. For any decision to be approved, it must meet the quorum: that is, 50% + 1 votes. Decisions that need to be made may include landscaping, renovations, adding a regulation to the declaration of co-ownership, and so on.
The declaration of co-ownership
This is the document that contains all the key regulations that guide co-ownership in your condo and helps avoid conflict. It includes:
- The constituting act of co-ownership (the relative value of each fraction/condo and resulting contribution);
- The by-laws of the immovable (rules of usage and upkeep of private and common areas as well as payment of condo fees);
- Description of the fractions (private and common areas).
Condo fees are to be paid monthly by each co-owner. These serve to cover the costs of running the building, including upkeep; electricity, heating, and air conditioning of common areas; administration; managing garbage and recycling; and insurance. Part of the condo fees are also to be put towards a contingency fund. Fees are based on the relative value of each condo, which is outlined in the declaration of co-ownership.
As the name implies, a contingency fund is a sum of money set aside to cover any future upkeep or major renovations, such as redoing the roof or windows. The board of directors must create mid- and long-range budget forecasts that accurately reflect the condo’s future needs. Once the budget has been determined, the board then adjusts each co-owner’s annual contribution to the contingency fund.