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A "condominium" typically refers to a form of legal ownership, as opposed to a style of construction.  Condominiums are most often thought of a high-rise residential buildings, but this form of ownership can also apply to townhouse complexes, single detached houses, duplexes(one unit over the another), triplexes (stack of three units), low-rise residential buildings and freehold plots of land.

Condominiums consist of two parts.  The first part is a collection of private dwellings called "units".  Each unit is owned by and registered in the name of the purchaser of the unit.  The second part consists of the common elements of the building that may include lobbies, hallways, elevators, recreational facilities, walkways, gardens, etc.  Common elements may also include structural elements and mechanical and electrical services.  The ownership of these common elements is shared amongst the individual unit owners, as is the cost of their operation, maintenance and ongoing replacement. 

Each unit owner has an undivided interest in the common elements of the building.  This ownership interest is often referred to as a "unit factor".  The unit factor for any particular unit will generally be calculated in proportion to the value that the unit has in relation to the total value of all of the units in the condominium corporation.  The unit factor will tell you what your ownership percentage is in the common elements and will be used in calculating the monthly fees that you must pay towards their upkeep and renewal.

The creation of a condominium is regulated by provincial and municipal guidelines.  The operation of condominiums is governed by provincial legislation and the condominium corporation's own declaration, by-laws and rules.

Once a condominium corporation has been established, a Board of Directors, elected by, and generally made up of, the individual condominium owners, takes responsibility for the management of the corporation's business affairs.  Each unit owner has voting rights at the meetings.  Your voting rights will generally be in proportion to your unit factor.

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