Every condominium is governed by its own unique rules, regulations and by-laws. These may be very strict or very relaxed depending on the nature of the condominium corporation. These are necessary to ensure that condominiums are properly operated and maintained, and to define the rights and obligations of the individual owners. With respect to rules regarding the individual owners, condominiums may have restrictions regarding the number of occupants per unit, pets, noise, parking and when certain amenities may be used.
Many condominiums have strict rules concerning the alteration of the unit space of its appearance. For example, the condominium corporation may require all the exterior doors of units to be the same colour to keep the architectural and community aspect of the condominium intact. Additionally, you may have to get the permission from the condominium's Board of Directors before you change exterior fixtures or install a satellite dish, especially as some changes may affect the condominium structure or safety.
Noise is an important consideration, especially for people moving from a single-family dwelling to a multi-unit condominium. Many condominiums have rules regarding what noise levels will be tolerated and at what hours. For example, if you are hosting a party in your unit, you may be asked to turn the music down at a specific hour. You may wish to clarify the rules regarding noise, and if possible, talk to current residents about any noise problems they have experienced in the past and how they are handled.
Individual condominium owners may be obliged to attend condominium meetings or serve on condominium boards and committees. Almost all condominiums have requirements for the payment of monthly condominium fees. There can also be mandatory charges for unforeseen repairs to the condominium common elements. These are commonly called "special assessments".
Ensure you carefully review and consider all rules and obligations when considering the purchase of a condominium. They should be available from the condominium Property Manager. The rules of the condominium will be clearly outlined in the condominium governing documents, and you should become familiar with them prior to purchasing a particular condominium unit.
While the rules and regulations of condominiums may initially seem to be overly strict, particularly to those used to rental housing or owning their own home, they help to ensure that condominiums are safe and enjoyable communities to live in for all concerned.