Purchasing a Condo in Toronto? This Is What You'll Own
If you're thinking about purchasing a condo in Toronto in the near future, here is some basic information you need to know about what you are going to be purchasing. Owning a condo is a lot different than renting an apartment from a landlord, and the terms can get quite confusing to say the least. You'll need to have a good conceptual idea of the difference between the condo unit that you'll be buying and the common property that is a shared responsibility by the rest of the owners that live in the building.
What is common property?
This is a term that you're going to be hearing a lot of once you start shopping for your Toronto condo. It is the area that is not a part of the condo units themselves but is shared and owned by everyone in the condominium complex. The front lobby, the exterior of the building including the driveway and the recreational areas, the elevators, the hallways and the major systems such as the plumbing, heating and electrical are all part of the common property.
As an owner you will be paying condo fees to help keep these areas and systems maintained and if there are any repairs required the money to pay them will also come out of the fund that you are paying into. Everyone has a joint responsibility to keep these areas clean and in good repair and that is partially where your condo fee is going.
What you are actually purchasing...
You'll receive a title for your condo that includes the unit they you'll be living in. The boundaries for your condominium include the floors, ceiling above and the interior walls surrounding the space you are occupying. You are going to have to be responsible for the maintenance and repairs of the space you are purchasing. There is no landlord to call in the case of a leaky faucet: you'll need to phone up your own plumber.
All condominium corporations have their own set of rules about doing any remodeling of the unit. In most cases you will be able to paint the walls as you see fit and change the flooring if you don't find it appealing. In other cases you may have to ask for permission from the Toronto condominium corporation to do these minor changes and most corporations do not allow major renovations without written permission beforehand.
When you make your purchase you’ll be given a title for the unit and this is what you'll own outright. All of the common area will be jointly owned by you and the other Toronto condo unit owners and will be repaired and maintained through your condo fees.