Condominiums in Ottawa, Ontario

Condominiums come in many shapes and sizes, like townhouses and high-rise suites. When you purchase one of these units for your very own, it is likely that you will share common areas and expenses with other condo owners as well. Condominium projects are governed by a board of directors, whose members are elected by others in the community. These board members supervise and manage the condominiums and report to the members each year at an annual meeting.

The board is also responsible for preparing a budget and setting common expense fees to cover any expenses that are shared by the owners. Your particular share of the expenses is usually determined by the size of your unit. However, not all condominiums are managed well or are healthy financially. Our lawyers will help you to review all of the information about the condominiums that you’ve got your eye on before you make a final decision.

Our team of real estate lawyers at Francis Lawyers have extensive experience with residential and commercial condominium purchases and sales. We will help you to understand the documents provided to you so that you can make the best-informed decision possible, while working hard to simultaneously alleviate any legal concerns that you may have.

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Documentation for your Condominium

In order to declare a condominium, there are some essential documents that will be required during the process. These documents are briefly described below.

Declaration and Description
The Declaration and Description are required to be registered on the title to the property before the condominium can even be recognized.
The Declaration is a basic document that creates the condominium corporation. It contains a written description of the units, how ownership of common elements will be allocated, and may state any restrictions where it comes to the use of the unit or common elements of the community. There may also be additional provisions concerning common recreational facilities if any.

The description is prepared by a surveyor and is a visual representation of the boundaries of the condominium units and common areas.


By-laws of a condominium regulate the management and operation of the units and shared facilities/common areas. Matters included in the by-laws include the number of directors and notice periods for the meetings between directors and owners of the units. By-laws cannot become effective until they are registered on title.

Rules and Regulations

Directors can pass rules for the condominium to enforce respect of the use of common elements and individual units. The rules must be intended to promote the safety, security and welfare of the owners as well as the property and assets of the condominium overall. To be enacted, these rules have to be reasonable and notice has to be provided to each unit owner.

Unlike condominium by-laws, rules and regulations do not have to be on title to be valid and enforceable.

Statutory Protection for Purchasers of New Units

As with any other real estate purchase, there are rules and expectations that need to be followed. The rules for condominiums can be quite a bit different than what you might be used to, but with the help of one of our Ottawa real estate lawyers, it will be no problem!

A purchase agreement for a new condominium is not legally binding unless a current disclosure agreement is delivered to the buyer. This statement includes a description of the property and its amenities, a copy of the Declaration, By-Laws and Rules as well as an insurance trust agreement. Depending on what is required where you live, there may be additional rules to follow.

There will also be a budget statement that details the common expenses of the condominium, including:
– Particulars of the types of units
– Common expenses of the condominium
– Frequency and level of services to be provide
– Portion of common expenses to be paid into a reserve fund
– Additional budget items that may differ

To make sure that you are provided with all of the necessary information to help you make an informed decision,

Consult one of our experienced real estate lawyers to guide you the way!