Specializing in condominium planning and revitalization, Square One Realty offers short to long term management options for condos experiencing challenges.
Small developments and self-managed corporations receive the support they need to move ahead in areas needing more dedicated focus. Reserve projects and bid management, bylaw review, insurance and liability evaluations, and shareholder relations can all benefit from professional attention and systems development.
Square One is here to provide peace of mind, and to advise and support your Board of Directors, owners and corporation, to increase your corporation’s value.
Frequently Asked Questions About Condominiums In Alberta
Q: What is condo ownership?
When purchasing a condo, you are buying a physical space as well as the ownership of shares in a Corporation. Your shares or “unit factors” in a condo are an asset like owning shares in a business. Each condominium is made of up 10,000 unit factors. The plan for a condominium can be found registered at Land Titles and outlines the list of units, how many unit factors each unit is assigned, and the general layout of the physical property. There is also a separate title registered for each unit. The Corporation owns the common property and the fees collected from each owner monthly fund the care and maintenance of this property.
Q: How is a condominium corporation created?
A condo corporation can come into existence when a new building or set of buildings is constructed, or when an existing property is converted to a condo by dividing up ownership and establishing common property. Establishing a condo corporation is a way of creating a community where everyone follows a certain set of rules (the bylaws and policies) and where the care and maintenance of the properties is planned for and funded by owner contributions to the corporation. When registering a condo corporation or plan, a surveyor creates a plan showing the outlines of each individual unit, as well as delineating the common property areas. Using criteria such as square footage of each unit, the 10,000 unit factors are distributed to each unit. At the time of registration with land titles, the bylaws of the corporation are also registered. These are the governing rules for all owners, occupants, directors and agents of the corporation.
Q: Who decides the rules governing a condominium?
The bylaws of the corporation, registered at the time of its creation, are the rules of conduct guiding all aspects of the corporation. They are usually drafted by a lawyer specializing in the governance of condos. These are then reviewed by the developer for approval and registration at Land Titles. When owners disagree with the bylaws, or when the evolving needs of a corporation dictate that changes to bylaws are necessary, amendments can be made by special resolution of the owners. A certain percentage of owners (as described in the bylaws of a corporation) must be in agreement on the changes and sign off on them.
Aside from the registered bylaws, The Board of Directors of a corporation may vote to implement policies and other guidelines. These supplementary rules may be used to help develop community guidelines for noise, renovation hours, pet approvals etc.
Q: Who is the Board of Directors?
The board of a corporation is a group of people, usually owners in the condo, elected to make decisions on behalf of all owners, in the best interests of the corporation. The Board usually has a President, Treasurer, Secretary and Vice President, as well as additional Directors. Each Director has the same authority within a Board, and one vote in cases of decisions. The President usually acts as Chair of the meetings of the board, and withholds their vote for breaking tie as needed.
Q: How does an owner become a Director or Member of the Board?
At the annual meeting of the owners, a number of the Directors will resign, and an election will be held to fill the vacant positions on the board. The number of Directors on a condo board is dictated by the bylaws of the corporation. Nominations are taken for and owners may also volunteer to stand for election. If there are more nominees than open positions, an election will occur. If the number of nominees does not exceed the open seats, those nominees standing will be elected by acclamation. If there is a vacancy on the board during the year, the Board may decide to appoint someone to fill that seat for the balance of a term.