A condo declaration, as defined by the Condominium Authority of Ontario, is a collection of documents that allow a condominium corporation to be formed. Sometimes called a "declaration and description," these documents are filed with the land registry office as part of registering the condominium with the province.
It is important to have a lawyer who understands the complexities of condominium laws review a declaration. These documents outline what your comment elements are and how much you will pay for their maintenance. The information contained within them will determine your maintenance charges, as well as how the fees are allotted.
The declaration document
The documents are created by the developer, known as the declarant. The declaration document includes information regarding:
- The street address
- The mailing address (if different from above)
- Calculations for your portion of the condo's common expenses
- Any applicable exclusive-use elements
The description document
The description of the property outlines what is included in the unit - what you own and do not own. For example, a condo unit in a high-rise has a front door, but ownership may not include this front door. This means the owner may not paint or change the front door of his or her unit as it is included in the common elements (in this case, the shared hallways of the high-rise).
The description of the property includes:
- The boundaries of the building
- A description of the common elements
- Unit shape and dimensions
- What each unit includes, and the ownership of these elements
It's important that you understand the information contained in the declaration so that you are aware of your rights and obligations regarding the unit you have purchased.