Buying a condo is a lot different than buying a house. Because you are buying part of a shared property, there are more rules and regulations that apply to condo owners than traditional homeowners. For this reason, even those who have experience in home buying may not fully understand the various legalities involved in purchasing a condo.

Juriscorp Law Offices has many years of experience helping clients buy condos so we’ve learned some of the most commonly unknown legal aspects of condo law in Alberta and Edmonton. Keep reading for our list of the most important things to know before buying a condo in Edmonton.

  • There is extensive documentation you’ll need to review

Of course, there is documentation that goes into the purchase of any residential property. But, many people aren’t aware of just how much documentation must be reviewed, signed, or negotiated when buying a condo.

In addition to the documents needed to purchase a home, like the purchase agreement and mortgage, when buying a condo you’ll want to review documents involved with the bylaws, management agreement, recreational agreement, condo plan, reserve fund report, and more. 

Even further, the documentation required will be different depending on whether you are purchasing a new or resale condo. Here are two checklists from the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta on what kinds of documents you’ll need to review when buying a new condo or buying a resale condo. 

  • The Condominium Plan will affect how you live

One of the documents mentioned above is the Condominium Plan. This plan, sometimes called a declaration, can seriously impact a condo owner’s lifestyle, but it can be neglected or not taken seriously in the purchase process because it isn’t something that all purchasers are required to sign. 

This document will contain information about how the condominium is organized and operated. That includes your unit factor, which is the percentage of the common property you own that will determine your voting rights and even your financial contribution to the common expenses. It will also detail any restrictions or regulations regarding pets, home businesses, balcony furniture, and much more.

A condo plan can be difficult, or even impossible, to change. That’s why it’s so important to review this documentation thoroughly with your lawyer before purchasing a condo to make sure there aren’t any terms that are unreasonable, or that will impact your lifestyle negatively. 

  • You will have recurring fees

Unlike when you own a traditional home, when you own a condo you will be expected to pay regular fees, usually on a monthly basis. These condo fees will be your contribution to the operation and maintenance of the condo’s shared property.

It’s important to consider these fees, in addition to your monthly utilities and/or mortgage payments when deciding on your budget for purchasing a condo. 

  • Your insurance needs special consideration

The type of insurance you’ll need when you own a condo is different than traditional home insurance. So you’ll want to research and review the different types of home insurance policies available to those purchasing a condo to make sure you, you’re belongings, and your home is fully covered.

Always get advice from the experts before buying a condo

Condo law is not always easy to understand, but it will have a significant impact on your life as a condo owner. That’s why it’s always important to seek advice from professionals who have experience in the purchase of condos in Edmonton before you buy, including a lawyer, real estate agent, and home inspector.

Contact Juriscorp Law Offices today for legal advice and counsel on your Edmonton condo purchase.