A part of condominium living that owners frequently haven’t considered, or have forgotten, is the impact of the Standard Unit By-Law. If you haven’t already, you should take time read through the By-Law that describes a Standard Unit.
The Standard Unit definition is rarely mentioned but it is essential in condominiums because the Corporation is deemed to be responsible for insuring only the items listed in the Standard Unit. And that leaves the responsibilty for insuring everything else to unit owners.
Any items within the unit which are not listed in the Standard Unit By-Law, are considered to be improvements to the unit, things like upgraded trim, any interior fittings and flooring improvements, for instance. In the case of damage where the Corporation is liable, you can only expect replacement of the standard items as defined in the By-Law. Replacing betterments like your beautiful hardwood flooring for instance, is up to you and your own insurance. All owners in the corporation are thereby reassured that their common expenses will not be held liable for undefined damage from an insurable event. The By-Law also deals with dispute resolution, maintenance and repair for items on the Standard Unit list.
MTCC-570 owners will find their Standard Unit definition in By-Law 8 on pages 92 – 99 attached to the Declaration and By-Law documents.
YCC – 531 owners will see a corresponding definition in By-Law 8 on pages 96 – 103 of their Declaration and By-Law documents.
You may have run into a rule at our condominium complex that conflicts with your preferences. Keep in mind that rules are necessary so we can have an orderly environment with established expectations and can live in peace with one another.
Even so most residents have at some time found a rule burdensome and have considered what it would take to change it. Condominium rules do change from time to time, and that’s when it is important to understand the way that condominiums are governed.
Every Ontario condominium is regulated by the Condominium Act, 1998, which lays out the requirements for the creation and amendment of rest of the governing documents.
Each condominium is individually regulated by a declaration and by-laws. The declaration is one of the legal documents that created the condo corporation when it was registered with the Land Registry Office. It is a kind of constitution for the condominium.
The by-laws concern how the condo corporation will govern itself such regarding such things as the number of directors on the board, board meeting procedures, and how the affairs of the condo corporation are generally conducted.
And finally, we arrive at the rules each condo establishes for safe co-existance, and for providing reasonable use and enjoyment of individual units and the common areas. Rules must be consistent with the three other governing documents: the Condo Act, the declaration and the by-laws. Together they lay out the conditions that must be met. Want to see a rule changed? Make sure you know what it takes to comply with established governance.
Each of our Condominium Corporations has it’s own declaration and by-laws. Below are .pdf copies of these documents.
Now that COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted by the Ontario government we are expected to monitor our own risk for each situation. If the situation is indoors, or outdoors, or well-ventilated the risk is different. If we wear a mask sometimes, all the time or never the risk is different.
We can be fully vaccinated but experience has taught us that the virus can be transmitted even to vaccinated individuals, and each of us has a different health profile. How are we to judge the risk of each outing or event?
The National Institute on Aging with the support of the Canadian government has published a questionnaire-like risk calculator that you can use whenever you have to decide whether you should attend an event or put yourself in a particular situation. When you have answered all the questions you will arrive at a personal assessment of the risk.
In addition to this precaution, you can take a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) just before heading out for extra reassurance that you won’t pass the virus to others. For the sake of your health and your neighbours, as well as the capacity of our health system, please take care!