Rules for condominium living
Rules dictate what condo communities can do day-to-day. They must be reasonable and consistent with the Condo Act and the governing documents. Owners and residents need to be familiar with their corporation’s rules and other governing documents, as well as how everything is enforced.
What are condo rules?
Rules must prevent unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of units, common elements or the condo corporation’s assets.
For example, rules can:
- Restrict visitors’ use of amenities.
- Prevent owners from renting out their units for short periods of time.
- Limit the number or size of pets allowed in the building.
- Regulate parking.
Owners can request copies of the rules from their condo corporation using the Request for Records form.
Amending the Rules
Rules may be passed, amended or repealed by condo directors but owners have the right to provide feedback and input.
Boards that change rules must provide a notice to owners and include:
- A copy of the change
- The date the board is suggesting the rule become effective
- A reminder that owners have the right to requisition an owner’s meeting about the rule, and that the rule will become effective 30 days after the notice unless a meeting is requisitioned.
- A copy of section 46 and section 58 of the Condo Act, which cover owner requisitioned meetings
Rules are automatically adopted unless owners representing a majority of voting units vote against them. Owners can requisition a meeting about rules anytime and boards must hold that meeting and call a vote within 35 days of the requisition.
Here is more information on how to request an owners’ meeting.
Differences between the Declaration and the Rules
Both documents can restrict what owners can and cannot do in the units and common elements. For example, both could restrict smoking or pets. So here are the key differences:
- Restriction of reasonableness:
- Rules must be reasonable. They must promote the safety and welfare of owners and their property and must prevent unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of the units and common elements. The declaration is not held to any legal standard of reasonableness
- Flexibility to Amend:
- Rules are more flexible because they are much easier to pass and change as described in the previous section
- A declaration on the other hand requires that 80-90 per cent of the voting units agree to any changes. Often restrictions and provisions that are intended to be more permanent will be written into the declaration when the condo corporation is created
Enforcing the Rules
All members of condo communities must comply with the Condo Act and governing documents.
Boards can follow these steps to resolve any issues:
- Notify residents who are not complying to make them aware of the issue and follow up as required.
- If necessary, send a letter from legal counsel
- Refer the issue to the Condo Authority Tribunal if it is within the CAT’s jurisdiction.
- Refer the issue to mediation, arbitration or the Superior Court if it is not within the CAT’s jurisdiction.
For more information on the most common types of condo disputes, read about Solving Common Issues.