Repairs and maintenance

An arrangement of tools against a wooden backdrop. For a condominium property, some upkeep is performed by the unit owners and some by the condominium corporation. The condominium declaration and by-laws should outline their respective responsibilities.
Consult the relevant documents or contact the condominium manager or the board of directors to clarify who is responsible for what.
Unit owners are responsible and pay for ongoing maintenance and repair of their units. The condominium declaration will define a unit’s boundaries (which may or may not include services behind the walls)

Condominium corporations are responsible and pay for the ongoing maintenance and repair of the common elements. This includes anything beyond the boundaries of the units, and may include parking, gardens, hallways, elevators, amenities, etc. Some considerations:

  • Timeliness: The Condominium Act, 1998 (the “Act”) requires that owners conduct necessary repairs in a reasonable period of time.

  • Damage: The Act requires that the corporation repair the units and common elements after damage, however, this obligation is typically altered by the corporation’s declaration. Additionally, the corporation’s repair obligations do not include any improvements made to the unit as defined by the corporation’s standard unit by-law. Accordingly, if damage is done to the unit, an owner may wish to review their corporation’s governing documents to define the repair obligations.       

  • Costs: The condo corporation will use the funds from the owners’ condo fees to cover most maintenance and repairs. The corporation cannot refuse to fix the damage due to a shortage of money. As needed, the condo board can raise fees, do a special assessment, or take a loan to top up the reserve fund.

  • Reserve fund: The Act requires the corporation to undertake periodic reserve fund studies to determine whether the assets of the corporation are sufficient to cover the costs of upcoming repairs and maintenance.

  • Delaying work: Condo corporations may decide to defer certain recommended repairs or maintenance if it is not urgent or if there are financial constraints. However, there are always risks, such as the failure of equipment or structures, secondary damage, or minor repairs that can develop into major issues.