Amenities – Burden or Valued Features

Condo amenities are viewed as part of a quality lifestyle. They add value and create enjoyment, and have become an indispensable part of condo living.

Amenities can also be viewed as a liability and cost. This mindset discourages the very activities residents desire and which can turn a condo building into a community.

When viewed as a liability and cost, there is likely to be greater resistance to making full use of amenities by offering group classes, fitness training or other value added services. There is likely to be greater concern about potential liability, oversight and cost.

In many ways condo community amenities are not unlike community centre offerings. As with community centres, the solution may be to ensure compliance with local and federal regulations rather than create roadblocks that deter the use of amenities.

The swimming pool is one example of an amenity common among condo buildings where changes to regulation are now accepted despite increased risk and liability. Lifeguards, required for swimming pools, are not required in condo buildings.

While this could be considered a safety issue, condo corporations are protected so long as they comply with applicable regulations.

A more sensitive challenge to condo corporations is identifying amenities desirable to their residents. As community demographics change, the usage and popularity of certain amenities is likely to change. Once popular amenities will periodically require updating as their popularity changes so as to avoid becoming unused space.