Rules Governing Aesthetics

June 2019

Most of us want our condo building to look clean, elegant and well maintained.  It makes us feel good about our home.  A modern and bright look appeals to visitors who may someday want to live there.

Condo corporations establish rules for maintaining this aesthetic environment in common areas.  They help to sustain the property and, hopefully, increase property values.

Most residents are accepting of these condo rules.  At times, somebody wants something different and may be tempted to force the issue.  Each condo corporation has a process for dealing with rule violations.  At the extreme, a condo owner refusing to comply with established rules could find themselves in court.  Changes they have made not in compliance with condo rules could be reversed at their cost and legal fees assessed.  Without a valid and legally justified reason for violating the condo corporation’s governing documents this is a battle best avoided.

Purchasing a condo means accepting its rules.  These rules can be found in the condo corporation’s governing documents that are provided to each owner.

Most condo boards do not attempt to influence what is done inside the suite so long as there is no impact on other residents.  You can paint or renovate as you please without impacting the structural integrity of the building.  That condo door, visible beyond the suite, must comply with aesthetic guidelines.

Architectural rules may apply inside the suite.  Floors may require material standards to protect others from noise.  Certain walls cannot be modified without affecting structural integrity of a building.  Air vents may not be modified without affecting other suites.  Window coverings visible from the outside may have colour restrictions.

Problems arise when changes can be considered dangerous.  Fire hazards, cleanliness and pest infestations are valid community concerns.

Condo communities evolve and rules may change over time to reflect trends or new technologies so long as they are consistent with governing documents.

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