The Condo Act allows for the option of creating a standard unit bylaw. Its purpose is to determine responsibility for repairing or maintaining improvements made to units and for insuring these improvements.
In practice the standard unit bylaw is a way for condominium corporations, and condo owners, to save money and provide clarity. It can reduce property insurance premiums and the number of individual claims while clarifying insurance responsibilities. It helps ensure in-suite improvements made by a condo owner are their responsibility to insure. When a condo unit is sold, the standard unit bylaw provides clarity for the new owner about what is covered under condominium corporation insurance.
The effect of a standard unit bylaw is to reduce the insurable value for the condominium corporation. Condominium Insurance Solutions, a provider of insurance to condominium corporations, recommends that condominium corporations establish a standard unit bylaw. They advise condo owners to ensure items not covered by condominium corporation insurance are covered by their personal home or renter insurance coverage.
Some condominium corporations choose to exclude certain finishings, such as countertops and floorings, from a standard unit bylaw. The more items excluded the lower the decrease on insurable value, and the less effective it is at reducing costs.