The Condo Board is not a Landlord

January 2023

Many have an unclear understanding of how management of their condominium building operates.

They may choose not to read their governing documents; declaration, by-laws and rules, or the Condo Act.  They fail to understand the importance of these documents and choose not to pay a lawyer to have them explained.  Many come from a rental environment, or single-family home and possibly living on their own for the first time, and assume condominium living is no different.

In a condominium corporation, owners are responsible for everything going on in their unit and team up to assume shared responsibilities.  They elect a board to make decisions on their behalf and oversee these shared responsibilities.  A condominium manager is employed to manage the property.

The condominium manager is not a landlord and the board does not exist to serve owners individually. 

The condominium manager is not a landlord and the board does not exist to serve owners individually.  The board represents the community as a whole and the condominium manager reports to the board.  Owners have no right to contact the board or management about anything they desire.  They do not have the right to interact with corporation vendors including a gardener, attorney or accountant.  In communities where this is not enforced, vendors may choose not to work with the corporation.  The board does not resolve personal problems.

Many repairs addressed by a landlord are the responsibility of an owner in condominium living.  This includes leaking faucets, damaged light fixtures, duct cleaning and window caulking.  Anything within the four walls of a unit is generally the responsibility of the owner or their tenant.  Anything done within these walls affecting common areas or other units is a problem.

The cost of not understanding governing documents, or thinking the rules don’t apply to them, is unpleasant surprises.  Ignorance is not an excuse when it comes to pets, noise, renovations and other matters.  It can be quite expensive when the corporation enforces its governing documents, as expected, to protect other owners.