The vast majority of these rules are reasonable; however, they do vary from condo to condo. They can be found in the Condo Declaration, and it’s well worth your while to read them as part of your home-hunting research. (While rules can be added or eliminated by the condo board, owners are given a vote on important issues, and can demand meetings to review other changes.)
Depending on your lifestyle, you may be passionate or indifferent about any of the following issues, each of which is often regulated by condo rules:
Smoking. Smoke-free condominiums are a relatively new development, but they have indeed made their Ottawa debut. These condos ban smoking even in the privacy of your own suite, so that the highest air quality is maintained.
Rentals. Some Ottawa condominiums have restrictions on short-term rentals (that is, leases of less than a year). One condo complex recently made the news for disallowing renters who don’t constitute a family. While sometimes controversial, such rules are meant to ensure that all residents have a vested interest in maintaining a well-kept building with a pleasant atmosphere.
Pets. Some condos ban all types of pets, while others embrace them. Some place restrictions only on certain types of animals.
Barbeques. While Ottawa has no bylaws pertaining to natural gas-line barbeques on balconies, some condos do restrict them due to safety concerns.
Parking. Condos may restrict parking for commercial and/or oversized vehicles.
Plug-ins for electric cars. This issue caught my eye back in January, when an Ottawa condo made headlines for deciding that a resident with an electric car should pay for his own electricity, and for installation of a meter. At the other end of the spectrum, some “green” condos provide plug-in stations for this very purpose.
While rules and regulations may not be the stuff your condo dreams are made of, I’m happy to report that there are Ottawa condo rules to suit every demographic. Find the set that work for you, and – I promise – you’ll love your home that much more.
Marnie Bennett is a broker and the marketing director for Bennett Property Shop Realty, a full premium service real estate brokerage specializing in marketing and selling new and resale homes, condominiums and investment real estate. Marnie is the host of the weekly radio show the Real Estate Hour, a millionaire real estate investor and a wealth management coach. www.bennettpros.com