Toronto is known as the condo capital of North America but it's more than just location, location, location when it comes to buying a condo in Toronto. Certain rules and regulations set out in the condominium's documentation may surprise you. Here's a checklist of questions you need to ask before you buy.
What are the rules about the number of people who can live in the unit?
Can I rent out my unit? Most Toronto condo buildings allow owners to rent out their units but many specify that it has to be for a minimum of at least one year.
What percentage of units in the building are rented out?
Can I have pets? Many Toronto condo buildings allow household pets but with restrictions as to the number of pets and the size and weight of pets.
Can I operate a business from my unit?
What are the rules concerning decorating my condo, inside and out? (e.g. can I paint my front door, can I hang a wreath or decorate my door etc.)
What types of renovations are permitted? Are tradespeople restricted to certain hours when renovating? Do I need board approval to renovate my unit?
Are there any restrictions with regards to colour or type of window coverings as they can be seen from the exterior?
Can I use a barbecue on my patio or balcony?
Is there guest parking?
What are the rules concerning use of common elements such as pools, exercise rooms and party rooms? Many Toronto condo buildings specify that owners must be present if their guests are using their building's facilities.
What portions of my unit are covered by the condo corporation's insurance? What is excluded?
Is the corporation in good financial condition?
Are there any legal claims or judgements against the corporation?
What is the age mix of people who live in the condo? Is it mostly seniors, young adults, or families with children?
Are utilities included in the monthly maintenance fees? If not, how much will I have to spend on them?
How is the condominium heated/cooled/ventilated?
Is the building energy and water efficient?
What are the rules regarding cable/satellite television and internet access? Can I have a satellite dish?
Does the management fit my lifestyle (property manager vs. self-managed)?
Is the building clean and well maintained? Is there a superintendent that lives on site or is the maintenance of the building out-sourced?
What is the security in the condominium? Is there an intercom system, closed circuit TV, security guards, electric gates etc.?
Where is the parking spot located in relation to the unit? Can I easily drive in and out of the parking spot?
Are there rules regarding what noise levels will be tolerated and at what hours?
Are there any noise implications from roadways, neighbouring units, garbage chutes, elevators? Is my unit near the garbage truck pick up area for the building?
Finally, if you are buying a condo in Toronto, make sure the condo is close to neighbourhood amenities and if you are in a developing area, check to see if any new construction will be impeding your view.
Victoria Boscariolis a real estate agent in Toronto Canada with Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited Brokerage. With over 20 years experience, Victoria has been helping people successfully buy and sell condos and houses in Yorkville and downtown Toronto. As a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) she has worked with Buyers from around the world moving to Toronto from China, Russia, Brazil, India, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Cyprus, Italy, Germany, The United Kingdom, Australia and the United States.