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Condominium Living

Condominium Ownership

The term “condominium” refers to a form of property ownership rather than any specific type of architecture.  Condominium unit owners not only purchase their home but an interest in the rest of the property that makes up the community including the land on which the condominium is developed, building support structure and functions, parking area and landscaped area. The property owned in common with the other unit owners is the “common elements”.  Each owner’s share of ownership of the common elements is set out in the Declaration.  The Declaration, which is the statement of legal rights, title and obligations, is recorded among the lands records and is part of the deed of each unit.

The ownership interest of each unit owner in the common elements cannot be separated from his/her ownership interest in his/her unit, and it is this interest in common elements which sets condominium ownership apart from other forms of property ownership.

This shared ownership gives each unit owner the right to participate in the affairs of the Condominium Corporation (as defined and set out in the Condominium Act of Ontario, the Corporation’s Declaration and Bylaws).  The obligation to pay a defined share of the expenses of administration, operations, maintenance, and reserve fund expenses is based upon the percentage interest of the unit in the Corporation.

Certain common elements are designated as Exclusive Use Common Elements which forms a portion of the common element sets aside for the sole use and enjoyment of the unit and its occupants. At Burnhamthorpe Gate, the unit is assigned a special right to exclusive use of the backyard common element, with the obligation for the care and maintenance of this area being the unit owners’ responsibility.

A Condominium is governed by a series of documents consisting of the Condominium Act of Ontario, the Corporation’s Declaration, By-laws, Rules & Regulations and policies. These documents address owners’ rights and obligations while empowering the Corporation and its representatives to manage the affairs of Burnhamthorpe Gate.

The Corporation is managed by the Board of Directors working with its professional consultants for the benefit of all.  The Board of Directors consists of five (5) volunteer owners, elected entirely by and from the owners.  The overriding objective of the Board is the responsibility for overseeing the business as well as act as the governing body.

Budget & Maintenance Fees

The Board of Directors is responsible for setting a budget which must include operating expenses, maintenance expenses, and replacement reserve budget.  Together these expenses comprise the common expenses of the condominium.

The budget is delivered to 107 unit owners at the end of February each year, announcing expenses and maintenance fees for the upcoming fiscal year.

The common expense, multiplied by each owner’s percentage contribution (based on size), is the amount of maintenance fees for your unit.  Burnhamthorpe Gate’s fiscal year runs from April 1st to March 31st.  The annual maintenance fee is payable in twelve equal monthly installments with each payment being due on the first day of the month.  Aacceptable payment is the Pre-Authorized Payment Plan or 12 post-dated cheques.

Owner’s Responsibility

While the Corporation has principal responsibility for the services and operations of the community, each unit owner has certain responsibilities as well, such as:

Complying with Corporation instruments and rules in general

  • Keeping the Board informed (in writing) of contact information. If you are a Landlord, this includes current lease and tenant information
  • Ensuring timely payment of maintenance fees
  • Participating in Annual General Meetings and elections (in person or by proxy) and on such other matters where owner’s participation is required
  • Contacting the Board prior to performing upgrades or betterments to your unit
  • Keeping your unit (inside and out) neat, tidy and in good condition.
  • Contacting the Board (in writing) relating to requests for work to be performed at your unit.
  • Exercising concern and consideration for your neighbors and fellow residents in all activities.

Use of Resident and Common Elements

Decorating – the interior of the residence may be decorated in any way according to your personal taste.  Structural modifications, major remodeling or modifications which affect common elements (structural, plumbing, electrical, etc.) may be performed only after prior written approval from the Board has been obtained.

Sound Transmission – although the units have been constructed to code when built, they are not sound proof.  It is both possible and likely that you will hear sounds from other units.  All residents are asked to use consideration when practicing voice or instruments or when listening to the radio, television or stereo.

Unit Maintenance – units and their components must be maintained by owners in such a manner that they do not become a nuisance by virtue of external appearance, noise, sanitary conditions or property damage to common elements.  Damage caused by acts of negligence or omission by the owner or the unit’s residents is the responsibility of the unit owner.

Use of Common Elements – we encourage all residents to take a proprietary interest in Burnhamthorpe Gate by picking up trash as a courtesy, when encountered, and by reporting to the Board any items in need of attention such as unlit street lights or building components in need of repair.  Storing personal property on the common element portions of the property is not permitted, nor should anyone impede others’ ability to use and enjoy the common elements.

No installations or removals from the common elements by residents or owners are permitted without prior written approval from the Board.

Common Elements

Any change to the common elements requires written submission to the Board.  Changes include altering or repairing any part of your exclusive use area, mounting or affixing anything to the common elements, structural changes, electrical/plumbing alterations, etc.  Each request is considered on an individual basis.  While changes are possible and the Board attempts to work with owners to facilitate change, approval depends on many factors.  Approval is not always guaranteed. 

Ownership of a condominium townhouse has some unique features.  Understanding the boundaries of your unit is fundamental to determining the split in responsibility between the Corporation’s common elements and your responsibility as the Unit Owner.

Annual General Meeting

All Corporations must have an annual general meeting (AGM) of their owners.  An AGM is held every year to elect the Board of Directors and inform the owners of previous and planned future activities.  It is an opportunity for the owners to receive copies of the Corporation’s financial statements, review fiscal information for the preceding year and ask any questions regarding the business operations of the Corporation.  In essence, the AGM provides the forum by which all owners can have a voice in the affairs of the Condominium Corporation in which they live.  The Condominium Act states that 25% of the owners must be present, or provide a proxy, in order for the Corporation to hold a meeting.