When purchasing an apartment that is governed by a strata corporation, it is crucial that you read the strata documents and here is why:
The strata bylaws will tell you what restrictions you have as an owner with regards to renovations…you may not be able to install hardwood floors, pets…if they allow dogs there may be a height and weight restriction, smoking…many buildings are now non-smoking which includes both on common and limited common property, age…you may need to be over 19 to be able to live there and finally, rentals. If you plan on buying for an investment or with the intent of living there now and renting your property out in the future, make sure to double check the rental bylaws as well as the date the rental disclosure statement was filed. The rental disclosure statement is part of the strata documents package you and your realtor will receive prior to purchasing the subject property.
1. If the Rental Disclosure Statement was filed before January 1, 2010, buyers of resale properties should be informed that a rental bylaw would apply to them.
2. If the Rental Disclosure Statement was filed on or after January 1, 2010, your realtor should check the expiry date and if the date has not expired, advise resale buyers that they will be protected from a rental bylaw until the Rental Disclosure Statement expires.
The strata minutes, annual general meeting minutes, form b, building insurance, budget, financials, property disclosure statement, depreciation reports, and any additional engineering and/or building reports are all equally important. The sum of all these documents together give you, the buyer, a snap shot of how the strata is run and how they protect their common asset. Purchasing a home is one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime, putting in the effort to read the strata documents in advance, will save you costly headaches in the future.