Are You Free To Renovate Your Condo?

You’ve recently purchased a condo, and now it’s time to renovate.  Are you free to renovate your condo any way you’d like?  Better be careful, and follow these steps before starting to make any changes.

First, check the condominium rules/declarations that you received prior to purchasing.  Generally, the most acceptable renovations will be listed here.  Most often, renovations that are simply decorative or aesthetic in nature do not require prior approval – these changes include painting, changing the kitchen counters, and so forth.  But as soon as ceilings, floors, plumbing and electricity are concerned, you have to be more careful.

Second, check with the syndicate/board of your building for all average to major planned renovations.  They will likely ask you to submit detailed plans and require you to use the services of an accredited builder or entrepreneur.  Your plans should specify the work to be done, as well as the projected length of time it will take.  The board may also require you to have your plans verified with an expert, and this will, of course, be at your own expense.  Once you have secured the board’s agreement, make sure that you have this agreement in writing.

Finally, should you decide to risk beginning your renovations prior to your syndicate’s approval, they could ask for an injunction to cease all work, and they could impose a requirement for you to return the unit to its original condition.  They may also have the right to impose heavy fines.

As the old adage says, it’s better to be safe than sorry.  Always play it safe and work cooperatively with your condo’s syndicate and board.  That is why, if there is any doubt, you will avoid nasty surprises by openly and honestly disclosing all renovating plans with the board.

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