As an owner of several condominiums, I decided to be more involved with the board and got voted in to sit on the board. It was in my best interest to educate myself, on not only my own condo by-laws, but also gain knowledge on them as a whole, for my own benefit, as well as the benefit of potetial clients. Recently, I had a friend have some issues with bulk payments, there were a couple within the span of a few years, on top of their regular dues. As we discussed the ins and outs, I found that he made the same mistake I had when i bought my first one, we both did not read and educate ourselves about our specific by-laws. Now in the situation of not knowing where the money is going, he finds himself in a situation where he is just starting to attempt to get a copy of the by-laws, and also, what his rights are as a condominium owner. The best information I could give him was to read his declaration, and make informed questions to the board/management company running his particular corporation.
Many people have general questions about condo ownership, as there are many different types, the answers are usually broad, the best advice I can give to anyone buying or selling, is to ensure the condo corporation is in good order, and that you have read and understand your particular by-laws, as they all differ. A good tip also, is to ask neighbors, they will usually be very honest and frank about their opinions of the corporation, and their associated costs.
I particularly like condominiums for investments, the plus sides of them, is you do not have a hire out landscapers, snow removal, and the foundation/structure/roof are usually covered by the condo fees, as well, some corporations will do cost splitting for windows etc. They can also be easy to move in case of financial hardship, easier than older duplexes/triplexes for the most part.
Educational resources from the Ontario Government. I suggest giving them a read if you are considering condo ownership.
CENTURY 21 Lanthorn Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage*