The term CONDOMINIUM applies to a type of property ownership rather than to any distinct particular style of building. The term "CONDOMINIUM" doesn't refer in any way to the physical structure of the building or building complex. Residential condominiums, which now account for one out of every three new homes built in Ontario, can be either high rise or low-rise apartment style units, townhouses, (some known as freehold condominiums), detached houses, stacked townhouses - any configuration of housing you can imagine. Non-residential condominiums can be industrial, commercial or retail. What makes them "CONDOMINIUMS" is not their physical structure but the way in which owners have agreed to share the ownership of the common elements of the property, while retaining individual ownership of parts of the property which constitute their units.
The condominium property is made up of the units and the common elements. Those parts of the property that are not specifically designated as units are known as common elements. Accordingly, condominium ownership has a dual nature; a condominium unit owner has freehold title to his or her unit and, at the same time, shares jointly with other unit owners, the ownership of the common elements. The unit owners share the cost of operating the property through the payment of their share of the common expenses.
The Condominium Act, 1998 governs the ownership of both residential and non-residential condominiums in Ontario.
The Act is divided into several parts:
- • the development of condominium corporations;
- • the types of developments permitted;
- • the sales of condominium units; and
- • the governance of condominiums and the ownership of a condominium.