A condominium corporation is a method of property ownership. It is created solely to manage the affairs of the condominium corporation. A condominium's affairs are regulated by the Condominium Act and documents known as the Declaration, Description, By-laws and Rules.
The declaration is the equivalent of the constitution of the corporation. It outlines the division of ownership within the corporation by identifying the units, the common elements and the exclusive use common elements, if any. It also sets out the percentages of ownership each unit has in the property and the per centage that each unit contributes to the monthly common expenses. The declaration will also indicate which costs will be the responsibility of the corporation and paid for by the owner's contributions to the monthly common expenses.
The description is a detailed plan of the boundaries, layout and location of the units, common elements and exclusive use common elements in the condominium.
The by-laws of the corporation indicate how the corporation will be organized. They deal with matters such as the Board of Directors, the officers of the corporation, the conduct of meetings, the collection of common expenses, occupancy standards, insurance deductibles and other matters as permitted by the Condominium Act, 1998. By-laws are made by the Board of Directors and approved by the unit owners.
There are also rules of the corporation which regulate the owners' day-to-day living environment. The Board of Directors makes the rules. The owners are required to receive notice of the rules and have a right of veto and can amend or repeal them. The initial condominium documents, the declaration, description, by-laws and rules are prepared by the developer.
The primary purpose of the condominium corporation is to manage the condominium property. The Condominium Act provides standards regarding the keeping of records and the conduct of business. The Act and the by-laws outline in greater detail procedures to be followed by the corporation, including the calling, holding and conduct of general and special meetings, as well as the election, removal and replacement of directors.
Owners and residents are required to comply with the documents which govern a condominium corporation. The corporation or individual owners may enforce the Act, declaration, by laws or rules either through mediation and/or arbitration or in some circumstances by going to court. The Act also provides, through an oppression remedy, the right to apply to a court where an owner believes that his or her rights have been unfairly affected by the conduct of either the Board of Directors or other unit owners.