Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Bare Land Condominium

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In a Saturday issue of the Calgary Herald earlier this Month, a number of "Buying Terms" were defined and the definition of a Bare land Condominium included the statement that "only the land is condominium". What does that mean?

In your article in the Calgary Herald on March 12th, 2005 you state that "In a bare land condo, it is possible for owners to be responsible for building repairs and replacement...". I assumed you meant that these owners could be totally responsible for building repairs and replacement for the building on their own unit if this is what the Bylaws provided for. Does this mean that a Condominium Corporation could walk away from its present obligations to maintain buildings on owner's units by changing their Bylaws to exclude this responsibility?

Regards,


J. E.

Great Questions J. E.

There is a lot of confusion out there about what bare land condominium is and who is responsible for what and this is not an easy concept to write about. I will try and answer these a clearly as I can.

Your first question - What does the statement mean "only the land is a condominium"?

  • The boundaries that determine the area of a unit in a bare land condominium are based on pins (stakes) in the ground, marking out the area of land that forms the condominium units, therefore the condominium is technically "land only".
  • these land areas become the units of condominium which are owned by way of a title,
  • all areas inside the land unit, including any buildings, are owned by the owner of the condominium unit of land and are the responsibility of the owner, subject to any restrictions registered against that title, or the condominium unit by way of a bylaw.

Question 2

...In a bare land condo, it is possible for owners to be responsible for building repairs and replacement. I assumed you meant that these owners could be totally responsible for building repairs and replacement for the building on their own unit if this is what the Bylaws provided for. Does this mean that a Condominium Corporation could walk away from its present obligations to maintain buildings on owner's units by changing their Bylaws to exclude this responsibility?

  • in all forms of condominium, including bare land, the Unit of ownership comes with a bundle of rights that is the same as any real estate that is owned in Alberta,
  • this bundle of rights gives an owner the right to rent their unit, to transfer it in their will and to do with it whatever they choose, subject to any restrictions registered on the title, or by way of a condominium bylaw, or a municipal bylaw.
  • in a bare land condominium anything contained inside the unit is the sole responsibility of the owner, provided there are no restrictions registered on the titles to the unit. By amending the bylaws the Corporation can transfer the responsibility for maintenance from the owners to the Corporation. They would require a 75% majority of the owners registered on title and representation of 7500 unit factors to do this. The corporation must maintain and continue to provide insurance for Directors and Officers and any property it owns, as well as the common property.

Although in a bare land condominium this flexability is available, I suggest the issue be investigated thoroughly, as the marketability of a condominium where there are no services can be impeded. This is not always the case, as in acreage condominiums, however, the vast majority of condominium buyers choose condominium living for the lifestyle and that means services. The other factor is in keeping the property clean, tidy and the buildings maintained. In a condominium the economies of scale factor can result in great savings to an owner. With the savings plan for capital repairs and replacement being a mandatory requirement this ensures the funds are available when major repairs are required. These are a few of the reasons that the majority of bare land condominiums have bylaws that give the corporation the responsibility to repair and replace the building exteriors. All these factors need to be considered when making such a big decision.

In short the key thing to remember is that in a bare land condominium the Act applies to the area inside the "lot of land" when it refers to a "Unit" and the building inside the "Unit" is part of that "Unit". The bylaws can transfer the responsibility for repairs, maintenance, control, and management of areas inside a Unit to the Condominium Corporation.

Should amending the bylaws be something your condominium corporation should like to pursue please contact us as we can provide consulting and bylaw amendment assistance. Contact us through the email address condocheck@shawbiz.ca.

Thank you for submitting your questions. I hope this makes things a little clearer.

BCOC

6 Comments:

At October 18, 2005 at 9:50 AM, Blogger walter said...

I am currently in a condo complex with a bare land condo but bylaws for a conventional condo complex. We are concerned as to the payments are covered as by Unite factor but all calculations are done by unite factor includeing the land. Is there any where that would really explain what "unite Factor" means. I believe it should be based on Living unite factor. Our monthly and yearly payments are very different from unite to unite and has caused quite a problem in our community. Any advise would be greatly appreciated

 
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At August 17, 2015 at 11:02 PM, Blogger Zab said...

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