Toronto Condo 101 | What is the difference between Exclusive Use, Owned and Common Element?

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If you are considering the purchase of a Toronto Condominium or already own one, these terms are important.  Lets tackle “Owned” first as it is the most straight forward and readily understandable.  We all understand ownership; if you own it, it is yours to do with as you please, right?   Well this is the understanding we probably all came to as children; it however does not apply quite as strictly to Condo ownership.

What is condo ownership?  Well condo ownership gives you title to a unit in a multi dwelling building or complex.  Be sure to acquaint yourself with the Standard Condo description in the Description Document that you will or have received.  The Description document defines / describes what you own.

Common Elements are areas like your Lobby, the Fitness room, Bowling alley, Movie Theatre, Party Room or any other areas in your complex that are shared between all of the occupants.  Your Condo Maintenance fees help to pay for your proportionate share of these facilities.  You get to enjoy them, along with all the other owners, but you are not responsible for their upkeep.

Exclusive use is an interesting term and will or will not apply to you depending upon your individual building.  Remember to consult your standard unit description and Deed.  I know in our building we do not own our locker.  It is assigned to our unit for our exclusive use; we do not share it with anyone else.  We also do not own the balcony that hangs outside our living room and dining room.  Once again it is for our exclusive use.  We do own our parking spot which shows up and is an item on our Deed.  We could sell it if we wanted to, which we cannot do with our locker or balcony.  We could rent out our locker if we chose, but where would I store my winter tires?

As condo residents and owners my wife and I would be happy to answer any other questions you might have.


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