Posted by Mike-BC on December 19, 2000 at 22:25:54:
Townhouses are typically part of a legal entity known as a strata title corporation. Each property owner is a member of the corporation. An elected strata council has a constitution that outlines its role and responsibilities.
While the home owner owns his personal residence and is responsible for the maintenance of it, there are portions of the property that are used by all the residents. These common areas include the exterior of the buildings including outside walls and the roof, parking lots and roads, lawns and gardens. It is the responsibility of the strata council to maintain these common areas, financed by the strata fees - monthly fees paid by the property owners to the strata council. The strata council can also dictate how individual residences are used - e.g. Can a sundeck be glassed in? If so, what guidleines/specifications must be met? Age limits - is this an “adult community”? Are rental units permitted? If so, what percentage?
When buying a townhouse, get a copy of the constitution and read its bylaws, especially in the matter of rental units in the complex. Also be aware of how much the strata fees are.
Hopefully this helps,