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Condominium Bylaws

Condominium real estate bylaws can keep the peace among many people living in close proximity. Rather than a Calgary condo municipal bylaw enforcement officer, Calgary condo owners can turn to fellow owners who are members of the Board of Managers for action-or they may themselves be members of the Board. Rules and regulations can very from condominium to condominium. Some of the most common will outline how many occupants can live in a suite, whether or not pets are allowed, and regulations with regards to common elements. These are by no means all the rules you will see in the Calgary condominium marketplace.

In most instances, these regulations are common sense and are entirely predictable. Most people normally behave within the bounds of the condo bylaws without being told what to do. Yet to be enforceable on the few who need guidance, bylaw within Calgary are made formally possible through Alberta's Condominium Property Act, and become "law" upon adoption by the condo corporation at a general meeting of the owners. When push comes to shove, justifiable bylaws have time and again been upheld by the courts. In effect, every condominium corporation Board of Managers is like a mini court and tiny city council rolled into one. The Board is responsible for taxing ("condo fees") and running the common property, and also for enforcing the law, namely the condominium bylaws.

As an example, a neighbor may continue to play music too loudly, despite requests from the Board to tone it down. The Board could decide to levy a $50 fine on that homeowner for the infraction, and a provincial court action can be taken to back up its fine. There are few avenues for appeal. If the owner refuses to pay, the fine is added to his/her condo fees. If the amount remains unpaid, a caveat can be filed against the owner's property title, preventing sale until the debt is cleared. And if there's a mortgage on the property, the mortgage holder will not renew the loan-and can even "call" the loan, unless condo fees and fines are paid.

Some condominiums allow pets with the permission of the Condominium Association. Many Associations reserve the right to approve each individual pet, and some go to the lengths of stipulating a maximum size, weight, number, or combined weight of specific breeds and species that are allowed. Sometimes there are restrictions about how and where pets are allowed to be transported within the complex as well. For example, some apartments with elevators might require that small dogs be carried to and from the outside. These rules will be reflected in the bylaws.


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