Being a condo owner often feels like living in the purgatory of real estate. On one hand, you’re an owner! It’s property in your name that you’re responsible for and have a say on. On the other hand, your property is within the confines of a condo corporation, and so, they too, have a certain responsibility and say over what happens within their domain. As an owner, you have to walk a fine line of what you want to do with your home and what you’re allowed to do.
Admittedly, working with a corporation or association can be slow, annoying and a blow to your ego as a mighty home owner. You may be tempted to just say “to hell with them! I own this dangit place and I’ll do what I want with it! Yeeeehhhaawww!” and go about your plans anyway. Please don’t (especially that part about yelling “Yeehaw” – no one like that). This may be an urban yuppie myth, but I’ve heard of people who totally redid their kitchen only to have the powers-that-be find out about the plans later. The condo demanded an inspection, found something to be against the rules and forced the couple to scrap their kitchen and start over – beginning with paperwork. Le yarg.
So, it’s really better to be safe than sorry. Here are some things condo owners should do before they start renovating or remodeling:
Lastly, keep in mind we’re totally not lawyers. So before you dive into your own project, do your due diligence, especially since rules, laws and norms vary from country to country, region to region, and even association to association. Happy remodeling!