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Linda Palfi
CNC Properties
Box 47033 Creekside, Calgary, Alberta
P: 403-998-7732
F: 403-592-8002
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Who owns my condo balcony and parking stall?

           

In condominium ownership you usually have a patio or balcony and one parking space in addition to your suite, but you don’t necessarily own them outright.  In the case of patios and condo apartment-building balconies, those areas lie outside your private suite property, so are owned jointly by you and your neighbours who own the building(s) and land in “condominium”, i.e.: together.  Parking stalls are also usually assigned shared “common” property, but some (usually indoor stalls) are titled and you own them outright, just like your suite.

           

In the case of your condo home’s adjacent outdoor space, you have the right of exclusive use of these “privacy areas” as common-property patios, balconies, and parking stalls are called.  If someone’s party spills onto your patio, order them off.  If someone else parks in a stall assigned to you, have the vehicle towed away. You may own that property jointly with your condominium neighbours, but it’s for you alone to use.

           

In the case of parking stalls that have been surveyed into privately-owned pieces of land, these are condominium “units” of property, just like your condo home.  You can own these spaces outright and sell them along with your residential unit, keeping any appreciated value for yourself.  In some buildings even the storage lockers are surveyed and titled condominium “units”, owned personally by suite owners.  Be it privately-owned parking or storage, these properties are subject to the condominium bylaws, so there are still common-sense rules to follow.

           

In the case of parking that is common property (owned by all condo owners in the building), you are assigned a stall—whether indoor or surface—by your neighbors who serve as the condominium Board of Directors.  You may receive a formal lease agreement from the management company that your Board employs, but often the arrangement is less formal.

           

Misunderstanding can occur upon the sale of a condominium home, as the buyer may think he owns outright the assigned parking space that goes with the suite.  But the condo Board may well have a rotation plan for parking spaces, assigning the available indoor or covered stalls, for example, to those owners on a waiting list, with new buyers going to the bottom of the list, even though the seller had an indoor or a covered stall!  I know of a case where a dispute ended up in court and such an indoor parking rotation arrangement was put in place by the judge.

           

Some condominium corporations give parking priority to resident owners over renters of suites: if you buy a condo home and live in it, you get to continue using the seller’s covered parking, but if you rent your suite out, your tenant will be assigned outdoor parking.  This is not considered discriminatory.  The owners—through their Board of Directors—have every right under Alberta law to cater to owners who live there over owners who rent out their property.

           

An assigned common-property parking stall is not really yours to rent out, although some condo corporations will allow that anyway.  While condominium bylaws usually give the right of parking stall rental and revenue to your condo corporation, few Boards bother with this and often an assigned space earns a few dollars per month for the owner of the condo suite the stall is intended to serve.  In the case of a titled private-property stall you certainly may rent it to others, but only to people living in your building.

 

Buyers should know exactly what status the parking is before they buy a condominium suite.  A condominium-specialist Realtor will quickly determine whether a parking stall is assigned or titled, and whether it may be rented out to generate income.  As for your patio or balcony, you own it collectively with others, but it’s for you alone to use and enjoy.

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