The condominium plan is one of the most important documents to review before you buy a condominium unit. It includes key pieces of information such as the size of the unit and what is included with the unit, what is common property, and what you may have exclusive use over.
A condominium plan must be registered with the Land Titles Office. A condominium cannot legally exist without a registered condominium plan. Once the condominium plan is registered, the Land Titles Office will assign a condominium plan number, which becomes part of the condominium corporation’s name.
Before You Buy: What to look for in the condominium plan
In Alberta, the Condominium Property Act requires all condominium plans to include specific information that will help you decide whether the condominium development is right for you.
Unit Size and Boundaries
The condominium plan must include a drawing showing all of the condominium’s individual units with numbers or other symbols identifying each unit. The plan must also show:
- the boundaries of each unit;
- the approximate area of each unit (for both conventional and bare land units); and
- the boundaries of any common property that owners may have exclusive possession over (i.e. balconies).
This information will enable you to identify whether the unit is conventional or bare land and what is included when you purchase the unit (i.e. doors, windows, front yard).
Unit Factor (used to determine condo fees)
The plan will include a schedule identifying the unit factor for each unit in the development and how it was determined.
Condominium contributions (or condo fees) are based on the assigned unit factor so it is important to understand how unit factors have been divided among units. If the unit factors are equal across units, it means that you will be paying the same in contributions as someone with a larger or smaller unit. If the unit factors are proportional to the size of the unit, contributions will increase with the size of the unit.
The condominium plan will include a description of the land boundaries of the whole condominium development, the location of any buildings, and the location of roads and utilities on the development.
If you’re considering a development under construction, assess where the buildings will be located especially in relation to other nearby buildings. Will your view be obstructed by neighbouring buildings? Is there a lot of construction in the area?
The Condominium Property Act also requires condominium plans to include the following information:
- Details to identify the title to the development’s parcel of land.
- If it is multi-stage development, a phased development disclosure statement may be required. This statement is not required if the development is proceeding under a barely blended model – see Buying New: Multi-Stage Developments for more information.
- Signature of the developer.
- Condominium corporation’s address for service of documents.
Documents that must be filed with the plan
Certificate of a land surveyor –boundaries & easements
This certificate confirms the condominium’s land boundaries were established in accordance with the Surveys Act. It will also identify whether there are neighbouring properties infringing on the boundaries of the condominium or whether the condominium is infringing on neighbouring properties. If any infringements exist, the certificate must confirm that appropriate easements have been granted.
Certificate of an architect, engineer, or land surveyor –units & post tension cables
This certificate confirms that the units shown in the condominium plan are the same as the ones existing on the property. It will also identify where there are any post-tension cables located on or within the building or property.
Certificate of the municipal authority –approval of proposed division & parking spaces
This certificate states that the proposed division of the building and parking spaces have been approved by the municipal authority. It confirms the number of parking spaces for visitors and persons with disabilities in the plan (if any) and their location on common property or a unit labelled for parking.
Condominium Additional Plan Sheets (CAD)
The Condominium Property Regulation allows additional sheets to be added to a condominium plan so that changes to bylaws, board members, restrictions, and legal / financial burdens can be easily tracked. If changes are not registered, they may not be legally enforceable in court.
The following information can be registered on condominium additional plan sheets (CAD):
- Condominium Board: names and addresses of members, changes in board membership, address of condominium corporation.
- Bylaws: any changes or additions.
- Common property: any transfer or lease, any exclusive possession lease agreements.
- Restrictions on common property: easements (agreement allowing another party to access a landowner’s property), utility right of way, or restrictive covenants burdening or benefitting the common property.
- Legal or financial burdens on common property: builders’ liens, writs of enforcement, caveats.
- Amendments regarding doors and windows: corporations registered before September 1, 2000 were able to amend the condominium plan so that windows and doors became part of the units rather than part of the common property.
It is important to note that information impacting a single unit instead of the corporation as a whole can be found on the certificate of title for the unit as opposed to the CAD.
Thank you to the Alberta Real Estate Association for allowing portions of their Condominium A to Z course manual to be adapted for use in this section.
Last updated: June 2021