A declaration is like the constitution of a condo. It is a thick document that is based on the Condominium Act, 1998 and that each owner receives upon buying a unit in a condo. For resale condos, it comes with the status certificate. To see a related post click here Why Is the Status Certificate So Important?
A declaration provides information regarding each suite’s boundaries as well as its share of common expenses, which common elements are “exclusive use,” that is, are used only by each unit, such as a terrace, balcony, parking spot, locker, or even a patio or a yard in a condo townhouse. The declaration describes the amenities and how they are to be used. It may also mention restrictions on pets.
Declarations are specific to each type of condo. For instance, a condo that shares facilities with another one will include sections that focus on this aspect and regulate how these shared facilities will be administered and used. A condo townhouse will have sections that will not appear in the declaration of a high-rise, and vice versa.
The declaration is the basic document for condo owners. Therefore, a unit owner should always have their real estate lawyer interpret certain sections, before buying (this would happen during the status certificate review). For instance, declarations put limits on some activities (pets, business) and a prospective buyer who doesn’t know about these may have problems later on.
Declarations are written by a builder or a developer’s legal firm. They decide what will be an exclusive-use common element versus what is owned by the unit. When a unit is resold, declarations are contained in the status certificate given to prospective or new owners.
Source: Condo Information Centre – Anne-Marie Ambert, Ph.D
“Toronto’s Condo Authority”