Types of Condominiums: Part 4 – Vacant Land Condominiums
This is part four of our five-part series on the types of condominiums. In the first post we briefly discussed the two main types of condominiums (freehold and leasehold). We then discussed standard condominiums and phased condominiums. Today, we discuss the vacant land condominium.
Vacant Land Condominiums
A vacant land condominium is one that contains at least one unit with no structures on it at the time of registration of the condominium’s declaration and description. This type of condominium allows a developer to create the condominium before construction is completed and start selling the units before the entire condominium is constructed. The vacant lots are the units and the common elements are comprised of the typical items like roads, parking, etc. and sometimes other special amenities or features, like a boat dock, recreational facilities, etc.
Since the Act has restrictions on the development of vacant land condominiums, such as the prohibition on units being above or below each other, this type of condominium is mostly used for single detached buildings. Many are residential homes, but other times the condominium contains industrial or commercial units.
Key Features & Differences
Most of the Act applies to vacant land condominiums in the same way as standard condominiums, except for a few notable differences:
- Creation: The declaration and description can be registered BEFORE the units are constructed.
- Restrictions on Construction: The declaration will typically contain greater restrictions on the size, location, construction standards, quality of materials and appearance of the buildings or structures. The by-laws may specify minimum maintenance standards for the unit or a building or structured located on a unit.
- Maintenance and Repair: Sections 89 to 92 of the Act (dealing with maintenance and repair) do not apply to vacant land condominiums. Instead, section 162 sets out the obligations. The owners must maintain and repair their units and the condominium must maintain and repair the common elements. The condominium may complete work to a unit for an owner if the owner fails to do so within a reasonable time and the costs may be added to the common expenses for the unit.
- Insurance: The condominium does not have an obligation to ensure the units like with standard condominiums, so there is no standard unit by-law for a vacant land condominium.
Stay tuned for the last post in our series on the types of condominiums.