Anyone visiting the sales presentation centres for new condominium projects will note that there seems to be no limit to the types of amenities now being offered to condominium purchasers. In the past it was common for the recreational facilities to consist of a swimming pool, a gym and a party room.

As condominium units have been shrinking in size, the breadth of amenities and recreational facilities being offered has been growing. A resident’s home includes much more than just the condominium unit itself. In some condominiums, fitness centres include yoga and spinning studios and a boxing area (and in some cases, with classes organized by the condominium corporation), in addition to cardio and weight equipment. Basketball, badminton, squash and racquetball courts are also becoming more common. Shared outdoor areas might include barbecues and fire pits, potting gardens and even an outdoor theatre, as well as a pool and hot tub. As more dogs are moving into condominiums, dog washing stations are also more prevalent.

As all of these areas are shared by all of the residents of the condominium, condominium corporations should have rules in place that govern the usage of all of these amenities to ensure that they are harmoniously enjoyed by all residents. It would be sheer chaos if everyone just did whatever they wanted on the common elements. The condominium board has the authority to make rules to promote the safety, security or welfare of the owners and the property and to prevent unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of the common elements. Detailed rules should provide a set of do’s and don’ts so that all residents will know specifically what is permitted and what is prohibited. Detailed, comprehensive rules will also assist the corporation in enforcement proceedings.

Prospective condominium purchasers should understand that condominium living is communal living, and as such, residents must give up some individual freedoms. Compromises on the part of individuals are necessary so that the community as a whole will thrive. For example residents should not expect that they will be able to invite an unlimited number of friends to enjoy the condominium amenities. Purchasers should also be cognizant of the fact that it costs money for the condominium to run and maintain the amenities and recreational facilities. All of these costs are included in each owner’s monthly common expenses. Before committing to buy a unit in a condominium that has extensive amenities, prospective purchasers should give serious consideration as to what amenities they would use. All owners pay for these amenities even if they do not use them.