What’s the difference between condo and freehold?

Toronto, September. 24, 2019
By Ivan Kalinin

What’s the difference between something that is ‘freehold’ and ‘condo’?

While most people use the word ‘condo’ to describe an apartment in a highrise that they buy, it would be more accurate to say that a condo unit is a part of a corporation that governs a certain building. The corporation is responsible to pool funds to share certain costs, communal spaces and amenity benefits, among other things. Townhomes are frequently a part of condo corporation as well.

If a property is part of a condominium corporation, the unit owner has certain obligations with respect to maintenance, operations, leasing and possibly decor.

Typically, the maintenance functions are centralized and performed by a subcontractor hired by the condo corp. This is why condo owners don’t cut their own grass or shovel their own snow. But they pay a monthly fee to the condo corp to pay for all these services. Condo corps may have codes of conduct for residents, guests and pets, and may put restrictions on how unit owners may decorate their properties. All unit owners have an opportunity to run for election to be a part of the board that runs the corp. Condo corps may also put restrictions on how unit owners may rent out their property, whether they are doing it monthly or by the day.

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