- Is the Condo Owner operating a full scale business?
- Is the Condo Owner living in the unit?
- Does the Condo Owner have full time staff?
- Is the Condo Owner on the Board of Directors
- Are you paying more on your maintenance fee because of it?
Many condo owners are operating a business in a residential unit which is on the main floor of a condo building. They don’t want to pay the high cost of buying a commercial store or office so they purchase a “live-work” residential unit and then turn the unit into a full scale business.
Most Condo Declarations states:
Live-Work Unit Owners – Must Live in – to Work in Live-Work Units
The City and Municipal Property Assessment Corporation are watching for “Unscrupulous Condo Owners who use Live-work units to operate a full scale commercial business yet pay Residential Taxes when they should be paying Commercial Taxes which are 5 X’s the amount for residential. Unfortunately to make matters worst, some are on the Board of Directors yet their units are in non-compliance to their Condo Declaration. It is a potential fire hazzard and the Condo building insurance policies may be at risk considering these Owners are not acting on the best interest of the Corporation. If the Owner is a Director, the situation is worst because it is his/hers fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the Corporation.
Building of Live Work Units and Safety Aspect
These units were not constructed as a commercial unit. The added utility costs of an 8:00 am – 9 pm full scale business could be increasing your maintenance fee substantially. Your Condo Corporation insurance policy could be at risk of non compliance to the policy which relates to the building zoning and fire codes of original construction. These “main floor units” have a direct access door to street level and another door leading to the main hallways.
Condo Owners are operating in non-compliance of the Declaration when they use residential live-work units this way is strictly for personal gain. They avoid commercial taxes which are 5x times the cost of residential properties. They save money buying residential condo unit because commercial units are 3-4x times the price. The sad part is that it affects all of us because we pay more taxes to cover the lost commercial taxes.
How it affects you
- They are in non-compliance to the Declaration
- They increase maintenance fees using excessive hydro electricity and water
- They compromise the building codes – these units were not built to be commercial
- They compromise the condo building insurance in non compliance of the Declaration
- Residential taxes are 1/5 of the cost of commercial taxes
- Residential properties are 1/2 or 1/3 of the cost of commercial
If you know Someone operating a Live-Work Unit as a Commercial Store or Business?
Please REPORT it to COA or MPAC
We are all paying the taxes for these owners because they bought a residential unit only to operate a business. Unfortunately our Government is not watching the books and these owners are getting away with it.
COA is working with Government to implement stronger requirements and a tracking system to prevent misuse and abuse of Live-work Units. to protect all Condo Owners.