What can happen if you lose your condo parking spot?
Oct 28th, 2021 | By FCT
Of all the problems Ahmad Sari* expected to deal with when he closed on his Vancouver condo, parking was not one of them. After all, his unit came with a parking space. But just two years later, the City of Vancouver noticed something odd about six of the parking spaces in the building’s garage.
In a tight spot
The strata corporation had subdivided the six parking spaces into two each to allow more parking spots in the same amount of space. That violated Vancouver’s zoning by-laws and the City ordered the corporation to restore the parking spaces to their original size and number. When the corporation finished complying, that was the end of it for them and for the City, but not for Ahmad.
With the change, he had lost exclusive access to the parking spot, and couldn’t viably share it. But he had bought the condo partly on the basis of having the spot, and it had factored into the price of his unit. That’s when Ahmad remembered a decision he’d made when he bought the condo that could now help him in this situation.
Ahmad had purchased a residential title insurance policy through his notary as part of closing on the unit. When he reached out to FCT, we decided that the best course of action would be to compensate Ahmad. Unlike many of the claims we receive, there wasn’t a specific dollar amount available to quickly settle the claim. By hiring an appraiser, we were able to determine the value of Ahmad’s spot, based on its desirable Yaletown location in downtown Vancouver. We paid out $50,000 to Ahmad, resolving the situation and bringing a happy ending to his parking woes.
Is a parking space part of a condo?
In many cases, yes. Some condo or strata corporations retain the title to parking spots or storage and provide the unit owner with access. The title to Ahmad’s unit included exclusive use of the parking space and storage locker. One key benefit of title insurance for condo owners lies in its protection of the title itself, which means it covers those other spaces if they are part of the title. Condo owners most commonly face losses from unauthorized or unannounced changes to the building strata, many of which can result in City-issued compliance orders.
Not all title and off-title issues take years to show up. New condo owners sometimes have to deal with construction liens on the building, outstanding work orders, even tax and utility arrears from a previous owner, soon after taking possession. A title insurance policy can protect against these and other covered risks. For a small one-time premium, condo owners can close on their units quickly and confidently, and enjoy protection for as long as they own the property.
Learn more about how a residential title insurance policy can provide condominium owners more protection.
Insurance by FCT Insurance Company Ltd. Services by First Canadian Title Company Limited. The services company does not provide insurance products. This material is intended to provide general information only. For specific coverage and exclusions, refer to the applicable policy. Copies are available upon request. Some products/services may vary by province. Prices and products/services offered are subject to change without notice.
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