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Storage Space in Condos
There are many benefits to having a condo as opposed to an apartment. One asset has to so with large about of extra storage space available in condominiums. If have a lot of furniture and other household items, buying a condo is probably a good idea. Storage space is a valuable asset in any home, and more so in apartment-style condominiums. Whether you are buying new or resale, keep in mind your need to store unused luggage, ski equipment, camping equipment and perhaps that crate of comic books from your youth.
Some buildings offer a cage in the parkade, and this might even be suspended over the hood of your car, which is not the most convenient thing. Others will offer a larger walk-in cage, but which is also exposed to the dust and dirt brought in by vehicles. The smallest amount of storage options are found in many conversion buildings. Some four-story walkup buildings with outdoor parking do not have a basement, so some offer no storage outside of the suites. In addition, if an existing closet in each suite has been converted to a laundry room, there can be precious little space for storing your coats, much less your bicycles and luggage.
A few condominiums come with a separate bicycle storage room and lockers. This is the best standard, and one that all new-condo builders should strive for. Since condo bylaws prohibit storing bikes and other clutter on balconies, an alternative should be offered. While lockers in condo buildings are usually assigned common property, they can also be surveyed and titled. If they are titled, you have assurance that you will never be told to change lockers, or have it taken away, but you will pay a small monthly condo fee on the space. While these storage condo units have had a tax assessment of zero, the City of Calgary will likely start taxing them in 2004.
Buildings with inadequate storage, can address the problem in-house. With the developer gone, and the condo Board of owners in charge, look around for unused space that could be converted to lockers. Most buildings offer under-stairwell gaps, hallway dead-end spaces and other nooks that can be used. Basements and boiler rooms can offer lots of space, but watch that you do not allow access to mechanical equipment, or break fire regulations.
If you are assigning new lockers, make sure you avoid month-by-month arrangements. Such details are too hard to keep track of, so rent them out either by the year, or virtually sell them off for a lump sum in exchange for a 99-year lease. Post the associated suite number on each locker door, so in future you will know whose it is. Unlike with titled lockers, you cannot go down to the Land Titles Office to confirm who “owns” a locker leased on the common property. As to the cost of construction, it is not likely to exceed your lease revenue, and all your corporation wants to do is break even and provide the storage.
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