ANSWERS: 1
  • Yes. If access to your unit is required for maintenance or safety reasons, an association or condominium corporation may require the owner of the unit to provide them with a key. If the unit owner has changed the locks, the unit could no longer be accessed using a master key, if one existed. Depending on the design of the buildings, an individual's unit may contain a water shut-off valve or meter for a group of units (as did a unit I once owned), a maintenance access to a common sewer, a telephone feed shared by several units, or other items that may need to be accessed for maintenance or safety reasons. If the association or corporation has by-laws requiring them to maintain smoke detectors within each unit, they will require access to the unit to inspect and test the detectors for liability purposes. If the unit is in a multi-story building, access is usually required in the event there is a water leak in your unit that is affecting the unit below. The corporation or association may have a policy of inspecting units for maintenance reasons and want access to the unit if the occupant is absent or uncooperative. Any such requirement should be laid out in the by-laws of the association or corporation. If there is no regulation requiring you to provide a key to the board for the unit you own, you should not provide them with one unless they can demonstrate need. However, a regulation is almost certain to be present to support any request for a key - I would be surprised if it was absent. In any case, you have the right to know under what circumstances the key will be used and how the keys are stored to avoid them falling into the hands of burglars. Like I always say, if you are thinking about purchasing a unit that is subject to the bylaws of an association or corporation, read the bylaws before you buy. This can protect you from unexpected surprises later.

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