Difference between a titled and assigned parking

Do you know what the most common issue is in the sale of apartments in Calgary? Parking! Titled, assigned, indoor, outdoor, can your use be taken away? So many questions surrounding condo parking so let’s break it down.

There are three main categories in which all apartment parking fits – titled, assigned and unassigned. Knowing what kind of parking the unit you are looking at offers really matters; not only can it affect the market value and potential offer you might submit but if you or your agent don’t do your own research you may end up with no parking at all.

Calling the management company is a great first start but it is the registered Condominium Plan that will provide the best information. The Condo Plan is the document registered at Land Titles that includes the legal unit numbers of all units (living, parking and storage) and surveys the whole condominium project: all of the legal units, common areas, assigned/unassigned parking or storage and more to determine both ownership and distribute shares in the corporation to each unit. So, let’s break it down.

Titled Parking

If the unit has titled parking it will:

    • Have a separate title from the living unit (sometimes you will see a “+1” on the apartment’s title which indicates another title is attached to this unit).
    • Be issued its own Notice of Assessment from the city and taxed separately from the living unit.
    • Have a different unit number than the living unit and show in the table of units on the first page of the condo plan. The table shows all of the unit numbers included in the condo corporation and their sizes. This can be an excellent way to check if this condo has titled parking as you will see units with a size of under 15m…clearly not large enough to be a living space but the perfect size for a parking space.
      • different on the condo plan, as shown in the examples below:Be surveyed exactly like a living unit. Assigned or common areas and legal units look different on the condo plan, as shown in the examples below:

Assigned/Unassigned Parking

Assigned or unassigned parking will not have a title and will not be issued its own Notice of Assessment from the city. You will definitely want to check with, and get something in writing from, the management company on this one. There are so many ways that common parking is handled and mishandled so it really is best to work with professionals in a condo purchase. Here are just a couple of the real case examples where “assigned” parking went wrong:

  • A buyer bought a particular unit because the advertised underground parking stall was close to the elevator which made her feel safer as a single person. When she moved in she discovered that the parking stall she was assigned was actually on the opposite side of the parkade. This could have been avoided by confirming the assigned parking stall location with the management company with confirmation in writing.
  • An apartment with an assigned outdoor parking stall was sold. The buyer took possession and use of the assigned stall but was surprised to receive a notice from the management company about the upcoming “annual parking stall lottery” in his mail. He lost use of the parking stall in the subsequent lottery and was left to keep his fingers crossed for next year.

The above is really just an overview of what you can generally expect from apartment condo parking. Keep in mind there can always be exceptions – especially with older condos – so I will make sure all the bases are covered! And, most importantly, I will ensure that the Purchase Contract, for both my seller and buyer clients, reflects the true nature of the parking and allows for a professional review of the condo documents by the buyer. Visit me on Facebook and Google!