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Living Here

Amenities Room

The Amenities Room is located on the second floor in unit 206, overlooking the lobby. The room is for use by all residents and their guests during the day and evening hours unless booked for exclusive use. There is a sink, tables and chairs in the room.

 

Arranging Services

Telephone

You can arrange for home telephone service by directly contacting any local provider, such as Bell or Rogers Cable.

Internet

The building is serviced by cable internet providers such as Rogers Cable and DSL providers such as Bell.

Cable Television

Our condominium is serviced Rogers Cable. You should contact Rogers directly if you wish to arrange for cable television service.  Satellite dishes are prohibited.

 

Balconies and Roof Top Patio

As exclusive use common property, the Corporation regulates the use of balconies. Only patio furniture, seasonal annual plants are allowed on balconies.  Perennials are allowed provided their roots are constrained within containers to prevent damage to the building.  No flower pots or containers are to be installed on the balcony railings or the French balconies. Owners will be asked to remove these and they will be accountable for any damage resulting from installation of such items. Barbeques of any type are not permitted on balconies, nor is the storage of propane tanks, combustible or offensive goods. Balconies cannot be used for storage.  Please do not shake rugs/carpets off your balcony or out the window and do not sweep debris off the balcony. Only floor coverings that are not affixed to the actual balcony floor and are removable during the winter months will be permitted. Balconies are also smoke-free; smoking is prohibited.

 

The rooftop patio and sunroom are for common use and enjoyment of all residents and their guests.  There is to be no exclusive use of the rooftop patio and sunroom.  Residents are at all times responsible for their guests while in the building or on the rooftop.  Smoking is not permitted on the rooftop or in the sunroom.  For health reasons, we discourage the presence of pets in the Rooftop gardens area.

 

If you would like to be involved in gardening of the common area gardens or want to make a donation of plants please contact us.  

 

The outdoor furniture is for the enjoyment of residents and we ask that you take responsibility for maintaining it. Umbrellas must not be put up in the wind and they must be removed and stored in the sunroom after use.

 

BBQ Stoves

The use of electric, propane or charcoal-fueled BBQ stoves on the individual balconies is prohibited.  This regulation has the full support of the Ontario Fire Marshall and will be strictly enforced.   Storage of propane tanks, combustible or offensive goods on the premises is prohibited.

 

Somerset Gardens has a communal Barbeque on the roof for use by all owners and tenants.  To ignite the barbeque, turn on the timer for the estimated amount of time required, open the lid and turn gas on at the wall, and then at the barbeque.  Then press button to ignite the gas on the front on the barbeque.  When using the barbeque please remember to leave the grill clean for the next user.  Always turn the gas off, first at the wall, and then once all gas is burned off from the line, turn off the barbeque.

 

Communications

Suggestions, comments and other matters for the attention of the Board or Property Manager may be sent to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

A message board can be found in the Library on the main level. Residents may place notices and other information they wish shared on this message board. The message board will be cleared periodically or as appropriate.

 

The Forum on this website is also a great way to communicate with your neighbours!

 

Condo Living

What every condo owner and resident should know

Living in a condominium is different from owning a single-family home, living in a housing co-op, or renting a home.

 

While it is a fantastic form of home ownership that works for many people, it is not for everyone.

Misconceptions

By and large, condominiums work very well, as attested to by their ongoing popularity. When problems do arise, they are often a result of owners or residents having misconceptions about condominium living.

 

Here are some common misconceptions:

Misconception 1: since it is my home, I can do what I want in/with it

It is important to remember that in a Condominium, you are living in close proximity to your neighbors. Various rules and laws exist to ensure we do not have a free-for-all as a result. It is important for everyone to be familiar with these.

 

The key rules governing our condominium are described in this handbook, based on the following documents that you should familiarize yourself with before purchasing or moving into any Ontario Condominium:

 

Condominium Act - Governs how all Ontario Condominiums operate.

Declaration - Ground rules originally established when the units were first sold. All owners should receive a copy of this at the time of their purchase. In most cases, the Declaration can only be changed if 80-90% of unit owners vote in favour of the change. The type of change determines whether it is 80% or 90% that is required.

By-laws - These are enacted by vote by unit owners, and require that 50% of unit owners vote in favour of the bylaw.

Rules & Regulations - These may be updated from time to time by the Boards of Directors, upon 30-days notice to all unit owners.

Misconception 2: I own everything past my entry door, but common areas are not my problem

Condominium ownership is divided into two pieces:

 

Your Unit - Your Unit consists of the space enclosed by the boundary walls, floor and ceiling. It includes all interior partition walls, finishes, appliances, and most plumbing, electrical and mechanical equipment that provides service to your unit alone. However, it excludes things such as building structural elements, windows, balconies, and unit entry doors. You are responsible for the maintenance and repair of anything defined as part of your Unit.

 

Common Elements - Along with all other owners, you also own an interest in the common elements, which includes the building envelope, mechanical systems, hallways, elevators, lobby and amenity spaces. The Condominium Corporation's responsibility is to maintain these common elements, and individual owners are prohibited from making alterations to the common elements. However, you should care for the common elements as if you own them - because you do.

Misconception 3: I should get a say in all decisions

Condominiums are not run as co-operatives where everyone has a say in all decisions, but as democracies, where most decisions are made by a Board of Directors who are elected by owners. In a community the size of ours, there will always be differences of opinion. Part of the reason condos are so successful, as opposed to grinding to a halt, is that Boards are charged with decision making responsibility for most decisions.

 

For this reason, it is important for owners to step forward when there is an election for an open position on the Board of Directors. This happens at the Annual General Meeting of Owners which takes place each year. The Annual General Meeting also provides a key opportunity to become aware of and get involved in issues affecting all unit owners, so it is very important to attend this meeting.

 

While the volunteer Board of Directors is focussed on long-term improvements, and overseeing the operation of the Condominium Corporation, day-to-day management is handled by a paid Property Manager. Inquiries you have should be directed to the Property Manager. In most cases, the Property Manager will be the only one who is in a position to assist with your inquiry. When the Board needs to be involved, the Property Manager will in turn seek direction from the Board.

Misconception 4: my condo fees should stay the same or be lowered

As a general rule of thumb, you should expect your condo fees to increase by a small % each year. While we would all like to have lower fees, the reality is that it costs money to properly run and maintain any condominium. As with most things, these costs increase with inflation. The Board and Property Manager work hard to establish an Annual Budget and ensure that costs are kept to a minimum, while still maintaining the standards of our Condominium.

 

Garbage and Recycling

Garbage chutes are located on each floor between units 08 and 10 for disposal of household garbage only.  Please do not leave anything else on the floor of the garbage room. All garbage is to be securely bagged.

 

All other materials are to be taken down to the appropriate recycling containers that are located on the ground floor outdoor parking areas.  Please do not throw bottles, large or sharp articles down the chute.  This garbage can gain speed during its decent causing danger to staff working near the garbage bins.  Please bring these types of items down separately and dispose of in the garbage bin in the garbage room on the ground floor, or recycle bin yourself.

 

Please note your front door common element key is used to open the garbage room doors off the exterior ground level parking lot.  Please ensure that the doors are securely closed when you exit.

 

There are boxes in both the entrances to the P1 parking garage and near the barbeque on the rooftop for liquor, wine and beer bottles –these are returned and the funds added to the Garden, Rooftop and Party fund. There are two containers adjacent to the mailboxes for garbage and there is a garbage container near the barbeque on the rooftop.

 

Residents are requested not to use the garbage chutes between 11 pm and 7 am in deference to the need for quiet during night hours.

 

Large items such as sofas, mattresses and furniture should be put at the curb on our usual garbage day, which is every second Wednesday.  Our cleaner can advise you when the next  garbage collection day is or check on the City of Ottawa website.  (Every other week a private firm collects  our garbage, and large items must be collected by the City, not our private  firm.)  If the item is too large for the City collection, the garbage truck driver will arrange for another City truck to be sent out to remove  it.  There is no charge for this.  

 

Recyclable items can be left in their respective bins located in the public parking garage on the main level.  Please make sure you use the correct bin for the recyclable item.  The bins are clearly marked for the types of recyclable items that can be placed in them.  Go to the City of Ottawa website for more details.

 

Garbage accumulated by contractors engaged by unit owners to work within their units is the responsibility of the contractor who must be so advised by the unit owner.

 

Getting Involved

Owners and residents play an important role in our condominium. Here are some opportunities for how you can get involved.

The Board of Directors

Joining the Board of Directors is a great way to get involved in your community. This is an opportunity to improve our quality of life and to protect our investment. If you think you may be interested in seeking election to the Board of Directors, and you would like to find out more about what is involved, please contact one of us.

Other Volunteer Opportunities

If you feel you lack the time to be on the Board, but you would still like to contribute in some way, there are often other opportunities to volunteer a little of your time. There are various committees that are always looking for new members, please contact us to find out more.

 

Hallways

All floor hallways, for fire safety reasons, must be kept clear of anything on the floor (e.g. carpets, shoes, boots, strollers, etc.). If you have placed articles in the hallway you will be asked to remove them. Please do not shake or clean rugs/carpets in the hallways or stairwells.

 

We discourage the use of roller blades and bicycles in any of the common areas (e.g. lobby, elevators, hallways, and rooftop areas).

 

Insurance

The Condominium Act requires the Condo Corporation to obtain and maintain insurance on its own behalf and on behalf of the unit owners for damage to both the units and the common elements.  The insurance covers “major perils” such as fire, smoke, windstorm, hail, explosion, water escape etc.

 

The Condo Corporation’s insurance obligation excludes improvements made to each unit as well as the unit owner’s or tenant’s personal belongings. Each unit owner or tenant should have their own insurance for his or her improvements and upgrades, also known as “betterments” as well as personal belongings.

 

Owners and residents should be aware that if they are away from their unit for more than 48 hours, such as a vacation or a trip out of town, they should have a friend or family member inspect their apartment for security reasons and insurance coverage.  Each owner should check with his or her insurance company for any other specific requirements.

 

Key Rules

Various rules exist to protect the interests of all owners in our Condominium, and to ensure everyone is treated fairly and able to enjoy living here.

 

The official rules are as written in the documents governing the Condominium Corporation, in particular the DeclarationBy-laws and Rules and Regulations. It's important that all owners and residents take the time to familiarize themselves with these documents.

 

Some specific rules that everyone should pay close attention to include:

Moving

You are only permitted to move furniture and other items into or out of the building after following the correct procedure to book your move. Moves may only take place during certain hours, and special elevator pads must be in place to protect the elevator interiors.  Refer to the handbook section on Moving for details.

Neighbours Right to Quiet Enjoyment

Condominium Rules clearly provide for owners rights to quiet enjoyment of their unit, and puts the burden on the invidual making noise to ensure they do not disturb their neighbours. For more information, please see the handbook section on Quiet Enjoyment.

Pets

You are responsible for cleaning up after your pet. Residents are permitted to have pets, under certain circumstances. There are limits on the type and number of pets that are permitted per unit. You are responsible for cleaning up your pet anywhere on or near the premises. For more information, please see the handbook section on Pets.

Renting Your Unit

Individual unit owners may rent out their unit, but subject to certain conditions. These include requirements for both the landlord and tenant to provide the Condominium Corporation with certain signed forms. These requirements must be fulfilled before a tenant will be permitted to move in. For more information, please see the handbook section on Renting Your Unit.

Balconies

To keep a neat and tidy appearance of the building, and for safety reasons, only seasonal furniture is permitted on balconies. Balconies may not be used for storage of bicycles or other items. For the safety of those below, you must ensure that no items can fall or be dropped from your balcony. In particular, dropping cigarette butts poses a personal safety and fire hazard threat to those below, and is strictly forbidden. Please use an ashtray instead.

Common Elements

You are not permitted to modify any common elements of the Condominium. If you have any concerns with the common elements, please contact us. It is important that you take the time to familiarize yourself with which things are common elements, as these include unit entry doors, windows and window frames, and other things that those new to Condominium living may assume are part of the unit they own.

Parking Spaces

Parking spaces may not be rented to non-residents. Also, no items other than vehicles may be stored in your parking space, for both security and insurance reasons.

Smoking

Smoking is not permitted in Somerset Gardens, either inside or outside the building. Somerset Gardens has been ruled a Smoke-free Building since February 1, 2015.

Signs and Flyers

To keep the building looking neat and tidy, no sort of sign or flyer may be posted in the common areas, and no flyers or notices may be distributed except by permission of the Condominium Corporation.

 

Library

The library is for the use by all residents and their guests.  Any book may be borrowed.  Only books in good condition may be donated and will only be accepted if there is space on the shelves. If you wish to donate books please contact us. Please do not leave anything else in the room or on the shelves. 

 

There is a bulletin board located in the library for posting anything for sale or of common interest to owners.  The Property Manager and the Board of Directors reserve the right to remove any posting that may be offensive to other residents.

 

Lockers and Bicycle Room

Lockers are located on the main level of the building, accessible via the rear lobby door on the main level parking garage and on the lower level parking garage, accessible beside the door to the elevators on the east side.

 

No hazardous or flammable materials (e.g. paint, propane) is allowed to be kept in the lockers. Leave the view of the interior unobstructed.  The lockers are inspected, visually, on a regular basis. 

 

Please make sure when you exit the locker or bicycle room that the light is turned off as an energy conserving measure and the door is securely closed.  

 

All the lockers are owned.  Residents are requested to contact the Property Manager prior to occupying a locker unless they own it.  

The bicycle room is located on the main level and on P1 level of the building, accessible via the rear lobby door or the main level parking. To reserve a spot for your bicycle in this room, please contact us.

 

Maintaining Building Security

External entry to the building is by fob and that fob is not to be given out freely. It is important to report any missing or lost fobs/keys to the Property Manager immediately. A special electronic device is available, at a cost of $60, for those who require the use of the wall discs for the Handicapped at the front entrance.

 

Please do not let anyone in who buzzes your unit, who you are unable to identify.  Try not to let persons who cannot identify themselves into the lobby when you are unlocking the door yourself so that security will not be compromised. Always keep your unit door locked and your sliding doors secured.

 

Please enter the garage slowly and watch for anyone in another vehicle or on foot following you in to the garage space.  If you are following another car, allow the garage door to partially close before using your remote access device to open the door.  This practice assures the initial driver that you are authorized to enter the building.  It is recommended that remote access devices not be left inside your vehicle.

 

If you notice a suspicious individual on the premises, please notify us and/or the Police. Do not try to confront an intruder yourself.

 

The Board has installed many security cameras throughout the building and lobby and any movement is recorded 24 hours a day.  The cameras are not monitored physically but images are stored on a hard drive to be reviewed in case of an incident.  In case of an incident of concern please contact the Property Manager at: 613-738-7900 ext 120.

 

In case of robbery or other security problem contact the Police directly.

 

Moving

Booking Your Move

Furniture, appliances and any other large items can only be moved into or out of the building if you have booked the elevator and the protective elevator pads must be in place. The elevator must be booked ahead of time.

 

The Corporation charges a moving fee of $50 (amount is subject to change, contact the property manager) for moving in/out of Somerset Gardens.  This fee covers the time required to set up the elevator pads as well as any damages and wear and tear to the common areas that frequently occur during a move.  Payment should be made by cheque or money order to O.C.S.C.C. No.  795 and payment is required to be left with the Property Manager prior to having the elevator put on service before your move.  A written receipt will be issued at the time of payment.

 

Just contact us, and we will be happy to be of assistance in booking your move and ensuring a dedicated elevator is available for you at your move time.

 

Moving Hours

The hours for moving are Monday to Saturday, from 8 am to 5 pm. Moving shall not take place on Sundays or public holidays.

Tenants

If you are renting a unit from a unit owner in the building, the required tenant information forms must be signed by both the unit owner and tenant before the move takes place.  Also make sure you familarize yourself with the declaration, bylaws and rules.  See the document section for details. Please note that Somerset Gardens is a Smoke-free building.

 

Parking Garage

The P1 parking level of Somerset Gardens has spaces for individual owners only.  There are no spare spaces for visitor parking in the underground P1 parking level.  There is a ground level area for Public Parking that is not part of Somerset Gardens Parking. 

 

The individual parking spaces are for vehicle parking only, that may include a motor cycle, and may include a designated rack for a bicycle. The spaces are not for personal storage.

 

When entering and exiting the garage it is best to stop to ensure there is no intruder trying to follow you in.  If you are following another car, allow the garage door to partially close before using your remote access device to open the door.  This practice assures the initial driver that you are authorized to enter the building.  It is recommended that remote access devices not be left inside your vehicle.

 

Pets

We recognize the value of pets to our residents.  Every pet owner is responsible for its quiet behaviour.  All pets in common areas must be on a leash and under the owner’s control.  If any pet should soil hallways or common areas the owner is required to thoroughly clean the area immediately. If barking and/or noise disturbs the enjoyment of other residents the pet’s owner will be requested to ensure that the noise, and any nuisance behaviour stops. For health reasons, we discourage the presence of pets in the rooftop garden areas.

 

If a pet owner fails to follow these rules, the pet can be deemed by the Board to be a nuisance and ordered to be permanently removed from the property.  See the Board's pet policy for further details. 

 

If you have a pet, it is important that you familiarize yourself with these rules and follow them. These rules include: 

  • There are limits on the type and number of pets you are permitted.
  • Attack dogs in particular are not permitted.
  • You must keep your pet under personal supervision and have it under control by leash or in a carrier when entering and exiting the property.
  • You must ensure you pet does not make a mess in the common areas, and you must clean up after your pet.
  • You must ensure that your pet does not make noises that disturb neighbours.

 

 

Quiet Enjoyment

Although walls and floors between our units are built to high standards, no level of building technology can make these entirely sound proof. In order for everyone to live in harmony, we must all remember that we are living in relatively close proximity to one another.

 

Also, be aware that noise on balconies readily transmits into neighbouring units. Loud music, parties, the sounds of pets, sounds from appliances, footsteps from the floor above are among common sources of noise in condo-apartment buildings. The exterior unit doors and the stairwell doors close quickly (and loudly) to meet fire codes. Please take the time to hold them as they close to prevent banging.

 

If you have a complaint, try to reach a friendly accommodation with your neighbour before involving Ottawa City By-law officers or the Property Manager. 

Condominium Rules

The rules and regulations of our Condominium clearly provide for owners rights to quiet enjoyment of their unit, places the burden on the individual making noises to ensure they do not disturb their neighbours, and provides the Condominium Corporation with powers to enforce these rules.

City Noise Bylaws

In addition to the Condominium Rules, all residents and visitors are also bound by the city noise bylaws, which restrict activities that may disturb the peace and comfort of others between 11 pm and 7 am on weekdays, between 11 pm and 9 am on Saturdays, and between 11 pm and 12 pm on Sundays.

 

Please report any noise bylaw infractions to the City, as well as to our Property Manager.

 

Renting Your Unit

You may rent out your unit according to the certain restrictions.

Tenant Obligations

The tenant must provide sign a Tenant Acknowledgement and Undertaking Form before they will be permitted to move in, and before their name will be added to the front door enterphone system. This form is available from the property manager, or online. The tenant must also sign to indicate that they have received a copy of this handbook before they may be permitted to move in. The tenant is bound by all Rules, Bylaws and the Declaration and should be told that this is a Smoke-free building.

Landlord Obligations

The landlord must provide a signed Tenant Information Form before the tenant will be permitted to move in. This provides key information to ensure that the unit owner (landlord) still receives all key communications for unit owners, and is also vital in the case of an emergency. The landlord must also provide a copy of the signed lease to the Condominium Corporation.

Renting of Parking Spaces

Parking units may only be used by and rented to residents of our Condominium.

 

Rules and Regulations

All residents are subject to the Declaration, By-laws and Rules registered by the Corporation.  Tenants are also subject to these and must ensure their Landlord has provided a copy to them.  Copies may be obtained through the Property Manager at a nominal cost, or downloaded from this website.

 

Smoking

Since this is a Smoke-free building, there is no smoking anywhere inside nor outside on the property of this building.

 

Visitor Entry

Always establish the identity of the caller prior to allowing them entry.  To let the caller enter press #9 on your phone pad. If you are a new resident please contact the Property Manager to activate your entry system through your phone.