The second phase of amendments to Alberta Regulation 168/2000, the Condominium Property Act, will come into effect on January 1, 2020.  This amendment requires all condominium corporations to have a Standard Insurable Unit Description.

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Standard Insurable Unit Description

As defined in Section 60.1 (c), a Standard Insurable Unit Description is a description of “notional typical standard fixtures and finishing in a residential unit or class of residential units,” provided to purchasers by the developer, or adopted by the corporation. Basically, the description lists all base-level finish materials and fixtures in a condominium unit.

Why is the amendment important and what’s changed?

Currently, all condominium complexes in Alberta must purchase and maintain insurance to protect the condominium corporation against such events as fire, flood, hail, et al. In the past, in the event of a loss, the corporation’s insurance covered damages to the unit, regardless of the grade of finish material. The amendment defines a base, or “standard,” unit for which the corporation must maintain insurance coverage. Owners themselves will now be responsible for purchasing and maintaining insurance coverage for all improvements or betterments to their units. Should an owner upgrade a finish material, for example replacing carpet with hardwood flooring, the owner’s insurance must cover all additional costs for the upgrade in the event of damage.

Who compiles the list of standard finishes?
In newer condominiums, documents listing the standard finishes planned for each unit may be available from the developer. In older condominium complexes or newer complexes lacking such developer documents, the condominium corporation may adopt a list of standard finishes either by amending their by-laws or by passing an ordinary or Board resolution.
Industry professionals, such as Keller Engineering, are qualified to assist boards in creating lists of standard finishes.
What does the list typically include?

  • Internal doors and windows
  • Closets, storage installations, and space dividers
  • Flooring, wall coverings, and trim
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Water-related fixtures such as toilets and sinks
  • Natural gas and heating devices
  • Cooling, ventilation, and air exchangers
  • Outlets, telecommunication technologies, and smoke detectors
  • Kitchen, bathroom, and laundry plumbing, fixtures, controls, cabinets, and counter tops
 Steps in completing a Standard Insurable Unit Description:
  1. Search through condominium records for a pre-existing list of standard unit finishes.
  2. If no such list exists, contact your condominium manager.
  3. List each unique unit type found in the complex (for example: Units 105, 107, and 109 may be 3-bedroom, Units 106, 108, and 110 may be 2-bedroom).
  4. Prepare a list of representative units to be inspected by an assessor. A minimum of one of each unit type must be inspected. Ideally, the units to be inspected are owned by the original purchasers or have not undergone extensive renovation since the initial construction.
  5. Engage an assessor to complete the list of standard finishes.
  6. The Board adopts the list of standard finishes prepared by the assessor by amending the by-laws or passing a resolution.

Keller Engineering is qualified to compile Standard Insurable Unit Description lists and would be pleased to submit a cost estimate for your building. For more information, or to request a cost estimate, please contact Andrew Van Bakel, P. Eng.  or Ben Savage, B.A.Sc. Civ. Eng.

Should you wish to learn more about the amendments to the Condominium Property Regulation, please consult the following online version

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