Purchasers of Condominium Units in Ontario

Date: 25 Mar, 2015| Author: Elliott Dale

The lawyer’s role in acting for a purchaser if a resale and not new condominium unit and this process begins with the purchasing retaining the solicitor to act on the client’s behalf, review the offer, either before it is signed, or if signed, review the conditions and if the offer as is usually the case, conditional upon a Status Certificate review by the purchaser’s lawyer, such condition usually runs 3 to 5 days from receipt of the Condominium Documents and the Purchaser/Client has the right to be satisfied and waive this condition or walk away from the transaction.

The Status Certificate is one of the most important documents in such condominium purchase transacton and should be less than 30 days old and will include insurance documents, copies of the declaration (the constitution of the Condominium Corporation), bylaws, rules, budget for current and future year, reserve fund study and should describe and match up the unit being purchased as in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, the Offer, which my refer to a parking unit and locker unit which may be owned by the Vendor or the owner of the unit has exclusive use of such parking and/or locker unit. The amount of the monthly condominium fee is set out in such status certificate including any arrears, special assessments, litigation and suits by or against the condominium corporation, amount of the reserve fund, with annual contributions, and if there are anticipated increases and financial statements with auditor’s statements. There are rules as to pets, use of balconies, parking, visitor parking, type of vehicles permitted in or on the common areas, use of any recreation centre, shared facilities and other issues to be reviewed with an experienced solicitor who would recommend that the purchaser inspect the unit for damages and the parking unit and locker unit for any damages, oil stains etc.

This status certificate with the financial attachments, insurance certificate will be required by any mortgage lender and title insurer.

For new condominium purchases, these are similar save that the project will not be complete for l to 2 or more years, that a review of disclosure booklet with similar proposed declaration, bylaws, rules, budget etc. need to be reviewed within the cooling off period for new builder’s condominium purchases and note that the closing date, i.e. set for occupancy will require the purchaser to possibly pay further deposit or balance pursuant to the terms of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale and pay estimated common expense monthly fee, estimated realty taxes monthly and the builder will hold the difference from the purchase price less the deposit and possibly some adjustments on this interim occupancy period and interest will be calculated thereon at the rate prescribed under the Ontario Condominium Act. Taking occupancy is not the final closing which usually takes place approximately 3 months after the possession is obtained after a Tarion inspection for New Home Warranty if this is covered in this new project as opposed to a conversion of an existing building to a Condominium in which case there is no Tarion warranty coverage and only a limited warrant by the builder/developer. The final closing then takes place when the mortgage financing is registered with the Transfer/Deed and the purchaser pays off the balance owing to the builder plus any builder’s adjustments and any new or increased development and educational levies. It is important to have a lawyer in the cooling off period after signing this new build offer to review and cap such adjustments.

The costs for such purchase is set out in our website and we would be pleased to meet with any parties wishing such documents prepared.