One general piece of advice that applies to most real-estate transactions is for all parties to perform their due diligence, especially real-estate buyers. Real-estate buyers should always know as much as possible about the property they’re purchasing so that, in essence, they don’t get stuck with a mess on their hands — both financially and physically.
It’s the law
Well, when it comes to condos, there is a document that is mandatory with all resales and that essentially makes some of this due-diligence work a bit easier. It’s called the condo status certificate, which provides much of the basic information pertaining to a condo unit as well as the condo corporation involved.
A condo status certificate includes information about the condo unit’s property manager, any outstanding liens and corresponding amounts, reserve funds available for future repairs, as well as any available condo insurance, especially if there is a lawsuit in the works.
Big and small details
Even more mundane details related to the condo are included in the status certificate, such as rules regarding pets, pool hours and parking. In other words, many large and small details that are relevant to a condo unit will be included in its status certificate.
Although the law requires a condo resale to be accompanied by a status certificate, there are no laws as to what constitutes the specific provisions of the certificate. In other words, a condo doesn’t necessarily require specific insurance. It doesn’t even have to come with a pool. It’s up to the buyer to determine whether the condo’s accommodations are adequate.
A recent ruling by the Ontario Court of Appeal has given condo purchasers even more protections surrounding condo status certificates. The judge awarded the purchaser hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages, fees and costs because a condo seller was found to have misrepresented details on the certification. Such errors can obviously prove costly.
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