What’s Up With Condominium Status Certificates? – Zoomer

Condo Status - The Devil is in the Details

Condo Status – The Devil is in the Details

The Devil Is In The Details


In the last decade Canada’s condominium industry has exploded.  Whether it’s in a metropolitan, suburban or recreational community, today’s condo buyers have endless choices in price, size, style, amenities and location.  Most buyers have done their homework, meticulously researching what building best fit their budget and lifestyle.  But what happens after you have fallen in love with your dream unit?

Every new condo owner will receive a 200+ page document which arrives when you enter into a conditional agreement to purchase a condominium. As intimidating some may think this legal leviathan is, it’s a beast that can be tamed.

Condominium status certificates are generally reviewed by your lawyer and most corporations are deemed well managed.  But what are the general principles of this document?  Think of it as an MRI outlining a condominium corporation’s health. The reserve fund, financial status, existing by-laws and  active litigation claims are all outline among other important items.  Here are some general definitions:

Reserve Fund – Confirms the reserve has sufficient funds to pay for any major work.   Major work is represented as any extensive retrofit or upgrade of common elements and if a budget shortfall occurs then all owners would have a special assessment fee levied on top of regular monthly maintenance fees.

  1. Financial Status – The yearly audited financial statements will provide an income vs expenditures analysis.   Knowing a head of time the building’s expenditures could help you identify a potential maintenance fee increase.
  2. By-Laws – If you have never lived in a condo, then  consider these the house rules.  Whether you can have a home-based business, limited hours of owner’s children accessing the fitness facility or allowing a BBQ on your balcony are some of the issues which be specifically and legally addressed here.   You don’t want to move in and be informed that your faithful canine companion is doggie non grata.
  3. Litigation –  Any claims before the courts against the condo corporation have to be disclosed.  If a hefty lawsuit against the building is active then you may want to seriously reconsider your purchase.

Remember this is going to be your new home,  so learn the rules of the road of your new collective living arrangement.  Your realtor and lawyer should review it and provide a comparative snapshot of how it stacks up against other buildings.

Remember, one size does not fit all…so make sure your new condo fits you.


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