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Why Do I Need a Status Certificate When Purchasing a Condominium?

Why Do I Need a Status Certificate When Purchasing a Condominium?

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Posted July 18, 2018

When signing an Agreement of Purchase and Sale for a condominium, some buyers are surprised to see their agent has inserted an additional condition beyond the usual financing and inspection provisions. This condition, involving a review of a status certificate and associated condominium documents, is extremely important for a variety of reasons.

First, the status certificate documents will provide the buyer with financial information on the condominium. This often includes a budget, financial statements, and a reserve fund study (which shows the long-term plan for repairing and replacing certain items, such as the roof of the building or the asphalt in the parking garage). Reviewing this information can provide insight on the financial health of the condominium, which is crucial since increases in fees or special assessments (which is when the condominium does not have enough funds to cover its expenses and seeks an additional payment from its owners beyond the monthly condominium fees) can cause a burden on the buyer if they decide to become an owner.

Therefore, if there are red flags in these documents and they are identified during the conditional period, the buyer still has an opportunity to back out of the purchase or at least negotiate with the seller (e.g. a reduction in price) to hopefully mitigate some of the issues discovered in the status certificate package.

Second, there will also be documents outlining the rules of the condominium (i.e. the declaration, by-laws, regulations, rules, etc.). Examining these items during the conditional period is prudent since there could be restrictions on the use of the unit, such as the building not allowing smoking or prohibiting pets. Therefore, if there were rules that the buyer found problematic, they would then be aware of them during the conditional period and could decide whether to fulfill their status condition or not.

Lastly, if you are obtaining financing, your lender will insist that they receive a “clean” status certificate before advancing your funds. So, even if the buyer is comfortable with the various problems that the condominium is experiencing, their lender may not be.

As you can see, reviewing the status certificate documents while your purchase is still conditional is very important. Our firm reviews status certificate documents frequently so feel free to contact us and we would be happy to assist with your next condominium purchase.  

This blog post was written by Jason Peyman, a member of the Real Estate team.  He can be reached at 613-369-0376  or at jason.peyman@mannlawyers.com.

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Jason Peyman

Jason Peyman

My practice focuses on residential real estate, as well as corporate/commercial law. I pride myself on providing clients with help throughout the various stages of a real estate transaction and making the process of buying or selling a home as simple as possible. In addition, I also enjoy assisting clients with other real estate issues, such as preparing co-tenancy agreements and advising clients regarding boundary disputes. For the firm’s corporate/commercial clients, I am involved in preparing and reviewing commercial agreements, such as asset and share purchase agreements, shareholder agreements, leases, and license agreements. Born in Kingston and raised in the Greater Toronto area, I obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business at York University, where I was also President of the Sports Business Club. I am a graduate of the joint law degree program between the University of Ottawa and Michigan State University. During law... Read More

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