BY: VLADO HAJTOL
This week’s Reader asks: My husband and I are home owners and we are thinking about downsizing to a condominium. Our real estate agent has told us we have to order a status certificate for the condo and get it reviewed by a lawyer. What is a status certificate and why do we need it?
Section 76 of the Ontario Condominium Act (the “Act”) provides for what is called a “Status Certificate”. Every condo purchase should be contingent upon review of the Status Certificate and a condominium corporation must provide a status certificate for a condominium unit upon request. The Status Certificate is used to learn all about the condominium corporation and provide the buyer with much of the documentation required for review. The Act sets out what must be contained in all Status Certificates, some of which includes:
- Disclosure of all outstanding judgments against the corporation and the status of any legal proceedings to which the condominium corporation is a party;
- A statement of any upcoming major repairs;
- A statement of the common expenses for the unit and any default on the payment of those expenses;
- A copy of the current budget of the corporation; and
- A statement about the most recent reserve fund study and the amount in the reserve fund. (The reserve fund is used for performing major repairs of the common elements of the condo corporation.)
Attached to the Status Certificate are the rules and regulations of the condominium used for governing common elements such as hallways, lobbies and balconies. A real estate lawyer can review these rules and explain them so that you understand what your rights and obligations are as condo owners.
Remember that according to the Act, the condo corporation may charge a prescribed fee for providing you with the Status Certificate.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This publication is the 29th installment of our firm’s Legal Matters series, which answers a reader’s question every week. If you have a general legal question that you would like to have addressed please send it via email to email@example.com.