PURCHASING A CONDOMINIUM
You should ensure that you fully understand the rules that affect a condominium unit prior to purchase. If you do not comply with a specific rule affecting your condominium, the Corporation has the right to get a court order directing compliance and ordering payment of legal costs by the unit owner.
If it appears to you that the seller has made internal changes to the unit or common area, you should check with management to ensure all changes were approved. Should a purchaser wish to make changes, written approval must be obtained from management.
If you intend to rent your unit, ensure that you insert a clause in the tenancy agreement stating that the tenant will comply with all rules and by-laws of the Condominium Corporation.
Types of rules that pertain to condominiums:
Carpeting on various types of floors to reduce sound transmission or no hardwood floors
No barbequing on balconies
No satellite dish
No parking of commercial or recreational vehicles
Use of elevators for moving may have restrictive hours and require security deposits
Office, business, or commercial uses not permitted within condominium units
Types and colour of window coverings permitted
Plantings and other uses of exterior patios
Unit owner's liability for damaged exterior doors, garage doors, and any added items
Restrictions on short term rentals and other tenancy requirements
PURCHASING A NEW CONDOMINIUM UNIT FROM A BUILDER
1) “Cooling Off” Period
By law, the purchaser of a newly constructed Condominium unit has a ten day “cooling off” period beginning on the date when the builder signed an acceptance of the offer and made a fully signed copy available to the purchaser. During this time, a purchaser can review the contents of the agreement and can request in writing any changes that are proposed to be made or the purchaser can provide the builder with a written notice of termination of the transaction which must be provided to the Builder prior to the expiration of the cooling off period. A purchaser who decides not to provide any such written notice within the ten days is deemed to have accepted the agreement as originally written.
2) Surprise Closing Costs
A builder's agreement to purchase a newly constructed condo (in contrast to the simplicity of a resale condo) contains pages of fine print which are NOT standard for each builder. The adjustments chargeable on closing (in addition to the upgrades ordered by a purchaser and the closing costs such as: legal fees, legal disbursements and land transfer tax) can be substantial.
3) Room Sizes and Square Footage
Do not rely on the builder's promotional advertising regarding the unit you are purchasing. What counts are the actual terms in the signed agreement of purchase and sale. If it is not in writing within the terms of such agreement, the contents of the glossy brochure mean nothing. Ensure that the floor plan showing room sizes and square footage be a Schedule inserted in the builder’s sale agreement being signed by the buyer.
4) Does a Buyer Get Interest on Deposits When Buying From a Condo Builder?
Section 82 of the Condominium Act states that the builder must pay the buyer interest on all deposits paid before the interim occupancy closing and only up to such occupancy closing date. However, the prescribed rate of interest referred to in section 82(1) is defined in section 19(3) of Ontario Regulation 48/01 as 2% per annum below the Bank of Canada Overnight Bank Rate which currently is only 1%; therefore, money on deposit with a builder is not earning any interest at this time.