Lawyer Review of a Status Certificate

A Status Certificate is relevant for condominium owners or potential condominium purchasers. Prior to purchasing a condominium property, a lawyer should review the Status Certificate of the Unit and provide a report.

Where do you get a Status Certificate from?

The condominium corporation shall provide the status certificate, by latest 10 days after receiving a request for it and payment of the fee charged. A corporation may charge the prescribed fee of around $100 for providing the Status Certificate.

What is in a Status Certificate?

A Status Certificate allows potential buyers to have as much information as possible about their unit. It also provides for the Rules as well as the financials, Declaration and Insurance of the Condominium Corporation.

If something specific is important to a purchaser, we like to know so that we can look out for those specific provisions, such as those relating to pets, parking, leasing, noise, smoking or moving.

As per Section 76 of the Condominium Act, 1998

https://www.canlii.org/en/on/laws/stat/so-1998-c-19/latest/so-1998-c-19.html#sec76_smooth

the Status Certificate contains important information which is critical for determining whether to purchase a condominium property. The contents of a Status Certificate are laid out and include:

(a)  the common expenses for the unit and the default, if any, in payment of the common expenses;

(b)  a statement of the increase, if any, in the common expenses since the date of the budget;

(c)  a statement of the assessments, if any, that the board has levied against the unit since the date of the budget;

(d)  the address for service of the corporation;

(e)  the names and address for service of the directors and officers of the corporation;

(f)  the current declaration, by-laws and rules;

(g) any applications made to amend the declaration for which the court has not made an order;

(h) all outstanding judgments against the corporation and the status of all legal actions to which the corporation is a party;

(i)  the budget of the corporation for the current fiscal year, the last annual audited financial statements and the auditor’s report on the statements;

(j)  all current agreements between the corporation and another corporation or between the corporation and the owner of the unit;

(k)  a statement that the person requesting the status certificate has the rights to do so

(l)  a statement whether the parties have complied with all current agreements mentioned in clause 98 (1) (b) with respect to the unit;

  (m) a statement with respect to,

(i)  the most recent reserve fund study and updates to it,

(ii)  the amount in the reserve fund no earlier than at the end of a month within 90 days of the date of the status certificate, and

(iii)  current plans, if any, to increase the reserve fund under subsection 94 (8);

(n)  whether there were alterations or improvements to the common elements;

(o)  the number of units leased;

(p)  current insurance policies;

(q)  the amounts, if any, that are be added to the common expenses;

 (r)  whether the Superior Court of Justice has made an order appointing an inspector under section 130 or an administrator under section 131;

(s)  all other material that the regulations require.

Why Review a Status Certificate?

Any of the above factors could seriously affect the health of a condominium corporation and the thus run the risk of adding additional expenses to the owners. Your goals as a property owner must align with the Rules of your condominium corporation. A prior review and conversation with your lawyer will ensure that what you consider important is identified and discussed in advance.

When are Status Certificates Reviewed?

Traditionally, when purchasing a property there is a condition in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale that a Status Certificate will be reviewed within a few days of begin received. However, due to the “hot” Ontario real estate market, we review Status Certificates before offers are submitted, thus removing the condition to review and thus increasing the chance of an offer getting accepted.

It is vital that the Status Certificate is reviewed by a competent lawyer who understands the intricacies and nuances involved in a Status Certificate.

For our professional opinion on the health of a condominium corporation, including the timely review of a Status Certificate, please contact us directly. We look forward to guiding you on your legal journey and into your new home.

The general information on this page is not applicable to any specific case and is intended for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for legal advice and may not be relied on as such. Readers are expressly advised to consult with a qualified lawyer for advice regarding their specific circumstances and entitlements under Ontario law.