WHAT IS A STATUS CERTIFICATE?
A status certificate is a document that outlines various financial, legal, and business information regarding a condominium for prospective buyers or interested individuals and entities. It is important that you request a current status certificate to ensure it contains the most up-to-date information. As a buyer, you should always ensure that the agreement of purchase and sale is conditional upon the review of the status certificate by your real estate lawyer.
WHAT DOES A STATUS CERTIFICATE INCLUDE?
The Condominium Act sets out that a status certificate must contain details of the corporation that owns the condominium including insurance information, names and addresses of the directors of the corporation, any by-laws, rules, or declarations of the corporation, details of common expenses including any board approved increases for the current fiscal year, a statement of assessments for the proposed unit, the number of units in the condominium, details of the reserve fund, any legal proceedings, judgments, or notices of legal proceedings, any attachments to the status certificate, and the rights of the individual requesting the certificate. If any of the required information is omitted, the corporation must list what information has not been included.
PROCEDURE FOR REQUESTING A STATUS CERTIFICATE
There are various websites that streamline the process of acquiring a status certificate. Examples of these include CondoCafe and Conduit. Alternatively, if a status certificate is not available through electronic means, a status certificate can be acquired manually by direct request from the condominium management. As per the Condominium Act, a condominium must provide a status certificate within 10 days of being requested to provide the status certificate. If the condominium fails to provide the status certificate within the allotted timeframe, the condominium will be deemed to have issued the status certificate on the day after the deadline with the assurance that there is no default in the common expenses for the unit, that there has been no board approved an increase for common expenses for the current fiscal year, and that no assessments have been levied against the unit for an increased contribution to the reserve fund.
WHAT A LAWYER LOOKS FOR WHEN REVIEWING THE STATUS CERTIFICATE
When reviewing the status certificate, among other things, a lawyer will review the legal description of the unit to confirm if parking spaces or lockers are included in the sale of the unit, they will assess the reserve fund and review if there are any current legal proceedings or judgments that may result in a special assessment the buyer may soon incur, and they will review the rules and regulations that may prohibit pets, leasing, subletting, or home-sharing of the unit. For the purpose of this article, we will not get into details of everything that a lawyer looks for in reviewing a status certificate.
It is important to have an experienced real estate lawyer review the status certificate to ensure that the unit you are purchasing adheres to the rules and regulations of the condominium and that with the information provided by the seller aligns with what you are receiving.
Contact us if you require legal assistance with a real estate transaction. Our real estate law team has the experience and knowledge to assist you throughout every step of the transaction.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is not to be construed as legal advice. The content is drafted and published only for the purpose of providing the public with general information regarding various real estate and business law topics. For legal advice, please contact us.
About the Author:
Shahriar Jahanshahi is the founder and principal lawyer at Jahanshahi Law Firm with a practice focus on representing business star-ups and investors in the province of Ontario. For further information about Shahriar Jahanshahi, click here.