If you know anyone who has purchased a condo or if you have done so, then you have heard the term Status Certificate. It’s just as it sounds: a document that covers the current status of the condo and the condominium corporation. It is time sensitive and usually has an expiration date of 30 days from the date that it is ordered.
The status certificate is prepared either by the condo corporation or the property management company if there is one.
A status certificate consists of important information about the individual condominium unit for which it is being requested. The certificate also indicates whether the current unit owner is in default of paying the monthly common expenses, if there is an increase in the monthly expense and also the amount in the condo’s reserve fund.
There are certain things that the Condominium Act requires to be covered in the status certificate, they are:
current reserve fund amount
special assessments that may have been imposed by the condominium board
the names and addresses of directors and officers of the corporation
information regarding common expenses for the unit
Property management contract
minutes of the last general meeting
copies of the condominium declaration, by-laws and rules
a current budget for the condominium corporation
The Status Certificate will also reveal if there are any current or past lawsuits against the condo corp. Typically, buyers of a resale condo in Toronto will submit an offer with a condition to have their lawyer review the Status Certificate. Once received, your lawyer will typically have 48 to 72 hours to look over the documents and come to a decision. This is negotiable as well.
How do I get a Status Certificate?
Anyone can order a Status Certificate of any condo in the GTA. A buyer or their representative can visit portals like www.condocafe.com and request a certificate. A written request and $100 fee is required to have the status certificate emailed to them. This fee was determined by the Condo Act.
Why is a Status Certificate Important?
The status certificate is like the home inspection of the condo market. It will tell you how healthy your purchase is. If the reserve fund is low and there is any major damage to be done, that cost is the owner's responsibility. The corporation will either raise monthly expense to offset the cost or charge a special assessment fee. So knowing how much is in the reserve fund is very important. You also want to know all the bylaws and rules of the building. For instance, the status certificate will tell a potential owner if pets or smoking is allowed.
If you are thinking about buying a condo in Toronto, it is important to talk to your realtor about how and when you can have your lawyer review the status certificate.
Get in touch to learn more.