Written by Tyler Brown   |   Posted on   |   217 views

What is a status certificate?

As you may or may not know, when you live in a condominium, you will be subject to paying a Condo Fee each month.  This money is collected from all the condominium owners and goes towards things like building and grounds maintenance, repairs, amenities, building insurance, etc.

If you’re paying all of this money every month to the Condo Corporation, you probably want to know the money is being spent wisely, right?

The Status Certificate is a document that details the financial status of a condominium unit and corporation.  In fact, the government’s Condominium Act in Ontario mandates that the status certificate must include specific information.

What information is included in the Status Certificate?

While this is not everything included in a Status Certificate, this gives you a good idea of what is included in this large document:

  • The common expenses of the unit you’re purchasing.  Different units in the building may pay different fees to cover expenses based on a variety of factors (eg. larger square footage may mean larger condo fees)
  • If there are any defaults on these condo fees by the current or previous owner of the unit.
  • Any scheduled increases in condo fees that the board has previously agreed to in their budget for the fiscal year, and the reason for this increase.
  • Assessments, if any, that the board has levied against the unit to increase the contribution to the reserve fund and the reason for the assessments.
  • All outstanding judgments against the corporation and the status of all legal actions to which the corporation is a party.
  • A copy of the budget of the corporation for the current fiscal year, the last annual audited financial statements and the auditor’s report on the statements.
  • Information about the corporation’s Reserve Fund (i.e. their savings fund in case something major happens to the building).
  • By-law updates and rules that may have changed in the building for condo unit owners.
  • Any upcoming proposed alterations or improvements they’re planning on doing to the building’s common areas.
  • A statement on the building’s insurance expenses and coverage.

While this is not everything, it does give you a good idea about how the building is being managed and where your monthly condo fees are going.

How do I obtain a Status Certificate?

The listing agent should be able to provide an up-to-date Status Certificate to the buyer’s agent, to be passed along to the buyer’s lawyer for review.  It can be negotiated as to who will pay the fee. Generally the cost is up to $100.00 and condo corporations are required to provide it within a specified amount of time. 

We like to give the buyer’s lawyers about a week to review the document as it is quite in-depth and lengthy.  So as a condition of your purchase, you can have your agent include a clause saying you lawyer requires 7-days upon receipt of the status certificate to review before your purchase offer becomes firm.

It doesn’t happen often, but occasionally lawyers will come back and say they don’t recommend you purchasing this condo, because of the status of the condominium corporation.  It acts as a warning that you may wish to reconsider firming up on your offer.

*All information provided by the Brantford Regional Real Estate Association (BRREA) and ITSO for the highest number of completed transactions since January 1, 2015. All Brantford MLS® House Listings come from the various systems operated by Real Estate Boards and Associations across Canada. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used underlicense. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service®, and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.

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