Resources & Insights

Purchasing a Condominium and the Status Certificate

Considering purchasing a condo? You no doubt have heard about status certificates, and may be wondering what they exactly are.

Status certificates are documents which are provided by the condominium corporation you are buying into, and it outlines a number of things about the condo and the building. The Ontario Condominium Act dictates what needs to be included in the package of information that accompanies the certificate.

The status certificate package is required to contain a long list of things, such as:

  1. The common expenses for the unit and the default in payment of the common expenses;
  2. Any potential increases in common expenses for the unit that the condo board has declared since the date of the budget for the fiscal year and the reason for the increase;
  3. Assessments that the board has levied against the unit;
  4. All outstanding judgements against the corporation and the status of all legal actions to which the corporation is a party;
  5. A statement of potential additions, alterations, or improvements to the common elements;
  6. A statement of the number of leased units during the fiscal year preceding the date of the certificate;
  7. A certificate or memorandum for each of the current insurance policies; and
  8. A statement of amounts, if any, that the Condominium Act requires to be added to the common expenses payable to the unit.

The status certificate bundle can include more information, such as recently updated by-laws. However, the list above is what the status certificate package must contain, as per the Condominium Act.

As you can see, there’s a lot in the package, and most real estate lawyers will review the package for specific issues that may impact your decision on whether to purchase. This is typically part of the work a lawyer does when assisting you in a condo purchase. However, it is good practice to have a look yourself, especially when it comes to the summary of information that is contained in the first few pages. You can avoid any surprises by looking through and even bringing questions to your lawyer when you meet with them.

Written by Heather Dixon and Nahal Golmohammadi