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Condo Maintenance Fees

Condo Maintenance Fees are a monthly fee you pay to the building when you own a condo; they go towards the operating costs of the building
Condo fees vary from building to building, however operating costs are virtually the same between buildings.

There are three reasons why maintenance fees differ in cost
1. Some condo buildings include some or all utilities while others have the individual owners pay the utilities directly.
2. Each building pays for different amenities such as a 24hr security guard, valet parking, swimming pools ect. Usually, the more amenities a building offers, the higher the maintenance fees.
3. Finally each corporation is required to set aside a portion of the condo fees for a reserve fund to pay for major repairs in the future. Some corporations may not charge sufficiently for their reserve fund which could cause problems down the road.

The best way to compare expenses between buildings is to add your condo maintenance fees plus utilities you pay direct to get an accurate comparison
Information on the status of the corporation including current condo maintenance fees is contained in a ‘Status Certificate’ for the corporation/building. You should always request a status certificate as a condition of making an offer on a resale condo property.

Status Certificate

The Status Certificate provides basic and essential information concerning the financial status of a unit and of the condo corporation."How much is in the reserve fund and is it sufficient for the immediate future? What did the engineering report say? How many units are rented in this buidling? Is there a claim against the current unit owner?"  A Status Certificate answers all of these questions and more, it is your protection against the unknown.

When purchasing a resale condo unit, you should ensure that your offer is conditional on receiving and reviewing a Status Certificate and the accompanying documents, as required by the Ontario Condo Act. The certificate is the resale equivalent of a disclosure statement and you must review all the material that comes with the certificate to ensure that you are satisfied that both the condo unit and the condo corporation are suitable for you.

This certificate, for which there is a fee of $100 inclusive of GST, must be delivered within 10 days of the request for it. It discloses whether the owner of the unit you are buying is current in the payment of common expenses as well as a picture of the condo corporation's financial affairs. It is to be delivered with the documents, which govern the condo corporation but are not attached. Once the list of agreements is reviewed, you or your lawyer may also wish copies of some or all o them for review. There can be an extra charge for these documents.

Warranty on Condos

Rest assured, there is warranty on your condo. The Ontario New Home Warranty Program (ONHWP) provides protection for condominium buyers of newly constructed residential units. However, ONHWP does not apply currently to properties, which are renovated or built on existing foundations.

There are two ways in which the ONHWP provides protection.
1. It guarantees the buyer that any deposit or down payment made by the purchaser of a new condominium unit up to a maximum of $20,000 will be returned if the developer is unable to complete the transaction.
2. It warranties construction of the units from the date of occupancy, and the common elements from the date of registration, for one year against most defects . . . for two years for the mechanical and electrical systems the building envelope and water penetration . . . and for seven years against major structural defects.

In addition, there is a warranty for substitutions of key elements in the unit made by the developer without the consent of the purchaser. For further information on what rights you have under the Warranty Program you can contact them at (416) 229-9200 or www.tarion.com

Buying a Condo by way of Assignmrnt

Most people who buy a condo take ownership through the Land Registry System. Just before the day of closing, you transfer money to your lawyer and if you need additional funds via a mortgage, your lawyer will register your ownership of the property and the interest of the mortgage lender.

An Assignment means that you are buying a ‘right’ to own a condo that is not in the Land Registry System. Usually the condo has not been built or it is not ready for occupancy and the building has not been registered. This ‘right’ is just a paper transaction and not the transfer of the actual property. The closing of the Assignment occurs BEFORE the condo is registered. The individual who buys the ‘right’ will eventually close and register their ownership of the condo at some later date.

The number of Assignment transactions is growing rapidly. For sellers who bought a new condo from plans several years earlier and whose plans have changed, this is an opportunity to sell before they have to get a mortgage and incur additional closing costs such as that dreaded, double Land Transfer Tax. For buyers who want a brand new condo without having to wait years for construction to finish, or who can not find what they want in the resale market, it represents a lot more choice. Most Assignments are sold on an ‘Exclusive’ basis. They are also more complicated than a regular sale because a mortgage can not be obtained on the closing of the Assignment, and will need to be postponed until the day of registration. Other issues such as occupancy, reimbursement of the seller’s deposits and more must be taken into account.

You need a Realtor that is trained in finding and drawing up the Offer for Assignments. At RE/MAX Condos Plus we have biggest Company site for selling Assignments and we have the most Realtors who are trained in doing these transactions. So if you want to buy or sell an Assignment then you have come to the right web site! We also have the best trained Realtors with the most expertise in Assignments!