The declaration and status certificate issued by the condominium corporation should be thoroughly reviewed to determine what costs are included as common expenses for the condominium.
Having a lawyer review the status certificate before the agreement becomes binding can be incredibly helpful. A thorough review of the status certificate allows for disclosure of the financial condition of the condominium corporation as well as the unit(s) being purchased. Most importantly, the status certificate can flag any liabilities of the unit owner to the corporation (for example, any defaults in payments of common expenses).
A condo corporation with a poor financial status may run the risk of increasing common expenses and may signal poor management. Poor financial status may also raise issues regarding structural issues within the building. Such factors may increase the potential for decline in the market value for the individual unit being purchased.
When purchasing a condo, the review of a status certificate can reveal underlying financial issues with the unit as well as the condominium corporation. At Ameer Law, we take the time to completely review your status certificate before you sign your agreement or afterwards, to flag and evade any potential issues.
Once the purchaser’s lawyer is presented with a firm and binding Agreement of Purchase and Sale, they will proceed to examine title and conduct searches to determine any work orders or deficiencies against the property. Any issues raised will be presented to the seller’s lawyer as ‘requisitions’ to be resolved prior to closing.
A fundamental step in any purchase transaction, title is examined prior to the ‘requisition date’ noted on the Agreement of Purchase and Sale.
Title searches are conducted against the PIN number of the purchase property and reveal, amongst other things, the names of the registered owners, the capacity in which title is currently held, any registered transfers of title, charges, by-laws and discharges.
The premium quoted for title insurance will vary based on factors such as the purchase price, fair market value of the property, or the amount of the charge registered.
Your lawyer will be able to provide you with more details regarding title insurance and a premium quote in relation to your specific real estate needs.
In addition to the Provincial Land Trans is also a requirement that a Municipal Land Transfer Tax be paid if the purchase property is located in Toronto.
In order to qualify for such a refund, the purchaser must:
(a) Be at least 18 years old and cannot have previously owned a home or have had any interest in a home anywhere in the world;
(b) If married, the purchaser’s spouse cannot have owned a home and cannot have had any interest in a home anywhere in the world while being the purchaser’s spouse
The LTT will be reduced to reflect the rebate if the purchaser is ‘eligible’, and the amount of the rebate will be reduced if one or more purchaser is not a first-time homebuyer.
It is important to note that the refund will be proportionate to the interest acquired in the property by the eligible buyer.
A similar rebate scheme is in place for Municipal Land Transfer Tax (where applicable) if the purchase property is located in Toronto.
Taking title as Joint Tenants means that upon the death of any one of the joint tenants, there deceased’s interest in the estate is transferred to the surviving joint tenant.
The exception to this rule is where a married person dies while owning a matrimonial home as a joint tenant and the other joint tenant is not their spouse. In such a case, section 26 of the Family Law Act requires that the joint tenancy would be deemed severed immediately before the death of the joint tenant, thereby converting the joint tenancy into a tenancy in common.
If title is taken to a property as tenants in common, if one owner dies, the property will belong to the beneficiary of the deceased’s estate. Unlike in a Joint Tenancy where the deceased’s interest in the estate would be automatically assumed by the other joint tenant, a tenant in common is able to direct their individual share of the property to anyone of their choice in a Will.
What comprises ‘closing costs’ changes depending on the nature of your purchase. For example, if you are purchasing a resale home, closing costs are generally limited and may include adjustments to the seller for any pre-paid property taxes, common expenses and maintenance (if the property being purchased is a condominium). Other standard closing costs may include your lawyer’s fees and any disbursements applicable to your purchase (such as title insurance, property searches and writ searches).
In contrast, closing costs for newly constructed homes tend to be higher and may include a variety of expenses, such as costs for driveway paving, Tarion warranty, adjustments for property taxes, and costs for landscaping/tree planting. Closing costs charged by builders vary from development to development.