What are condo status certificates?

If you are thinking of investing in a condominium unit, you may have heard about status certificates. But what exactly is a condo status certificate? Read on and we’ll explain for you.

Status Certificates – The Basics

In Ontario, every condominium is managed by a condominium corporation, which has a variety of responsibilities under the Condominium Act, 1998. The responsibilities of the condo corporation include managing and administering the assets and common elements of the condominium, plus enforcing the bylaws of the corporation and ensuring that unit owners comply with the Condominium Act.

According to section 76 (1) of the Condominium Act, 1998, a condominium corporation must “give to each person who so requests a status certificate with respect to a unit in the corporation.” The status certificate is a document that reports on the current state of the condominium corporation, providing vital information to anyone who lives there or is planning to buy a unit there.

What is in a Condo Status Certificate?

According to the Condominium Act, a condo status certificate must specify the date on which it was made and, among other things, must contain the following information:

  • Common expenses for a unit, for example maintenance fees.
  • Details of any increases to common expenses for the unit and the reasons for them, if the change occurred since the date of the corporation’s budget in the current fiscal year.
  • Details of any assessments against the unit that occurred since the date of the corporation’s budget in the current fiscal year and were used to increase the contribution to the condominium’s reserve fund. Reasons for the increase should also be included.
  • The address of the corporation plus names and addresses of its director and officers.
  • Copies of the condo’s declaration, bylaws and rules.
  • A copy of any outstanding applications to amend the declaration.
  • Details of legal judgments and actions either against the corporation or to which it is a party, plus the potential financial implications.
  • A list of current agreements made, including those with other condo corporations or those between the corporation and the unit owner.
  • Details about the reserve fund, including plans to increase the find, the most recent study of the fund, and its total at the end of a month no less than 90 days before the date of the status certificate.
  • Details of the number of units leased in the condominium in the previous fiscal year.
  • Details of current insurance policies

If any of the required information listed above or elsewhere in the condominium act is absent form a status certificate, it is deemed that there is no such information.

Requesting a Status Certificate

You must request a condo status certificate form the relevant condominium corporation. The corporation is allowed to charge you a fee for the certificate but must provide the certificate with 10 days of the request and payment.

Once received, as you can see from the substantial list above, you will have a thorough and clear picture of the status and health of the condo corporation. Using this document, you can tell exactly how much you will have to pay when you take ownership of a condo unit and the likelihood of that amount increasing in the near future. The reserve fund in particular will give you a good idea of the management of the condominium and whether you’re likely to face a financial shock for any future repairs.


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