Here’s How To Interpret A Status Certificate

Yes, condominium sales DID slow during the latter half of 2020 but have not only bounced back with a vengeance but more families are choosing to raise their children in condos in the city!

A Status Certificate is more than a piece of paper and in some cases it can be 500+ pages in length, so let’s break down how to interpret the contents (or actually how your lawyer will be breaking them down for you) and what you need to know!

RELATED: Everything You Need To Know About Buying Real Estate >>

Legal Description

While the address of the home you are purchasing may be 123 Main Street #456, Toronto, ON A1B 2C3, in a condo the legal description will look more like: Unit 5, Level 4. Parking Level A Unit 12. Locker Level A Unit 113.

Monthly Condo Fees

While the MLS shows what the maintenance fees are, what it doesn’t show you is if the unit owner is behind on payments. While this hardly ever happens, it still has to be reported. Your lawyers will also review the future increases of your maintenance fees.

For example:
The fees in 2021 are $648.92/ month and will see an increase of $4.67 in 2022, $4.77 in 2023 and $4.87 in 2024. By reviewing the status certificate, you know what you’re getting into for the coming years so you can budget accordingly!

Lawsuits and Insurance

The status certificate will outline any pending lawsuits the building may have against them. These could range from a personal injury like someone falling and injuring themselves in the common areas or the developer being sued for a number of reasons (36 Lisgar).

The status certificate also outlines the current insurance policy of the condo and that it is either up to date or about to expire.

The Reserve Fund

A good portion of the status certificate is dedicated to the financials of the building and what the reserves are.

For example:
The amount of money in the reserves is $2,850,000 as of February 28th 2021. Every 3 years a condo will go through a reserve fund study to ensue that the capital fund of the condo is sufficient enough for any repairs or needs of the building!

Rent To Own Ratio

While this may not be a question you would normally ask, or a topic to even consider; your lawyers will review how many owners are leasing their units. A building with a high percentage of rental units will affect resale values (Ice Condos) and often leave the building with a bad reputation. If you plan on leasing out your unit you must inform the property manager in writing so they can monitor what is happening .

Pet Restrictions

living room with dog

If you are a pet person, you may want to know which buildings in the city you can and cannot have Fido join you in. Most buildings have a weight restriction for dogs up to 40 pounds or up to a maximum of 2 pets total. Some buildings have a no pet policy at all (usually older buildings) but service animals are allowed, and then you get some buildings that only restrict reptiles and arachnids or livestock (ok, maybe not livestock but snakes and spiders).

The Small Details

While it may be common sense for some of the items listed, the status certificate still has to outline that you are responsible for installing and maintaining fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your unit.

Next Steps

A lawyer will always break down the next steps for you. Usually telling you to run the status certificate by your mortgage broker or financial institution to make sure there are no mortgage issues (36 Lisgar) and then your agent will prepare the necessary documents to proceed!

If you have more questions about the condo buying process or about status certificates in general, click HERE!

The post Here’s How To Interpret A Status Certificate appeared first on View the VIBE Toronto.

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