Condominium Law

Condominiums are not for everybody. If you don’t like rules don’t buy a condominium.

No dogs, no bicycles, no glass in pool areas. These are all valid rules which the courts can and will enforce by way of a court order. At Landy Marr Kats LLP we have acted for both condominium corporations and unit owners, in many such disputes.

Every condominium has a Declaration registered on title. Additionally each condominium corporation has by-laws and rules. Before you enter into an agreement to buy a new condominium unit read these documents over. If it is a resale unit and you read them after you sign, it will be too late to change your mind.

Condominium LawAt Landy Marr Kats LLP we have frequently and successfully went to Court on behalf of condominium corporations to obtain Court orders against individuals who had pets, who had brought bicycles into the elevators and into their units, who brought glass into a jacuzzi, and who were tossing their Christmas trees over their balcony.

A condominium is not the same thing as owning a single family home where you are the “king of your castle”. A condominium is in many ways like living in a commune or a kibbutz, where the rights of the individual must be subordinate to the rules governing the building. Individual liberty is not supreme, and unit owners must obey the rules for the collective.

Before you buy make sure you know what you’re buying by reading the Declaration, by-laws and rules. Go see your real estate lawyer before you sign the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Don’t wait until after you sign, by then it will be too late.

For more information contact Samuel S. Marr.

What special considerations apply to Condominiums?

  1. If you are buying or selling a resale home the closing date cannot usually be changed without the consent of both parties.However, a party cannot be unreasonable. If, for example, on or just before closing a small problem surfaces, such as an old un-discharged mortgage or an old construction lien on title, the buyer must agree to a short extension, or the Court is likely to conclude the seller is not acting in good faith. Such a seller will either be forced by the Court to extend the closing date, or will be found liable for the purchaser’s resulting damages.For new homes, the builder may extend one or more times for a total of up to 120 days, if for example strikes or other factors have delayed construction.
  2. Registration in the Ontario New Home Warranty Program is mandatory. Purchasers should confirm that the builder is registered, and inquire of the Program as to the builders rating. If the builder is not in the warranty program when the Agreement is signed, the courts will normally still require the purchaser to complete the transaction, particularly, if the seller registers before closing.
  3. If a party abuses a pre-existing close relationship to exert undue influence over the other party, or does not disclose all the known facts, the transaction may be set aside. For example, if a lawyer convinces his long time elderly client to sell her home to him at a ridiculously low price, the transaction will likely be set aside. Or, if the real estate agent does not disclose to the seller that he has a shareholder’s interest in the purchaser corporation the transaction will probably be set aside.
  4. If the seller tells the purchaser materially false facts, the purchaser can refuse to close the transaction. For example, in one case where the vendor of a property told a purchaser that the material stored on the property would make excellent fill, without mentioning that it was radioactive, the Court found that to be a misrepresentation. Generally, if the misrepresentation was fraudulent the transaction will be set aside, while if only negligently made, the transaction can be set aside only until the closing date, and thereafter the purchaser can claim damages for losses caused by the misrepresentation.
  5. After signing an agreement to purchase a residential condominium, and receiving the disclosure statement, a purchaser has a 10 day cooling off period in which to change their mind. If the Disclosure Statement is materially inaccurate about an important issue, the purchaser may be able to persuade the Court to declare the Agreement unenforceable.

For purchasers, the best advice remains: think before you sign. Do not believe everything you are told. Investigate everything. Never panic. Do not worry about the house that might get away. The GTA is a big place. There are a lot of houses to buy. Do not get stuck with the wrong house, or a law suit you do not need.

If your deal has not closed, or a civil lawsuit results from a real estate agreement contact us to obtain the advice of a knowledgeable and helpful civil litigation lawyer. Landy Marr Kats LLP can and has represented both buyers and vendors in hundreds of civil real estate actions. We are devoted to client service and to solving clients’ problems.

If you have questions or require more information regarding Real Estate Law or Litigation contact us today.