A person buying a strata lot should be particularly careful to understand the nature of the interest being acquired. This is essential because part of the interest is common property and facilities that the purchaser may not be in a position to properly inspect. As well, a potential buyer should become familiar with the financial affairs of the strata corporation, its bylaws and rules.
Much of the information a purchaser will need to have is found in the Land Title Office, and the seller of the strata lot is required to provide a purchaser with a copy of the bylaws and rules prior to execution of the binding Contract of Purchase and Sale. A document that is of great importance to a prospective buyer, but is not required to be provided by the seller, is an information Certificate pursuant to section 59 of the Strata Property Act. Your notary public may obtain the information Certificate from the strata corporation (for a fee set by regulation) on your behalf. When requested, the certificate must be provided by the corporation within seven days of the request.
This certificate contains the following information:
Most lenders also require that this information Certificate be obtained and reviewed by the notary as a condition of advancing mortgage proceeds, as they want to be certain there are no issues that may affect their security.
It is also very important that the buyer carefully review financial statements of the strata corporation, as well as a minimum of one years’ strata council meeting minutes, together with a copy of any building envelope inspections that may have been conducted, to try to determine if there is any history of or concern that the strata development may be a “leaky condo”.
Additionally, when conveying a strata lot, your notary will contact the strata corporation, or management company, to obtain a certificate indicating that no money is owing on the strata lot being purchased, or that suitable arrangements have been made for payment of money owing. This certificate is referred to as a Form F Certificate of Payment (pursuant to the Strata Property Act, section 115).