We have experienced problems recently with agents not properly preparing Agreement of Purchase and Sales when it comes to Common Element Condominiums. The Agreement does not mention the condominium corporation at all. Some refer to monthly fees without stating what they are for, some agents do not think that they need to refer to the review of the Status Certificate and make the transaction conditional on lawyer review. All of the above can prove fatal to the transactions and to the agent.
We have had purchasers refuse to close transactions because it was not disclosed that they were buying into a condominium corporation. The monthly fee can be very small, as little as $15.00 a month, but if not disclosed as a condominium, the purchaser can walk because even though the fee is small, there is always the potential liability of Condo Corporation which is unknown.
We had a number of closings delayed because the purchaser refused to close unless the seller paid the condo fees for 5 years because of the failure to disclose there was a condo corporation fee. Therefore, it is imperative that there be full disclosure of the status of the property and any condo fees, to ensure that agents are not having to reach into their own pockets. The deal only closed when the agents agreed to pay the condo fees for the next 5 years.
Purchaser’s agents must provide for the review of the status certificate on these condos as well. Failure to do so could result in the purchaser being saddled with unpaid condo fees, pending special assessments, or possible lawsuit costs pending against the corporation. The agent would be negligent for not making the offer conditional on review by the Purchaser’s lawyer – obviously a lawyer not obtaining the Status Certificate would also be negligent.
So be sure you get all the facts on the property you are selling and buying, because many properties are now being developed as these Common Element Condominiums (POTL) and sellers do not always appreciate what they are selling. The sellers naturally blame their agents when these problems arise.
Knowledge is Power, which results in more business!
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at your convenience. If you have any suggestions for future topics please let us know.
Prepared by Don Travers, Solicitor with Paquette Travers & Deutschmann
Contact toll free: 1-877-744-2281 Online: www.paquettetravers.com