Calgarians are having to deal with their own version of the “Leaky Condo Crisis” that continues to plague B.C. residents. There are also other other issues that keep cropping up that could lead to special assessments. What should you look for when shopping for a condo to help protect yourself?
The following is an excerpt from an article written this week by Lubos K. Pesta, Q.C., with Walsh Wilkins Creighton LLP.
Condominium special assessments have recently become so commonplace they tend to be a factor in the majority of residential condominium resale transactions. I suspect this is the case for a number of reasons including:
• Aging condominiums built in the 1970s and 1980s may now require major maintenance that was either not anticipated or not fully funded.
• Apartment buildings converted to condominiums during the hot market of 2005 and 2006 may never have been fully refurbished and problems are now surfacing (i.e. elevators, roofs, mechanical equipment).
• The rush to complete some condominium buildings during the hot market led to shoddy workmanship and expensive repairs are now required to fix the problems.
• Due to their prevalence, special assessments no longer have the stigma once associated with them and it is easier for condominium boards to pass and implement them.
Whatever the reason, the passing of a special assessment by a condominium board while a contract is “executory” can become a very unpleasant surprise for whoever is burdened with it – the buyer or the seller (Note: Executory refers to the time period after conditions are removed but prior to the closing date).
There are protective clauses that your REALTOR can insert in the purchase contract to improve your position in the transaction – whether as a buyer or a seller. A condominium purchase or sale is an inherently more involved process than for a SFH. Make sure you hire a Certified Condominium Specialist (CCS) to handle the details of your transaction to help protect your interests.
Associate Broker, CCS
First Place Realty