Out of all the claims the Real Estate Insurance Exchange (REIX) sees with condominiums, disputes over parking are one of the most common.
(See related post: Dude, Where’s My Stall?)
Our errors and omissions program recently sent out a newsletter detailing brief case summaries of recent cases:
- The listing said there were two titled underground parking spots, when in reality is was actually one titled underground spot and one surface spot which wasn’t titled.
- The listing said there were two assigned underground stalls. The purchase contract included them and the deal closed. Sometime later when the fire inspector came through the building, he ordered the car be removed from one of the stalls. It was parked in front of the firefighting equipment secured to the wall. It never was a parking stall.
- The twelve-unit building was developed with only eight parking stalls. They were assigned once a year by lottery. This crucial information was not conveyed to the buyer who subsequently lost her parking stall in the next lottery.
- The listing said there was one leased parking stall. It failed to mention that the actual stall was in a parkade across and down the street a block or two.
- The listing and purchase contract acknowledged two parking stalls. One was titled and one was not. When the sellers had purchased twenty years previous, they had paid the developers an extra $5000 for the assignment of the second one. However, a subsequent condo board ruled that these stalls could not be transferred when selling their unit. This crucial information was not conveyed to the buyers.
Condominium sales are quite altogether different from a comparatively straightforward single family transaction. Make sure you hire someone with at least a Certified Condominium Specialist (CCS) designation to represent you that’s knowledgeable and will protect your interests throughout the transaction.
The following REIX tips are provided to real estate agents who are listing a condominium…and this is just with regards to the parking.
- Ask to see the tax assessment if they say it is titled. Get the legal and pull title.
- Check the parking stalls against the condominium plan. Are they legal? Do they show a separate legal description?
- Ask to see the parking stall. Where is it? Underground and heated, or outdoors and surface? Is there a plug-in?
- If the parking stall is assigned, ask the sellers to obtain, in writing, a confirmation from the condo board that the seller can transfer the assignment to the eventual buyer.
As you can see, when buying or selling a condominium there’s a lot more involved than simply asking, “Is there parking?”
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