Condominium Insurance

For the condominium unit owner, there are several insurance concerns.
Does their condominium corporation have adequate insurance to cover anticipated property damage or physical injury caused in the building? Does it have coverage for mechanical or electrical breakdown? This is usually assessed before closing by your lawyer. Follow up with any information you receive from the corporation about renewal of insurance and what it covers.

The unit owner has to be concerned about what happens in their unit and obtain adequate insurance. Here are some types of coverage you may wish to consider and discuss with your insurance broker. Property and contents, this is not covered by the corporation, improvements to your unit may not be covered by the corporation’s insurance for a standard unit. If damage is caused to your unit and the corporation is at fault, they will only pay for a standard unit and not the ebony wood floors that took 12 weeks to be delivered and make your unit the feature of the latest condominium living.

If your tenant or guest causes damage to the common elements you will be held responsible so a policy covering guest/tenant liability may be in order. You may be held responsible for the corporation’s deductible on their insurance.

If you have to live at a hotel while your unit is being repaired may be covered by insurance.

It is often suggested that you use the same insurance company as your condominium corporation which may reduce a gap or delay in having your claim assessed.

You may have other concerns about your unit, so speak to your insurance broker who specializes in residential condos about a policy that will address your needs and potential losses.

How to avoid fraud when purchasing a new build condominium

There are several ways to protect yourself from losing your deposit on your dream condominium. Here are are few

1. Is the builder reputable? Is this the first project or has this developer been in business for years. If so, visit other buildings and speak to owners/residents, check the news, speak to the Property Manager. Does this builder create sound buildings? Check the builder through the tarian search link

2. Does the builder have a Trust Account? A trust account is a separate account where your deposit and others are held separately until it is released because you have purchased or declined to purchase the property?

3. Do they have the protection of the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act for Deposit, Occupancy Delays in Closing or Occupancy? Please see the Tarion website for what protection is offered and when?

4. Have you reviewed the Agreement of Purchase and Sale with a real estate lawyer during the 10 day cooling off period? Do you know what your rights, obligations and the builder’s obligations and rights are? When are deposits required? What costs are you going to be responsible for over and above the purchase price?

These are only a few key points to consider when seeking out your dream home. Protect yourself and your money.

Please contact Prince Law Office at 416-469-3443 or to discuss your particular case.

5. Do you have the ability to assign the purchase agreement if your life situation (financial, health, work) changes in the future?

6. Are you required to put down a large deposit? Be wary if you have not checked out the previous points.

Yearly Check Up

Once a year, you go to your doctor have him or her, check under your hood and make sure that your levels are okay and that everything is running well.

Likewise, you should do that with your home. First gather all of the important papers in one area or folder/binder for quick reference:

Deed to your house
Mortgage documents
Home Insurance
Power of Attorney
Bank Account Information
Life Insurance
Disability Insurance
Car Insurance

It is a great ideal to make sure that your home insurance covers any recent changes, additions or purchases you have made. Also check if the beneficiaries are updated, you don’t want the house going to the first partner if you are on your third marriage now do you.

If you have not done some of these things – such as a will, life insurance or disability insurance, make sure you do it soon. Remember – only diamonds are forever, humans are not.

It is also helpful for you to have these documents in one place in case someone needs to find it upon your critical illness or death. Put all of your passwords and log-in names for your email accounts and sites in a sealed envelope and any instructions to burn your diaries.

Your health is important and your documents should be updated to keep up.

Purchasing a New Build – some cautions

You’ve seen the floor plan, picked out your marble counter tops and high end washer and dryer. And you have signed the Agreement of Purchase and Sale but were too excited to read the 10 point type.

Did you know you just signed a legally binding agreement. You have 10 days to change your mind -a “cooling off period”. Please take the time to get to a lawyer’s office and have them review with you your rights and obligations and the builder’s rights and obligations.

One of the first things the lawyer might say is that even if it was discussed, if it is not written in the agreement, the builder does not have to do what was discussed.

The lawyer will also tell you that your unit might be smaller, facing a different direction from the plans you just looked at.

The meeting will also detail the costs that you will be facing on top of the purchase price and land transfer taxes. Costs that the builder has incurred and will pass on to you. They can help you minimize some of the costs buy giving you advice as to how you can get the builder to cap the costs.

Go into one of the biggest decisions of your life, with your eyes open. Do not be blinded by marble and shiny accessories. Protect yourself – Get legal advice.

This article is not intended as legal advice but as general information only. Please contact Prince Law Office at 416-469-3443 to get legal advice about your unique situation.

Do not throw caution to the wind.

Many times people ask for advice after signing a legally binding document, often it is too late. In a perfect world people would consult with knowledgeable specialists who will explain the advantages and disadvantages of the document, prior to signing.

It is important to not be rushed and to understand every eventuality prior to entering into a legally binding relationship whether it be marriage, or purchasing a house. Believe me, the upfront cost may save you thousands in the long run.

Costs for enforcing Condo Rules s 134 of the Condo Act

A recent case Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No 744 v. Bazilinsky (2012 ONSC 1187) (CanLIi) was a fight over the parrot of the unit holder Mr. Bazilinsky. The court did not focus on the safety of the unit holder but the corporation’s attempt to collect their reasonable costs for enforcing the Declaration and By-laws, pursuant to section 134(5) of the Condo Act.

In this case, the Condo Corp, charged Mr. Bazilinsky for the costs of enforcing their bylaws. When he refused to pay, a lien was placed on his unit and an entry made on the status certificate indicating what was owed. Although the court, ordered costs of $3000 to the corporation. The Corporation sought to add a further $17,000 to the common element costs of Mr. Bazilinsky as these costs were still outstanding for legal fees that were incurred for enforcing the condo rules.

The court found that legal costs would be recoverable if reasonable. The court reduced the Corporation’s bill of $41,599 to $6,500. The court also ordered costs against the corporation.

Pets in a Condo can they be banned.

Condominum Boards try to ban unit owners from having pets, citing the Condominum Actt,y the Declaration and the By-Laws of the Condominium Corporation.

An outright ban, is not in keeping with Rule s58 of the Condominum Act which states that

The board may make, amend or repeal rules respecting the use of common elements and units to,
(a) promote the safety, security or welfare of the owners and of the property and assets of the corporation; or
(b) prevent unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of the common elements, the units or the assets of the corporation. 1998, c. 19, s. 58 (1).

The rules must be reasonable. The animals have to be a threat to the safety, and security of the unit owners.

Adequate Insurance

A downtown condominium has had recent water problems – pipe breaks, lack of hot water. One condo owner had thousands of dollars in damages. This a great reminder for all condo and home owners to check their insurance policies to make sure that their property and belongings will be covered by inevitable disasters.

Why the Condominum Act needs some changes?

MPP, Rosario Marchese, of the Trinity Spadina riding, hopes that his attempt to pass a private member bill for the fourth time, is the charm.

He seeks to protect condo owners from developers that leave gaping holes in the city and empty pockets of those who left sizeable deposits.

He also plans to have more owner input in the day to day running of the condo. He also wants to see more qualified persons heading Tarion’s warranty issues

He also suggests a Condominium Review Board where owners/tenants can obtain faster relief than from the courts as well as a way of tracking unethical developers

Toronto has a lot of condos, a lot are in Mr. Marchese’s riding. It would be a good thing if condo owners have more protections under the Act.

The article is posted below.