Navigating You Through The Challenges Of New Condo Purchases

New condominium purchases have some additional challenges that may require assistance. Sometimes what you agreed to purchase does not match the end result. In other cases, additional fees or charges may take effect.

At Blackburn Lawyers, we have assisted many new condo buyers throughout Richmond Hill, Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area. We provide legal advice on many issues specific to new builds, including:

We Aim To Make Your Move As Smooth As Possible

With a growing condo market on the horizon in Richmond Hill, our goal is to protect our clients from any unseen issues or delays regarding the purchase of a new condo unit. We will review your agreements before you sign them, and gather all the necessary information about the condo unit so you understand the terms of your purchase.

If you have any questions or concerns about your condo purchase, we are always available to take your call, and return your messages and emails promptly. Below are some helpful tips to remember when reviewing an agreement of purchase and sale for a new condo unit:

Signing A Binding Agreement With The Builder

Be aware that if something is not contained, in writing, within your agreement of purchase, it is not binding on the builder. Statements made by the builders’ agents, plans, pictures, models and other sales materials are generally considered as unenforceable advertising or mere artists illustrations. If they are not in your agreement in writing then in all probability it just won’t happen. Even the plans that are given to you as a part of your agreement do not guaranty you will receive everything as shown in those plans. Builders retain rights to make wide ranging changes and modifications to most aspects of your unit. Unless the changes are so significant it can be said that the unit is substantially different from what you purchased, you will, by contract, be obliged to accept the changes.

Changes To The Square Footage In Your Agreement

The fact that square footage may be stated in your agreement is not a guaranty you will actually receive that square footage. Even though builders may use the stated square footage as a basis for determining the price of your unit, the agreement will make it clear that the square footage noted is approximate only and you have no right to seek a reduction in price if the square footage is less than what the contract indicated it would be. The way square footage is calculated includes the thickness of exterior wall plus half of the thickness of the walls between your unit and neighbouring units and any walls between your unit and a corridor that is adjacent to your unit.

Rescission Periods For New Condos

Unlike any other property, you are given a 10-day period (“rescission period”) to decide whether or not to proceed with your purchase. This time period is commonly referred to as a “cooling off period”. The cooling off period begins when you receive a copy of the purchase agreement signed by both yourself and the builder, together with a disclosure package. When you see the volume of material you are given, you will understand why you receive 10 days to review the documents. If you decide not to go ahead with your purchase, you must provide a written notice saying you have decided not to proceed. This notice must be given to the builder’s representative before the expiry of the 10-day period. You should definitely retain a lawyer to assist you with the review of these complex documents and do so as soon as possible. Please don’t wait until the ninth day.

Additional Charges On Condo Units

New condominiums (like most new homes) typically have a number of charges added to the purchase price. Generally, they are referred to as adjustments and cover such expenses as utility meters and connection charges, increases to levies, new home warranty enrolment fee (Tarion) and various other charges limited only by the builder’s creativity. They can be substantial so make certain you are aware of the total cost of these adjustments.

The completion date or closing date set out in the agreement of purchase is seldom more than a date used to fill in the blank in the contract. The builder reserves the right to extend this date for up to two years and if the builder provides the proper notices there are no penalties he must pay for the delay.

Your deposits will earn interest but the interest rate will be 2% below the bank rate.

Learn More About Our Real Estate Services

Contact the legal team of Blackburn Lawyers for further assistance on your new condo purchase. Call (905) 884-9242 or send us an email using our online contact form.