Think twice before you pursue your condo corporation over a leaky faucet, or try to sue the former owner for faulty condo repairs.
Fixes inside your unit’s four walls are mostly your responsibility. Unless it’s something major, time and money spent in court to fix the blame for faulty condo repairs usually isn’t worth it.
Ontario courts only uphold legal disputes with condo corporations if a decision is unreasonable. They accept corporation boards often take “good, better, or best” approaches to faulty condo repairs, and not all owners may agree with a decision.
As court cases have shown:
- Condo corporations have a statutory obligation to repair and maintain common elements (Ontario Condominium Act, 1998, sections 89 and 90).
- Corporations are not insurers, and don’t have to address every problem condo owner’s report, regardless of cause (Mohamoud v Carleton Condominium Corporation No. 25, 2019 ONSC 7127).
- They must act reasonably to remedy faulty condo repairs, in this case, in a timely way that prevents further damage or inconvenience to owners (Ryan v York Condominium Corporation No. 340, 2016 ONSC 2470).
How to word home inspection clauses.
Who’s Liable for Faulty Condo Repairs
The good news is a condo corporation may be held to task for replacing a dysfunctional heating system that serves the whole building, or faulty condo repairs to common elements you use exclusively like:
- drafty windows caused by failing weatherstripping
- a shaky balcony railing that’s a safety hazard
- loose, asbestos-laden ceiling tiles
- or water leaks on outside walls.
Knowing the difference matters. Before you hit send on an irate email, here’s what happens when a condo fails, who pays for faulty condo repairs, and how that affects the condo reserve fund.
Red flags when buying a condo.
Insurance and the Reserve in Condos
Your condominium corporation’s reserve fund may include liability and property coverage for:
- structure or dwelling insurance, which includes common areas belonging to all condo owners, such as swimming pools, halls, stairways, elevators, patios, gyms, or other shared spaces
- specific damages to common elements, like fire, smoke, or water damage to the building
- faulty condo repairs due to structural problems, or wear and tear on balconies or windows.
- The reserve fund may also compensate you for damages to your condo. For example, if a fire in a neighbouring condo causes smoke to enter your unit.
The reserve fund may also compensate you for damages to your condo. For example, if a fire in a neighbouring condo causes smoke to enter your unit. The condo corporation policy responds first to insurance claims for structural or dwelling damages.
Questions to ask about reserve funds before you buy.
Your Personal Insurance Coverage
Your homeowner policy compensates you for damage to personal contents, and additional living expenses like hotel stays. food, travel, or storage costs when you can’t use your unit. Condo corporation deductibles for incidents like fires may be included.
How Claims and Exclusions Affect You
What you are responsible for if a condo fails depends on your insurance and reserve fund exclusions.
All insurance policies have exclusions – you may have to pay extra to include antiques, collectibles, fine jewelery, or other valuables. Damages that arise from your negligence, such as leaving windows open in a rainstorm, may or may not be covered under your homeowner insurance policy. Watch out for how your condo corporation defines a standard condo unit too.
How a competent condo realtor can protect your interests.
With policy rates rising, some corporations have removed common elements like flooring from condo reserve fund coverage. On the other hand, your condo rules and declaration could be violated if you undertake faulty condo repairs on your own.
Why You Need a Real Estate Lawyer
Axess Law reviews your agreement of purchase and sale for your condo so you can walk away if you have to. We add essential clauses you need to give you a buyer’s right to cancel.
Our professional real estate lawyers explain how a broken condo deal affects you if a developer demands more money before the occupancy date, declares bankruptcy, or delays construction completion.
Transfer titles quickly, in person or online, add a name to house titles in Ontario when you buy or sell a condo. Axess Law has condo lawyers in Toronto, Greater Toronto Area, or Ottawa who can assist you 7 days a week.
We search titles to property for financial encumbrances or construction liens that delay or stop clear title from passing to a new title holder. Your property is protected from fraudsters with title fraud insurance.
How to transfer property title to family members in Ontario.
Discharge existing mortgage loans on properties you sell to buy a new condo, and finalize new mortgage documents with Axess Law. Our virtual real estate lawyers liaise with your private lender, bank, or credit union to close real estate transactions.
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Your Axess Law real estate lawyer checks that you have a condo fire insurance binder before your transaction concludes. Fire insurance is often required by mortgage lenders, even if the condo corporation policy covers fire damages.
Common questions to ask real estate lawyers.
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