The Importance of Legal Review When Buying a Pre-Construction Condominium in Ontario

Buying a pre-construction or new build condominium is an exciting venture, but it comes with its complexities. In Ontario, the Condominium Act offers a ten-day cooling-off period for purchasers, providing an opportunity to reconsider their decision. However, understanding the intricate details within this period is crucial. Here’s why it’s paramount to engage a lawyer to review your Agreement of Purchase and Sale and Disclosure Package:

1. Understanding Key Documents

The documentation provided by developers can be extensive, filled with intricate legal language. Often, buyers sign these agreements at sales offices without a thorough review. Before the cooling-off period expires, it’s essential to grasp the rights, obligations, and implications of the agreement.

2. Role of a Lawyer

Hiring a lawyer doesn’t replace your review but enhances it. A seasoned real estate lawyer can clarify confusing terms, answer questions arising from your review, and ensure you’re making an informed decision.

3. Key Areas of Concern

  • Tarion Addendum: This document outlines essential details about your pre-construction unit. Understanding it ensures you’re aware of critical dates, potential delays, warranty details, and the expected completion standards.
  • Payments: Clauses regarding non-payment can lead to severe consequences, including agreement termination or loss of significant deposits. A lawyer can elucidate payment timelines, expected amounts, and deposit protections.
  • HST: While lawyers may not provide tax advice, they’ll highlight HST-related clauses. This ensures clarity on whether the purchase price includes HST and potential implications.
  • Adjustments: Knowing additional costs during occupancy or final closing is vital, especially for first-time buyers or those with budget constraints. A lawyer can break down these potential expenses.
  • Closing Phases & Occupancy: Understanding the difference between occupancy and final closing, potential delays, and associated fees is crucial. Occupancy periods come with specific obligations and rights, which a lawyer can explain.
  • Disclosure Package: This contains essential information about the condominium corporation. A lawyer’s review ensures clarity on the declaration, by-laws, budget, and rules governing your unit’s use.

Signing a pre-construction agreement without thorough comprehension can lead to unforeseen expenses or obligations. Engaging an experienced real estate lawyer ensures you’re fully aware of your rights and obligations, allowing you to make informed decisions within the cooling-off period. Remember, while a lawyer’s review is invaluable, it complements, not replaces, your own due diligence.

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