Condo Owners Association COA

Tarion Warranty

 

Tarion Studying Warranty Protection for Condo Conversions

 

At its Annual Public Meeting last night, Tarion announced that they are studying warranty protection for condominium conversions. The Ministry is very supportive of Tarion’s leadership in seeking to “level the playing field for consumers purchasing so-called condo conversions.” We look forward to supporting Tarion`s work and receiving its findings and recommendations this fall.

 

Tarion’s announcement

http://www.tarion.com/About-Tarion/News-and-Events/Pages/Tarion-Studying-Warranty-Protection-for-Condo-Conversions.aspx

 

Tarion New Home Protection may be extended to Condo Conversions

Toronto Star Article:

http://www.thestar.com/business/real_estate/2013/04/26/tarion_new_home_protections_may_be_extended_to_condo_conversions.html

 

 

Announces Public Consultation Process


The Condo Owners Association have had discussion with the Tarion Warranty Corporation relating to their Public Consultation Process.

They have informed us of the following:

"Tarion’s public consultation process is looking for input on whether builders should be able to provide homeowners with the latest version of their Homeowner Information Package through an electronic link in an email.  The permission given to a builder to send a HIP out by URL link is only in circumstances where the builder and homeowner have agreed that they want to communicate by email.  If people cannot or do not want to correspond by email, they don’t have to give the builder an email address and the builder would still be required to provide the HIP in a printed form or on a CD or memory stick. It’s up to the homeowner to decide"

The process is described by clicking this link and to participate to submit feedback

 

COA Concerns

COA is concerned about the various different nationalities and seniors who may not have immediate access to receive materials online.    We would like to hear your comments as to whether this would benefit you as a Buyer.

Send your comments to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 


 

Tarion Public Consultations

Seeking Your Input - Electronic Delivery of the Tarion Homeowner Information Package (HIP)

Dear Stakeholder,Have Your Say!

Tarion has launched a consultation process to seek your input on a proposed Amendment to Regulation 892, allowing for electronic delivery of the Tarion Homeowner Information Package (HIP). As Tarion moves to improve its services by making materials available to homeowners online, this regulation change will allow builders to provide their customers with an electronic link to access the most recent version of the HIP. A background note has been prepared to explain why this amendment has been proposed.

We look forward to hearing your comments about this proposed regulation change. The deadline for submissions is Friday, May 31, 2013.

Click here to learn more about the process, to participate and to read instructions on how to submit your feedback.


 

Do you know others in your industry that may be interested in participating in this consultation process? Let them know.



If you have any questions, please contact Siloni Waraich - Director, Stakeholder

 

 

 

 

Seeking Your Input - Electronic Delivery of the Tarion Homeowner Information Package (HIP)

 

Dear Stakeholder,

 

Tarion has launched a consultation process to seek your input on a proposed Amendment to Regulation 892, allowing for electronic delivery of the Tarion Homeowner Information Package (HIP). As Tarion moves to improve its services by making materials available to homeowners online, this regulation change will allow builders to provide their customers with an electronic link to access the most recent version of the HIP. A background note has been prepared to explain why this amendment has been proposed.

 

We look forward to hearing your comments about this proposed regulation change. The deadline for submissions is Friday, May 31, 2013.

 

Click here to learn more about the process, to participate and to read instructions on how to submit your feedback.

 


 

 

Do you know others in your industry that may be interested in participating in this consultation process? Let them know.



If you have any questions, please contact Siloni Waraich - Director, Stakeholder Outreach at 416-229-3835 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Outreach at 416-229-3835 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Tips on Buying a Condo

Tips for Condo Owners or Prospective Buyers in Ontario

Genworth Canada

Genworth Canada Corporation

 

Genworth is Canada's largest private mortgage insurer dating back in history to 1995.  It is a brand name of Genworth Financial Mortgage Insurance Company Canada more commonly known as the Homeownership Company.

Genworth provides mortgage default insurance to residential mortgage lenders that allows Canadians to own a condominium / home much more affordably. 

 

Learn More About Genworth

http://genworth.ca/en/about-us/index.aspx

 

You can also watch these videos:

 

 

CMHC

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

 

Condominium Buyers' Guide

63100

(click Guide on left)

Condominium living is popular for many Canadians because it can be a relatively carefree housing option. This Guide has been created to help you become an informed condominium buyer and help you make the best choice. Topics include: condominium types, rules and regulations, a condition checklist, a glossary of terms, information sources and a condominium selection checklist. (© 2002 CMHC, Revised 2009)

 

 

Forecasts and Analysis

As a member of the housing industry, you can depend on CMHC’s housing market information for objective national, regional and local analysis and forecasts of housing, rental and renovation activity, economic factors and demographic trends.

Housing Market Outlook — Canada
National, provincial and local forecasts of housing starts, resales, house prices, and outlook for key economic indicators
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Housing Market Outlook — Major Centres
Forecasts of resale and new housing market trends for Canada's major centres.
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Housing Market Outlook — Canada and Regional Highlights
Highlights of housing market trends and forecasts for Canada and five geographic regions
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Housing Now — Canada
Housing and mortgage-related articles and recent housing market data.
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Rental Market Reports — Canada and Provincial Highlights
Statistics highlights and rental market information
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Rental Market Reports — Major Centres
Statistics, in-depth analysis, forecasts and secondary rental market information.
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Renovation and Home Purchase Report — Major Market Highlights
Results from the Renovation and Home Purchase survey.
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Consumer Intentions to Buy or Renovate a Home
Product discontinued in 2007. Prior year reports are available.
Download Button
Analysis of the Resale Market (Quebec Region)
Information on resale levels, average prices, listings.
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Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Condominium Report
Product discontinued in 2006. The 2005 report is available.
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Market At A Glance (Prairie Region)
Product discontinued in 2007. Prior year reports are available.
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Seniors' Housing Report and Supplementary Tables
Description and analysis of the seniors' housing market.
Download or Subscribe Button

 

Consumer Protection

 

 

 

Facts to Know about "Consumer Protection"

by: Linda Pinizzotto, COA Founder, President CEO

Real Estate Sales Representative

 


Consumer Protection

Purchasing a home is one of your largest financial investments.  It's very important that your Real Estate Sales Representatives and Real Estate Brokerages are registered under:

 

Home Buyers and Sellers benefit from RECO

  • http://www.reco.on.ca/
  • Consumer Deposit Protection
  • Education, insurance and registration of registered real estate professionals and brokerages
  • Investigation of complaints regarding a real estate salesperson or brokerages

 

Your Consumer Rights are set out by:

Ministry of Consumer Services - Know your Rights - Video

Other Consumer Protection Legislation

Consumer Protection Act, 2002 (CPA)

Brochures to shop smart on the marketplace

 

Do you Know the Differences between New Vs Resale Condominium Purchases

 

For More Insight into Condominiums

 

Special Note: COA listed on Provincial Government Website (bottom of page)

Building a Better Condo Act

 

How to Buy a Condo

Buying a Condominium

If you are considering buying a condo, make sure you research before signing on the dotted line says Linda Pinizzotto, Realtor and Founder President CEO of the Condo Owners Association. 

Linda has provided COA with an extensive portfolio of information for your protection and has recently launched her Condo Radio.com    

The New Condo Act offers more Consumer Protection 

New Vs Resale Condominiums

The Importance of Status Certificates

Buyers must have a condition requesting a Status Condition on their Agreement of Purchase and Sale.  The Condominium Corporation has 10 days to provide the Status Certificate and relating documents to the Buyer.  The Buyer should have 2-3 days to have their Lawyer review these documents to his/her satisfaction.   If the Buyer's Lawyer is acceptable to these documents;  the Lawyer provides recommendation to the Buyer to release the Status Condition and finalize the sale.  Lawyers will generally not approve the Status, documents etc.  if the Condo Corporation has financial concerns on the building and/or unit.  The Buyer. would normally be advised not to purchase the unit.  

 

The Status Certificate package includes

  1. Condominium Documents
  2. Auditor approved Financial Report
  3. Reserve Fund information and accompanying confirmation
  4. Insurance Company Letter confirming up-to-date condo building insurance and particulars
  5. Cover letter from the Board outlining unit maintenance fees, arrears etc. relating to Unit
  6. Any additional information relating to the condominium building   ie Loans, Liens, Law Suits
  7. Is the Building Registered with the Condo Owners Association

Condo Reserve Funds and Operating Budgets

COA believes Condo Owners and all Home Owners should understand the operations of a Condominium and their financial structure, in particular operating budgets and reserve funds.

The financial package of the condominium buildings makes a huge impact on value therefore affecting the mortgage and real estate value.  There are key considerations to maintaining value in a condominium building aside from location and good management/maintenance.  The Reserve Fund is extremely important, see notes below:  

  1. High reserve funds creates good value within a condominium corporation
  2. Board of Directors should have studies to determine that the contributions for reserve fund are adequate to provide for the expected costs of major replacement  (per item 4 below)
  3. Board of Directors who follow study reports for major repair and replacement of the common elements and assets of the corporation (as mandated by the Condo Act 1998)  helps maintain value of the building and units
  4. Boards of Directors decisions must comply to all mandates of the Condo Act 1998  

Learn more about the  Condo Act


 

Condo Mortgage Budgets

 Mortgage Financing for your Condominium

Understanding mortgages and financing is extremely important says Linda Pinizzotto, Founder President CEO of the Condo Owners Association AND Registered Real Estate Sales Representative.  New mortgage and refinancing rules and interest rates are always changing.  

  1. Do understand the two types of Mortgages?
  2. Do you know how maintenance fees affect value?
  3. Do you understand reserve funds?

 

There are Two Types of Mortgages 

  1. Conventional mortgages -  loans with a minimum of 20 per cent down payment
  2. High ratio mortgages - loans with less than 20 per cent down payment

There are Two Insurance Companies

  1. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
  2. Genworth Corporation

 

Condominium Maintenance Fees

The Condo Owners Association is working hard advocating for Condo Owners rights.   This will not only provide good direction to the Ministry of Consumer Services in the Condo Act Review and future amendments relating to the Act but it also creates a presence to get the word out that "increasing maintenance fees" need to be addressed moving forward.  

COA is a forefront to create awareness recognizing the huge impact that maintenance fees create with respect to value. 

  • Please take note that 1/2 of the monthly maintenance fees of a condominium are included in the calculation for mortgage financing
  • The higher the maintenance fee, the more likelihood that the value of the unit and/ building will decrease
  • There is also a consideration for utilities in the equation when mortgage approval is calculated
  • A new and improved Condo Act will create better governance and accountability in the operations of a Condominium

 

Condo Reserve Funds and Operating Budgets

COA believes Condo Owners and all Home Owners should understand the operations of a Condominium and their financial structure, in particular operating budgets and reserve funds.

The financial package of the condominium buildings makes a huge impact on value therefore affecting the mortgage and real estate value.  There are key considerations to maintaining value in a condominium building aside from location and good management/maintenance.  The Reserve Fund is extremely important, see notes below:  

  1. High reserve funds creates good value within a condominium corporation
  2. Board of Directors should have studies to determine that the contributions for reserve fund are adequate to provide for the expected costs of major replacement  (per item 4 below)
  3. Board of Directors who follow study reports for major repair and replacement of the common elements and assets of the corporation (as mandated by the Condo Act 1998)  helps maintain value of the building and units
  4. Boards of Directors decisions must comply to all mandates of the Condo Act 1998

 

Status Certificates

Buyers Beware that you need a Status Certificate on all condominium purchases

Note: Condominium purchases in an Agreement of Purchase and Sale should include a condition for the Buyers lawyer to review the Status Certificate which includes the following:

  • Condominium Documents
  • Auditor approved Financial Report
  • Reserve Fund information and accompanying confirmation
  • Insurance Company Letter confirming up-to-date condo building insurance and particulars
  • Cover letter from the Board outlining unit maintenance fees, arrears etc. relating to Unit of Purchase
  • Any additional information relating to the condominium building   ie Loans, Liens, Law Suits,

  

EXPLAINING MORTGAGES

Conventional Mortgages

Conventional mortgages are very straight forward.  Most financial institutions and/or mortgage brokers can provide you with a conventional mortgage subject to the usual terms and conditions of qualification.  Qualification depends on having a minimum of 20 per cent as a down payment of the purchase price of the home you bought and for the lender to calculate your service debt ratio in accordance with your income and ability to qualify for the additional funding required.   Most buyers who have qualified for a conventional mortgage with receive the low market place interest rate.  There are extenuating circumstances with each purchase that would entail the possibility of a high rate... dependent on the buyers credit history and/or other financial commitments.  Each situation is different so we would recommend that all buyers take the time to learn about mortgages prior to purchasing a condominium and/or house.  A seasoned Realtor should be able to provide you with direction and/or recommendations/referrals  as well

 

High Ratio Mortgages (include Mortgage Default Insurance)

Buyers will require mortgage insurance if they are purchasing with less than 20% as a down payment in Canada.     This insurance is known as mortgage default insurance so that the lender (bank/trust company/credit union) is protected if the homeowner is in default of their mortgage payments;  ie if they are not paying their mortgage.   This insurance allows the lender  the ability to offer the buyers with low down payments the same lower interest rates that any buyer would obtain if they had more equity/down payment.  

The mortgage insurance premium is calculated on the amount of the mortgage.  Some buyers may take the option to pay it in a lump sum on closing, but generally it is added into the total mortgage amount and small amounts are paid in the mortgage over the length of the mortgage.  It is not life insurance;  simply mortgage insurance.    High Ratio Mortgages are insured by both Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and/or Genworth Canada.  Please see details and information below:

 

 Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation  

 

Genworth Canada

  

Credit Score

  • If you are interested in learning more about your credit score

 

 

New Construction Condo

 

Buying New Construction Condo

Buyers must understand condominiums before buying!  "Condos are a complicated purchase, first you must learn about the new construction world of condos and what is expected from the day of signing to registration day" says Linda Pinizzotto, Sutton Group Realtor and Founder | President of COA the Condo Owners Association.   It's time to invest in Real Estate but make sure you understand condominiums and work with a specialist.  

Condo Show Podcast

Condo Radio.com

Contact us for more details  

Buying New vs Resale Condominiums

Buying a New Condominium

If you are purchasing a new construction condominium; take the time to review a number of concerns.

If you are enlisting the services of a Registered Real Estate Representative, you must enter into these development sites with your Sales Representative right from the start otherwise they cannot assist you.   

New Construction Condominiums are very confusing compared to the Resale Market.  The Sales Representative at the New Condominium Sales Office is hired by and represents the Builder.  They also may not be a registered Real Estate Salesperson.  It is very important to have your own representative.  

We highly recommended that all New Condominium Buyers enlist the services of a Residential Resale Real Estate Sales Representative who has a vast amount of knowledge relating to New Construction Condominiums, Condo Documents, By-Laws and Rules and Regulations of a Condominium prior to entering into any Model Site.   A licensed professional should have all of the knowledge listed below. 

Considerations on New Construction:

  1. Review reputation of the Builder
  2. Determine the launch date of the site - if there has been any price adjustments
  3. Ask if there is any additional Phases of Sister Buildings to this Phase of construction
  4. Ask if the 2nd Phase is a different Condominium Corporation
  5. Ask if there is any entity of Share Facilities relating to the Building ie. Recreation Centre
  6. Ask if the suites are Residential, Live-work or Commercial Usage /or both
  7. Review all floor plans for wasted hallway space in relation to square footage of unit
  8. Layout and Design, both living space, balcony or terrace
  9. Review the location of the Building and the direction the Unit is facing
  10. Note any vacant land or parking lots - Check with the City for Plan of the Area
  11. Review the list of inclusions and note those with additional expenses
  12. Calculate the Price per square foot of the Unit as per builder plans
  13. Ask Sales Representative to explain square foot calculation inside wall
  14. Confirm the price per square foot to determine the Maintenance Fees
  15. Review the proximity of the elevators and garbage chute
  16. Check if the building has energy features and tri-sector garbage chutes
  17. Check if the building has sub metering for heat and/or hydro
  18. Ask about finishings within the unit - ceiling height, floor coverings,
  19. Obtain a list of Inclusions  (ie appliances)
  20. Check light fixtures outlets on the plans (include those that are capped in purchase)
  21. Ask about the amounts of keys, fobs and mail box keys provided with purchase
  22. Ask if there are guest suites and if the superintendent suite is owned by the Corporation
  23. Is there a rooftop patio and/or swimming pool - sundeck or anyting of concern
  24. Note swimming pools on rooftop could be very expensive to fix - long term  

You will be provided an Agreement of Purchase and Sale

  1. Note the payment schedule of your installments
  2. Note the projected occupancy date and if there are any restrictions
  3. Have the Sales Representative explain the difference between Occupancy and Registration
  4. Ask if there are any conditions or preventions of Assignments
  5. Have the Sales Representative explain details on Assignments and/or Rental prior to Registration
  6. Ask about option to purchase parking and/or a locker
  7. Learn about the Tarion Warranty Corporation
  8. Understand Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act  
  9. Cancellation - 10 days is known as a "cooling off period"

Have your Solicitor Review during 10 Day cooling off period

  1. You will be provided with the Condo Documents of the Building  (approx 150-200 pages)
  2. You may also receive a package of By-Laws and/or Rules and Regulations
  3. Have your Lawyer Review these Documents
  4. Find out if there is any restrictions in the Documents relating to  ie. Pets, Barbecues
  5. Check Short Term Rentals and if they are time sensitive or unlimited
  6. Check if the Corporation includes any affordable Housing units
  7. Check if there are any leasing equipment  ie. boilers, communication room etc.
  8. Check if the full Parking Garage is Owned by the Corporation  
  9. Your rights when buying a condo

The New Home Warranty Act

The New Home Warranty Act provides Consumer Protection is also available in other Provinces in Canada.   New Condo Buyers must familiarize themselves with the New Home Warranty Plans Act when they are purchasing new construction homes.

All new build condominiums must be registered with Tarion Warranty Corporation, a private corporation established in 1976 to protect the rights of new home buyers and regulate new home builders. Generally the cost of the registration is charged back to the Buyer on closing of the purchase.

Tarion administers the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act, outlining warranty protection that all new home purchasers are entitled to in Ontario.  Remember the Condominium Building is also covered under Tarion Warranty Corporation and the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act, RSO 1990, c0.31   The links below may assist you.

REMonline.com - Ontario moves to license condo managers

REMonline.com - Ontario moves to license condo managers -August 26, 2013

by:  Susan Doran

Click:  http://www.remonline.com/ontario-moves-to-license-condo-managers/#comments

Ontario’s 1.3 million condominium owners are “out on a limb” and have not been getting the protection and support they need, says Realtor Linda Pinizzotto, founder and president of the province’s Condo Owners Association (COA).

Things appear to be starting to turn around, however. Following a year-long review by government and industry officials and condo owner representatives, Queen’s Park recently proposed improving Ontario’s 15-year-old Condominium Act in order to offer condo owners, tenants and buyers greater protection.

Answers to Condo Owners Questions

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FROM CONDO OWNERS

We have been invited by Minister Best of The Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Services to participate with "Building a Better Condo Act" which is a condo reform to ensure better protection and governance for Condo Owners.

Mention has been made on the importance of hiring a good property management company and how they may influence a well-maintained Condo and keep maintenance lower.  COA has submitted an extensive report to the Ministry.  It is important for Condo Owners to understand that the Property Manager only impliments decisions of the Board of Directors as the Contracted Property Management company employee.  Recommendations are extremely important however Condo Board Members need to be informed and aware that they have a fiduciary duty to comply to the Condo Act when making decisions on behalf of the Corporation therefore must accept responsibilities of their decisions and not leave it in the hands of their Property Manager.   The Board of Directors have too much power no doubt and many of them abuse the power and do not comply to the Condo Act.  The Condo Act is self-governed which is the largest single problem of the Act and it needs to contain diciplinary and a fine process for those who do not comply to the Act.  It is no different from the various other Acts in affect  Example... Traffic Act, Human Rights Act, Accessibility Act, Health and Safety Act.  As it stands now it leaves a wide open space for too much control and abusive power for bad Board of Directors and unfortunately the good Boards who run the affairs of the Corporation in compliance and in good faith are affected.

We need ALL CONDO OWNERS ACROSS THE PROVINCE to join COA and also write to the Ministry to force 1) Governance and mandate compliance 2) One Declaration to comply to the Condo Act so there no confusion and written in every day language  3) a Reporting system for Condo Owners to report abusive Boards  4)  The reporting mechanism should not be comprised of  ie. Property Managements, Condo  Lawyers, Developers and Builders because of the conflict of interest of trade relating to Condominiums   5) Our government needs to arrange a Reserve Fund Bond available for all Corporations at high rates  6)  Special Condo Building incentives administered by our Government relating to energy efficiency etc should be identified and developed as a cost savings for Buidings in particular the older buildings

COA has offered a number of improvement required in the Condo Act  They are geared to identifying the problems of high maintenance fees which ultimately reduces value of the Buildings and Condo Owners are slowly losing their equity.   Condo Owners have to get involved, get educated, join COA and work together towards a stronger and financially secure Condo Market.    We stand firm on providing the strongest possible assistance to help Condo Owners and support extensive changes in the Condo Act

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