Condominium Corner: Status Certificates

iStock_000000250511XSmallWithin the process of listing and selling a Condominium recently, I got a bit of a run-around from a management office that I thought I might share with you: Before listing we called to order a Status Certificate and was told that the staff person dealing with Status Certificates was out of town on Holiday. We asked for a request form to fill out and dutifully wrote out a cheque for $100 and mailed both to the management office. Not having heard back from the management office we assumed that all was moving ahead as it should have been.

A week later we had five offers that we were reviewing, almost all of which were conditional on Status Certificate Approval.

I called the Management Office direct for an update and I was told: that the cost for a Status Certificate had been increased to $130 plus HST and that only a certified cheque or Bank draft was acceptable.

I insisted that the Condominium Act  mandated Status Certificates at $100 and that no taxes were applicable and was chastised for my being difficult and was almost hung up on. I suggested that someone at their Head Office be called, as this is one of, if not the largest Condominium Property Management in Toronto, Del Property Management and that their information should be corrected otherwise they would be contravening the Condominium Act . A call back a few minutes later was very conciliatory…yes, I was correct that the amount was $100 and yes their were no taxes to be paid, neither GST, PST or HST…

When I offered to show up at their office with $100 cash I was told that was still not acceptable. Somehow cash is no longer legal tender? When I asked why, I was told that “cash provided too many opportunities”.  I suggested that this was a staff  issue and not an issue that a third party should have to make accommodations for and maybe a staff review would have been more appropriate. I do “righteous indignation” very well when provoked. Mea Culpa…

After 1/2 hour standing in line at a local bank and another 1/2 hour re-filling out the forms for the Status Certificate, I had to wait another four days for delivery. Then it was couriered to the Buyer’s lawyer in Oakville, Ontario for approval…and another 3 day wait.

There has to be a better way and I think I may have found it:

Conduit  allows Realtors, Lawyers, Owners, Mortgage Companies to order Status Certificates online and have them delivered to the purchasing party in a .pdf format. The Status Certificate still costs $100 as per the Condominium Act but there is a $25.00 convenience fee and HST of $3.25 on the convenience fee…a total of $128.25….and you can pay online with a credit card (no visits to a Bank to pick up a Certified funds, no couriers, no time doing pick up or delivery). This .pdf format can be emailed to a number of parties rather than only having one copy that really should be studied by a number of involved parties withing the approval period.

This is a great idea and costs nothing for the Management Company to sign up.

Check out the site, order a Status Certificate or two and let us know how it works or…if you have already tried out this service, we’d all like to have your thoughts below. Please let us know!

3 Responses

  1. alice Taylor

    richard,
    This whole process of obtaining Status certificate is one of my personal pet peeves. It is without a doubt a horrible process, and I always feel like I’m begging. There’s a whole attitude issue surrounding the release of such documents. I love your suggestion on how to expedite quickly. Hope someone listens. I prefer to order as soon as the property is listed. Some Mgmnt co.’s would let me do so.

  2. Richard Silver Post author

    There is no issue with you ordering a Status Certificate at any time. I don’t know why Management Companies only want you to have it when the property is sold. A REALTOR needs the Status Certificate before listing the property. It is like listing a house without a Pre-listing Building Inspection, verifying the taxes, maintenance fees or lot size. It is just called “Due Diligence” and that is what we do…

  3. Tom Lebour

    Hi Richard, Just ordered a status certificate on-line. This truly is a good service and should be better promoted to all TREB members. Thanks for the tip. TOM LEBOUR

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