Buyers and Owners
Buyer Beware

We have all heard the terms; the onus is on the buyer to ask the right questions, investigate and satisfy himself/herself of all concerns relating to this major purchase/investment prior to initializing the purchase.

At CDIC we take the guesswork out of buying a condominium. Our comprehensive summary will not only simplify, but will also highlight the areas of serious concern. When buying a condominium always ask certain questions before finalizing your decision. There are many little things that can make a big difference to your future investment’s appreciation and or resale value.

  • What is the development’s history? Are there any persistent problems with post tension or plumbing (hot water heating) in many older complexes?
  • If buying from a developer (Is it a known developer?) What work remains to be completed on the condominium development? Does your purchase contract specify a completion date with details of specifications?
  • Is there an operating surplus or deficit?
  • What is the current financial status of the corporation?
  • Do all the unit owners own the recreational facility as part of the common property, or does the condominium corporation lease them?
  • Are there any restrictions on the unit owner? Age, pets, home based business, use of a satellite dish and installation of a hot tub?
  • Are there any extra parking stalls for owners?
  • What about guest parking, or motor home parking areas?
  • Are the parking area’s owned by the unit owner’s or if it is a lease can the owner of the land increase the lease costs?

The concerns and the questions must be answered for an educated buyer. At CDIC we will compile all this information in a binder for you to understand and read. Our consultation is included with the fees we charge for document review services.
Buying From A Developer
The developer has a duty to deal with you when entering in to, performing and enforcing the purchase agreement. Before you buy, the developer must provide you with a copy of:
  • The purchase contract/ agreement;
  • The bylaws or proposed bylaws;
  • Any management agreement or proposed management agreement;
  • Any recreational agreement or proposed recreational agreement;
  • The lease, if the land on which the unit is located is leased.
  • Any mortgage or proposed mortgage that may affect the title of the unit;
  • The condominium plan or proposed condominium plan;
  • Reserve fund information if the developer is a conversion;
  • Before you actually move in the developer must also provide an occupancy permit.

Cancellation of purchase agreement:
If you are buying a new unit from a developer, the Condominium Property Act allows you to cancel your purchase agreement within 10 days before you signed it, if you did not receive the required documents at least 10 days after the developer has received your written notice to cancel. The purchase contract/agreement must also include:
  • The unit factor and how it was set.
  • The condominium contributions for the unit (or an estimate) based on reasonable economic basis.
  • Notification of the right to cancel on the front or first page of the document.
Buying A Previously Owned Home
The most important thing to remember when buying a pre-owned unit is that you are not protected by the disclosure and trust provisions of the condominium property act. It is up to you (your agent in agency) to obtain necessary documents and information. (You may want to seek some professional help).

This is where CDIC comes to ensure and overlooks the details of the entire documents and review process. The condominium corporation must provide you with the following information within 10 days of your written request.

The corporation may charge a reasonable fee for these documents.

As buildings age they need to be maintained and require several repairs. The common property also requires upkeep and over all maintenance such as the exterior of the building, asphalt, underground utilities or services and landscaping. By September 1,2002, all condominium corporations registered before September 1,2000 must have completed a reserve fund study and approve a plan. Reserve fund studies must be conducted every five years.

Buying A Conversion Property
All residential condominium conversions must have a reserve fund study, reserve fund study report and reserve fund plan in place before the developer sells the first unit. Purchasers are entitled to inspect the reserve fund report and the reserve fund plan. Buyers have option to walk away from the purchase if they are not comfortable with the reserve fund plan or the condition of the building.

Conversions may not always be the best buys as they were originally developed as rental units; some of the provisions may be restrictive or not suitable for long term ownership, as it may not have been anticipated as a conversion complex when built.

Buyers should be careful in inspecting laundry facilities, titled or rented parking stalls, any special assessments due to any major expenditure required in the near future.

Some developer’s will go out of their way to make sure the complex not only meets but also exceeds the city construction code.

This may be one of the reasons a prudent buyer will make sure they use the services of a document inspection company to protect themselves.


(403) 228-6770

For Realtors
The nature of the bylaws can differ from complex to complex. ByLaws are created to achieve certain objective for that complex. These objectives may not be in the best interest of what you (realtor/ buyer) may have in mind as your potential future home/lifestyle.
Why do I need a document review?
Do I have certain rights as a condominium owner?
What happens if I have water seepage/leaks in my unit?
  Email your questions to us.
We will do our best to answer your request
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Condominium Document Inspection Centre #201, 735 - 12th Avenue S.W. Calgary, Alberta T2R 1J7
Phone: (403) 228-6770 Fax: (403) 806-1297 Email: nina@cdicinspections.com

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