When you sign an agreement of purchase and sale to buy a resale condominium unit, it is usually conditional upon a lawyer’s review of the status certificate and accompanying documentation. One of the reasons for this review is to ensure that the rules, regulations, by-laws and declaration of the condominium corporation do not conflict with your lifestyle and the way you intend to occupy the unit.
When people rent out their condominium units, they often don’t think about the status certificate and accompanying documents, and the affect they may have on the tenants.
Here’s an example to illustrate a possible issue that can arise:
You purchase a condominium unit in a building for the purpose of renting it out as an investment. Because you don’t intend on living in the unit, you don’t pay much attention to the status certificate or accompanying documents. After the closing, you find a tenant and secure a one year lease. A month into the lease, you get notification that your tenant is not complying with the rules of the condominium corporation. It turns out that the building has a strict “no pets” policy which is in its declaration. At the commencement of the lease, you didn’t provide your tenant with any condominium documentation, nor did your tenant sign anything agreeing to comply with the condominium corporation’s rules and regulations.
You are now faced with a condominium corporation that wants your tenant to remove their dog, and a tenant who says they are entitled to keep the dog and remain in the unit. Your lease doesn’t say anything about pets, and perhaps your tenant even mentioned that they would be keeping a dog with them.
As the unit owner, your liability in this situation could be two-fold:
- To the tenant for any damages suffered as a result of them having to vacate, and
- To the condominium corporation for not complying with their no-pets policy.
This problem could have been avoided by reviewing the rules, regulations, by-laws and declarations of the condominium corporation, and also having your tenant agree to review and comply with them.