In any market that's as lucrative as the Toronto condo market is right now, there will always be people who want to take advantage of you. Even builders or condo sellers who stay within the law will always try to scale the business agreement so that it's more favorable to them. Therefore if you want a good deal and you want to get what you want without having to end up in court over it, you should understand what the Condominium Act does for you and how to use it when you're looking for your condo. Here are some of the most important points.

One of the things the Condominium Act says is that the builder has to give you a certain information about the building and the unit that would affect your decision to purchase the unit. For instance, if some of the condos will be rented instead of sold or if there's going to be a high end mall on the ground floor of the building, they must tell you about it. You will get a disclosure statement which contains a description of your unit, the rules you will have to live by (including pet rules) and the completion date.

Even if you've already agreed to buy the condo, if there's anything in the document that you didn't know when the sale was set up, you can still get out of it without a penalty. The Condominium Act gives you ten days from the date you receive the disclosure document to decide if you want to push forward or not. That way the builder's can't lie or change their minds about a required feature and trap you into buying a condo that's no longer suitable.

Builders will usually want you to pay a deposit when your real estate agent is helping you buy a new condo. Sometimes you will even have to pay it before you get the disclosure document and before the building is even finished. But that's okay, because according to the Condominium Act, all deposits have to be held in trust, that way they can't be lost if the builders go under and the project is never completed. If you pull out of the deal before your ten days are up, they have to refund the deposit with interest.

The Condominium Act also prevents builders from pulling out whenever they like. In fact, they can't terminate an agreement at all without your consent, so they can't dump you then put the unit back on the market for more money. The buyer is also required by the Act to make every effort to finish on time and not leave you hanging in limbo. In fact, if they delay too much you're entitled to financial compensation.

Sponsorship provided by real estate lawyers Scarfone Hawkins LLP.

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