Canada: Preparing Status Certificates: A Balancing Act

Last Updated: February 20 2014
Article by Patrick Greco

One of the most common questions asked of condominium lawyers is whether a certain item should be included in a status certificate and, if so, how should it be phrased. These issues often arise on an urgent basis, when there are only a few days left in which to issue the status certificate. Often, the question pertains to just how much must be disclosed in order to comply with the Condominium Act and protect the corporation's legal interests, without unduly impacting the marketability of units by delivering an overly ominous picture of the corporation. This results in a delicate balancing act for the person preparing the status certificate.

The Basics

Section 76(1) of the Act requires a condominium corporation to issue a status certificate to any person who requests it and pays the fee prescribed under the Act (currently $100 inclusive of tax). Section 76(3) of the Act requires the status certificate to be given within 10 days of receipt of the request and required payment. It is important to note that if a status certificate is not given within that time, or is incomplete, under sections 76(4) and (5) of the Act, it will be deemed to contain certain information under the Act, which may not be true but which will bind the corporation in any event.

The information required to be contained in a status certificate is set out at section 76(1) of the Act. The standard form of status certificate is available on the Government of Ontario website. It is important to note that section 33 of the status certificate requires that a number of documents be attached to the status certificate and form part of it; these too must not be forgotten.

The purpose of a status certificate goes far beyond providing information to a potential purchaser or mortgagee. Section 76(6) of the Act provides that the status certificate binds the corporation as of the date it is given with respect to the information it contains or is deemed to contain. As will be seen in the examples below, this means that management preparing a status certificate must pay careful attention to the information provided, so that it does not adversely impact the corporation at some point in the future.

Common Issues

Issue 1 - Ongoing proceedings before a court, arbitrator or administrative tribunal

No corporation wants to look like it is embroiled in extensive, and potentially expensive, litigation, especially when the litigation might be without merit in the first place. However, it is imperative that a sufficient description of litigation be provided at sections 18 and 19 of a status certificate. If it is not, a purchaser might be within his/her rights to refuse to contribute to any future common expense increase or special assessment required to fund the litigation resulting from it. It may, depending on the circumstances, be prudent to reference litigation proceedings in section 12 of a status certificate.

Adequate disclosure need not be explicitly detailed. In fact, in order to protect solicitor-client privilege, it should not be. The statement should provide the parties to the litigation (a "unit owner", a contractor, etc.), its nature (breach of contract, personal injury, etc.), the forum (Superior Court of Justice, Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, arbitrator, etc.), and the amount of damages or other relief sought. With that information in hand, it is then up to the purchaser to make any further inquiries. If the litigation is being defended by the corporation's insurer, this should also be noted.

Issue 2 – Changes to the common elements by a unit owner

Prior to issuing a status certificate, management, working with the board, must turn its mind to the specifics of the unit in question. If the current unit owner has made changes to the common elements which the corporation knew or ought to have known about, through its board or management, this must be included at sections 8, 12 and 23 of the status certificate. If it is not, the corporation may not be permitted to pursue a purchaser for the costs to remedy these changes.

In Durham Condominium Corporation No. 63 v. On-Cite Solutions Ltd., the court found that the president of the condominium corporation knew about alterations to a common element wall in a unit for which a "clean" status certificate was issued. As such, the condominium corporation was forbidden from pursuing a purchaser to restore the wall to its original condition and from charging the costs back against the unit.

Issue 3 – Contemplated projects / reserve fund expenditures

Similar to Issue 2, when issuing a status certificate, a corporation must give careful thought to any contemplated projects, such as building-wide window replacements, which, while not yet in progress, have been discussed extensively by the board, and perhaps even presented to the unit owners at an information meeting.

Failure to mention such a project at certain sections of the status certificate (especially section 12) could result in a purchaser refusing to contribute to an increase in common expenses or a special assessment levied to pay for such a project, on the basis that this looming project should have been disclosed in the status certificate issued to him or her prior to purchase.

Issue 4 – Status certificates issued close to the fiscal year-end

Suppose a corporation's fiscal year-end were June 30, 2014 and a new budget was set to come into effect on July 1, 2014. This presents an issue where a request for status certificate is received on June 18, 2014, requiring the status certificate to be given by June 28, 2014. Technically, it would be issued during the previous fiscal year ending June 30, 2014. However, treating it as such could result in confusing information being provided at sections 6, 8, 10, 11 and 12 of the status certificate, to name a few.

The solution to this problem is to explain the situation explicitly in the status certificate. There is no requirement that statements given on a status certificate must be short or cryptic. It is perfectly acceptable to provide an explanation that, while the budget ending June 30, 2014 is still in effect, a new budget will come into effect on July 1, 2014 which will affect the unit, and to attach a copy of the budget as previously circulated to the owners. 


It can be difficult to know how much to put in a status certificate and what wording to use to describe it. No corporation wants to threaten the ability of its unit owners to sell their units. However, every corporation has an obligation to protect all of its unit owners by issuing accurate status certificates which will not result in the other unit owners being made to pay unfairly for an amount that is not collectable from a purchaser because it was not properly disclosed.

When in doubt, status certificate questions can usually be resolved with a quick call or email to counsel, which can prevent an unfortunate issue from arising down the road.

Newletter Tip #1: Good governance

Management companies should not be registering liens for condominium corporations. There is no way the boards will know if the work has been done in a timely manner or properly. From a governance perspective an independent third party should be responsible for registering the corporation's liens.

Newletter Tip #2: Insurance Tips

Make sure all owners are aware that (i) they must insure their units; (ii) they would be wise to insure with the corporation's insurer; and (iii) the policy should include both deductible coverage and cost of living out of the unit if forced to be out of the unit as a result of an insured loss.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions