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 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
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). 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 & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd 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 or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

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