It’s a common occurrence. Someone buys a renovated condo unit. The status certificate fails to identify any problems.
If renovations are more than superficial – painting, cabinets – and undertaken without approval of the Condo Board the current owner of the unit can become responsible for returning it to the original state.
A purchased condo unit was renovated, years earlier, prior to current ownership. When attempting to sell, the current status certificate noted the unit was in breach of the condominium declaration. The earlier renovation, a second bedroom and relocated kitchen, were in contravention of the condominium declaration. The new status certificate warned that the condo corporation might take steps to remove the alteration and restore the unit to its original layout. Costs would be added to common expenses for the unit.
If renovations are more than superficial and undertaken without approval of the Condo Board the current owner of the unit can become responsible for returning it to the original state.
The owner took the corporation to court to have them issue a “clean” status certificate. The court’s final ruling noted the “purpose of a status certificate is obvious: it is to bring to the attention of a prospective purchaser or mortgagee matters which may be of concern to them when contemplating the purchase of a unit.” The court noted the owner could sue the condominium corporation if it was negligent in issuing an earlier “clean” status certificate.
Approval for alterations to a condo unit should be provided, in writing, before construction commences. Major renovations to a unit should be registered on title by the unit owner.
A “clean” status certificate can be updated at any time once information becomes available to the condo board.