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Tips on Buying a Condo from a Developer in Calgary

Blog by Julie Dempsey | November 28th, 2014

Buying a Calgary Condo from a Developer

My advice is to call me as I have more than 15 years of experience with buying from Developers and I can share that knowledge with you. Please call Julie Dempsey at 403-923-6299. This information is excerpted from the Alberta Government publication called Buying and Owning
a Condominium. Click here for a pdf version.

If you are buying from a developer read the documents carefully and ensure you know:

• What work remains to be done on the condominium development?
• Does your purchase agreement identify a completion date?

The developer has a duty to deal fairly with you when entering into, performing, and enforcing the purchase agreement. Before you buy, the developer must provide you with a copy of:

• the purchase agreement
• the bylaws or proposed bylaws
• any management agreement or proposed management agreement
• any recreational agreement or proposed recreational agreement
• the lease, if the land on which the unit is located is leased
• any mortgage or proposed mortgage that may affect the title of the unit
• the condominium plan or proposed condominium plan
• the phased development disclosure statement if the unit is in a phased development; and
• reserve fund information if the development is a conversion.

Purchase Agreement

Consult with your lawyer before you sign a purchase agreement with the developer. The purchase agreement must include the
condominium plan showing:

• the interior finishing and all the major improvements to the common property within the building
• recreational facilities and other special features; and
• maintenance equipment for common property.

As well, the purchase agreement must include
• the unit factor and how it was set
• the condominium contributions for the unit (or an estimate) based on a reasonable economic basis; and
• notification on the front or first page of the purchase agreement of the consumer’s right to cancel.

When you purchase a unit in a condominium complex not yet completed, the developer must hold your funds in trust until construction of the unit and common property is substantially completed.

You must receive the title to your property before the money is taken out of the trust fund. Before you move in, the developer must provide you with an occupancy permit.

If the condominium development is covered by a purchaser’s protection program, other rules may apply. Examples of these programs are the Alberta New Home Warranty Program and the National Home Warranty Programs. For more information contact the warranty program provider.

Cancelling your Purchase Agreement

If you are buying a new unit from a developer, the Condominium Property Act allows you to cancel your purchase agreement within 10 days from the date you signed it, if you did not receive all the required documents at least 10 days before you signed the contract. You are entitled to a full refund within 10 days after the developer has received your written notice to cancel.

Phased Developments

Information about phased developments

Sometimes condominiums are developed in phases. If you are buying a unit that is in a phased project you should obtain a copy of the phased development disclosure statement that is registered as part of the condominium plan.

The disclosure statement will include
• a statement that the building or land is to be developed in phases
• the maximum and minimum number of units in the entire project
• a description of the units and common property included in the initial phase and subsequent phases
• a description of the proposed physical appearance of each phase and its compatibility with other phases
• the extent to which the developer will contribute to the common expenses during the development of each phase and the entire project
• the method that will be used to determine the allocation of administrative costs in each phase and for the entire project
• the basis for allocating unit factors; and
• the effect on the owners’ contributions for administrative expenses and the corporation’s budget if future phases are not completed.

If you purchase a unit in a phased project, keep a copy of the phased development disclosure statement that was registered as part of the condominium plan. The developer cannot change the phased development disclosure statement without the consent of 2/3 of the owners who are entitled to vote under the Act. However developers can make changes necessary to meet zoning and municipal development requirements.

If the developer cannot or will not complete the project, the developer, the corporation, the owners or other interested parties can ask the court to make any number of orders allowed under the regulations to deal with the land and the expected improvements to the common property.