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Buying a Condo

A condominium is a shared ownership structure that involves community decision making. When you buy a condo unit you purchase a share of the common elements and are responsible for their maintenance through your share of common expenses paid to the corporation. You can also exercise the right to review the corporation’s records, attend owners’ meetings, use amenities and more.


  • Buying a condo is different from buying a house
  • Buying a resale unit involves buying it from an owner and not a developer
  • Pre-construction units are bought directly from the developer

Buying resale

Purchasing a resale unit involves buying a unit from the current owner rather than from the developer. Make sure you tour the property, understand what is included in the purchase price and review the condo corporation’s governing documents before you buy. The governing documents provide details on how your condo fees are calculated, who is responsible for repairs and maintenance, how the corporation runs elections, as well as restrictions on smoking, short-term rentals and pets. 

You should also do your research on the unit, condo corporation and condo management company or manager. Seek legal advice if necessary. 

Here are some suggested areas to look into:

  • The status of the reserve fund and age of the building
  • Monthly condo fees
  • The units and common elements
  • Amenities
  • Litigation
  • New Home Warranty Information

Buying a pre-construction condo

Pre-construction condos are generally sold by developers directly before the build is complete and the building has been registered. 

Make sure you research the builder using the Home Construction Regulatory Authority’s Builder registry. The HCRA licenses builders and provides information on any disciplinary history.

Here are six important documents that builders provide that you should review with the help of a lawyer:

  1. Pre-construction Agreement of Purchase and Sale
  2. Information for Buyers of Pre-Construction Condominium Homes
  3. The Condominium Home Addendum
  4. Tarion Warranty Information Sheet
  5. Disclosure Statement
  6. Ontario’s Residential Condominium Buyers’ Guide

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