Before you buy a condominium unit, it is important to collect and review a number of different documents. It is recommended you seek the help of experts like lawyers, real estate agents, and document reviewers to review these documents with you. They know what to look for to determine if a condominium is going to exceed your expectations or cause you endless headaches.
Listed below are recommended documents to collect and review before you buy, depending on whether you are interested in a new / conversion development or resale property. The lists below are not exhaustive and you should always consult your lawyer or real estate agent to ensure you have collected all necessary documents to make an informed decision.
Unsure of what new, conversion, and resale mean? Visit Choosing a Condominium for more information.
New / Conversion Developments
When you buy a new condominium, the developer has a duty to deal fairly with you when entering into, performing, and enforcing the purchase agreement. A developer is legally required to provide the following documents:
- Purchase Agreement
- Condominium Plan (or proposed condominium plan), including any Condominium Additional Plan Sheets (CAD)
- Bylaws (or proposed bylaws)
- Management Agreement (or proposed management agreement)
- Recreational Agreement (or proposed recreational agreement)
- Lease of the parcel of land, if the unit is located on leased land
- Mortgage, if it affects or will affect the title to the unit
- Phased Development Disclosure Statement (if the development is multi-staged and developer is using a phased development model)
- Mortgage or claim/liability (also known as a “financial encumbrance”) registered against the corporation’s real property
- Home warranty insurance contract
- Statement of a fixed date range or range of dates by which you can start occupying the unit (also known as an occupancy date statement)
- The corporation’s most recent budget (or proposed budget)
- Occupancy permit or written permission from a municipal authority
- Additional information and documents as required by the Condominium Property Regulation, such as:
- Developer’s name and address
- Name and address of the lawyer responsible for holding deposits
- Floor plan including materials to be used to finish the unit (if the development is not substantially complete)
- A list of fees, rents or other charges that the corporation must pay to the developer or a third party for the use of units or property
- The amount of occupancy fees and description of any other fees, if any
Section 20.01(1) of the Condominium Property Regulation outlines additional information and documents that the developer must provide to a purchaser in particular situations (e.g., phased developments, bare land units, etc.). Refer to the Regulation for more specific information.
If it is a conversion development, the following documents must also be provided:
- Reserve Fund Report & Plan
- A description of the building’s previous use
- A summary of deficiencies
Within 10 days of receiving a summary of deficiencies, you can request in writing from the developer a copy of the building assessment report. After receiving the request, a developer has 10 days to provide you a copy of the report.
- Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation – Checklist for Buying a New Condo (not Alberta-specific)
When you purchase a resale or previously owned condominium unit, the seller is under no legal obligation to provide you with documentation about the complex. However, under the Condominium Property Act, a condominium corporation must provide the following documents within 10 days of receiving a written request from a potential buyer.
Note: A condominium corporation can charge a reasonable fee for preparing and reproducing any requested documents.
Finance & Operations
- Reserve Fund Report & Plan
- Budget & Financial Statements
- Annual Report
- Estoppel Certificate (details about condominium contributions)
- Statement outlining unit factors and criteria used to determine unit factors (information also included on Condominium Plan)
- Minutes of the general meetings of the condo board
For a complete overview of what you need to know about condo finances before you buy, download our free publication: Before You Buy: Understanding Condo Finances.
Bylaws, Rules and Agreements
- Bylaws and rules
- Management Agreement
- Recreational Agreement
- Exclusive Possession Area lease, licence or other instrument
- Details about post-tension cables on property (information also available with the Condominium Plan)
- Statement outlining any structural deficiencies the corporation has knowledge of at the time of the request
- Legal actions or claims against corporation, including outstanding judgment orders
- Any written demands against corporation that exceed $5,000
Additional Documents – Note: The 10 day timeline does not apply to these documents but they should still be requested and reviewed. Talk to your lawyer or real estate agent about obtaining these documents.
- Condominium Plan, including any Condominium Additional Plan Sheets (CAD) – can be requested from Land Titles Office or Registry Agent)
- Certificate of Title – can be requested from Land Titles Office or Registry Agent
- Condominium Newsletters – request from Condominium Corporation
- Contact information for Condominium Board of Directors – request from Condominium Corporation, also available on CAD
- Any notifications of insurance coverage changes from the condo corporation
- Real Property Report (for bare land units only) – request from seller
- Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta
Buying a Resale Condo: Document Checklist (PDF, Alberta-specific information)
Before You Buy: Understanding Condo Finances (PDF, Alberta-specific information)
- Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Checklist for Buying a Resale Condo (not Alberta-specific)
Physical Evaluation Checklist (not Alberta-specific)
Last updated: April 2018