Do you really own the condo unit you’re living in?

Twenty-two condo owners in a north Toronto development recently discovered that they did not own the units they were living in.

In March, unit owners at Liberty Walk Condominiums (located at 760 Lawrence Ave W, between Dufferin St and the Allan Expressway), received letters from their property management stating that the condo corporation had been made aware that the location of, and registered titles to, a number of townhouses in the project did not match the physical units in which the owners were residing.

The Toronto Standard Condominium Corporation No. 1513 was aware that 22 unit owners in the development were living in townhouses that someone else in the complex has registered titles to.

The same issue may affect other blocks of townhouses and some of the parking units may have been transferred to the incorrect unit owners.

“In the 15 years since the creation of the condominium, many of these units have changed hands four, five and even six times – and at no point was the discrepancy discovered. That means that in more than 80 or 100 transactions, the purchasers were probably not shown the floor plans of the condominium to verify the location of their units,” Bob Aaron, a Toronto-based real estate lawyer, told The Star.

“In my view, it is the obligation of the real estate lawyer — and perhaps even the real estate agent — to obtain a copy of the condominium plans and review them with the buyers to make sure they are buying the correct unit. Unfortunately, some real estate lawyers are not doing this due diligence.”

Copies of condominium plans can be purchased for about $15. “Despite this nominal cost, it appears that some real estate lawyers are not be spending the money or taking the time to ensure their clients are buying the correct dwelling, parking and locker units,” Aaron said.

The title insurers for the buyers will have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to exchange all 22 deeds, as well as discharge and re-register the mortgages on each unit.

Also read: Vet properties thoroughly to avoid rental scams

 

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