Question of the week:

Potential Special Levy: Do I need to disclose?

Living in a 15+ yr old townhouse. There are talks for a roof replacement. But wanting to sell before any levies get passed. Can the new buyer go after the seller for “known” potential levies? There is very limited information in the minutes. Everything else is just talks between owners. Any potential levy would be at least 1 or more years away.

Nick Answers Reddit

Every week, Nick answers a Redditor’s question about buying, selling, renting, investing or living in Ottawa. Send Nick your own questions on the website, on Reddit or on a YouTube comment!

Nick's Response

If you know that a levy is coming, but are considering not disclosing this to a potential buyer, tread carefully and get advice from your lawyer. Morality of this decision aside, you might be legally in the wrong in your province if you choose not to disclose a known deficiency. I’m not a lawyer, so I’m not sure what side of the law you’d fall on in your province.

In Ontario, when a condominium (called strata in some provinces) is sold it’s typical for the Buyer to request the status certificate, a bundle of documents that include financial, engineering, legal and rules information about the condominium corporation. Generally, the status certificate for townhomes like yours would have mention of when the roof was scheduled to be replaced and whether this had been accounted for in the reserve fund. If anything was in question, the Buyer might negotiate a clause in the Agreement of Purchase and sale for the Seller to warrant that no special assessments (levies) were incoming or contemplated, and that they would be paid in full by the Seller prior to closing.

In short, provincial law will tell you what you do or do not need to disclose about what you know when listing, but a savvy Buyer (more likely, a Buyer with an experienced Realtor) will enquire and discover any issues with the roof whether you disclose it or not.

3 Things You Find in a Condo Status Certificate


Budget Documents – When buying a condo, it’s extremely important to to make sure that it’s managed well financially. The status certificate will have contribution tables, projections and balance sheets that you can look at with your lawyer or accountant to check the financial health of the condo’s reserve fund.


Bylaws – This is where you’ll find things like pet restrictions, whether you can BBQ on your balcony and more. If it’s important that you be able to use your unit in a certain way, make sure that it’s allowed in the bylaws.


Right to Rent – Are you buying the condo as an investment? Make sure that you can rent it, as many condos will have rules about how many units can be rented, and for how long.

You might also like …

Buying • Selling • Weekly Features — 2024/05/15

Bridge Loan Costs Ottawa: Easy & Simple Introduction


Buying • Selling — 2024/05/15

Understanding FINTRAC: Protecting Your Home Buying and Selling Journey


Selling • Weekly Features — 2024/05/15

Looking to do a FSBO for my house and wondering how much time does one book for a showing?


Get one-on-one advice