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Debra
Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
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Experience:  Lawyer
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I entered into a contract in January 2017 to purchase a

Customer Question

I entered into a contract in January 2017 to purchase a condominium in Regina with a closing date of May 1, 2017. I removed all conditions April 7, 2017.However in the meantime and unknown to the membership, the condominium board approved a special assessment March 31, 2017 the amount of $2,200 to remedy deficiencies in the under funded reserve fund. The membership was notified April 16 by letter of the board resolution and that the payment is due July 31, 2017.The vendor refused any responsibility to pay it even though it was assessed on the unit during his ownership.I closed with prejudice so that any future legal action I may wish to take to remedy this matter was not estopped.Is the vendor responsible for the assessment pursuant to the sale contract requiring clear title transfer without any encumbrances?Is the vendor's liability exculpated because I removed conditions prior to the assessment being levied but before closing?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 4 months ago.

Hello! My name is Debra (formerly known as Legal Ease). Thank you for your question. I'm reviewing it now, and will post back again shortly.

Expert:  Debra replied 4 months ago.

I am sorry to hear this.

The vendor is responsible for this assessment. That is because if the vendor does not pay it then a lien will be registered on title by the condo corp and title will not be clear and in fact will not be transferred. The lien will have to be paid off first and the vendor will have to pay the lien off.

If they refuse you can close under protest and then sue them in Small Claims Court.

Your removing the conditions cannot harm you. You didn't know about the assessment when you waived the conditions.

Does that fully answer your question?

Please feel free to post back with any follow-up questions you may have. If you don't have any then I hope I have earned a 5 star rating but if you don't feel that I have please don't hesitate to reply back and let me know what more I can do to assist you. Finally, please know that even after you rate me I will be here for you and you can ask follow-up questions if you think of them later on at no further charge of course.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Debra,Thanks for your response.I understand that the condo corp. will register a lien if the assessment is not paid. However, closing has already occurred May 1, 2017 and the March 31, 2017 assessment is not due to be paid until July 31, 2017. Because I have now become the owner of the unit, I will be required to pay it to avoid a lien on the what is now my title.My question really is, "what is the basis of my legal argument to compel the vendor to pay? I'm aware of small claims litigation and the unknown assessment argument. However the vendor is arguing that because the estoppel package he delivered prior to the assessment didn't indicate any pending assessments at that time, his obligations ceased because I accepted the status of no special assessment at the time I removed conditions. The assessment was levied and only became known a short time thereafter but before the closing date of May 1.Are there any legal precedents I can present? I've done some case study but can't find anything thereto.I appreciate your willing to assist.Francis E. Kutarna
Expert:  Debra replied 4 months ago.

I am not able to conduct case law research.

You will have to pay but can sue successfully. You were to be given the condo with clear title and not outstanding debts or obligations. His obligation did not cease when you accepted status. He obligations cease when he transfers title.

If someone sells a house and says there has never been a flood in the house and after the offer is accepted and all conditions waived and then there is a flood the vendor still has to reveal the flood rather than withhold this information because it happened after the offer was accepted.

But that other point I should make is that if you aren't able to sue the seller successfully then your agent is really liable here. There should have been a close in the offer such as this standard one here, for example:

The Seller agrees to be responsible for any special assessment or increase in common expenses for the current fiscal year or any other costs or charges relating to the unit as disclosed in the certificate, or as a result of any changes, on or before the date of closing, in the information disclosed in the certificate requested at the time this Agreement of Purchase and Sale is entered into. This amount, if any, shall be adjusted on closing.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Debra,I'm sorry to say that I'm not really satisfied with your help.You've given me general information I already knew as stated in my first correspondence with you. I requested a legal basis to support the reason I closed with prejudice or under protest, but now realize your services don't provide specific legal advise but rather a generic opinion.The Saskatchewan Real Estate Association provides approved standard documentation required to complete a sale transactions, including vendor obligations. The language is general and articulates references to closing and clear title. Your advise that the offer should have contained additional wording certainly isn't helpful considering I've already closed under protest and that I'm pursuing remedy for the disputed special assessment and not advise on preparing the said offer to purchase.Your advise that the realtor may have some responsibility in the remedy is extremely remote and likely erroneous mainly because he has no control over the condominium's governance to levy assessments nor the unwillingness of the vendor to act in accordance with the contract.I'll ponder awhile before rating your service and will likely request a refund.Sincerely,
FKutarna
Expert:  Debra replied 4 months ago.

But you are not correct.

The whole point is that if you are liable for the assessment the realtor acting for you is liable. They did not protect your interests. I provided you with a standard clause that should have been in your offer. It was not. That was negligent.

If you are asking for a refund don't bother with the refund. The rating is so I can get paid. If you rate me they site pays me and then you process the refund and the money comes right back out of the account.

In both cases I am not paid and my stats are damaged. It's that simple.

I don't work for the site nor do I have any say on how the site is run but their TOS are clear and I am not your lawyer and cannot give actual advice but just legal information. That also reflects the rules of each law society in Canada. It is not lawful for me to practice law online. I cannot advise anyone who is not my client. If I want to advise a client I have to identify them and do a conflict search at the start That it to protect the client as well as the lawyer.

So it is unfair that you didn't read the rules before hand and I will end up working for free and having my stats harmed as a result.

However, what you should know is that may answer is correct and went well beyond generic information. I provided you with a clause that should have been used. I provided you with a clear explanation of the law and also explained about suing the realtor which you clearly didn't know was an option because in your last post you make it apparent that you still did not understand that point.

Had the realtor drafted your offer properly then this would never have become an issue at all. Do you see that now? The fact that this is now a problem is because that one standard provision was omitted and it should have been included for a condo purchase.

Anyway, the TOS also allow you to have a refund at any time for any reason so as I don't like working for free I will stop now.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Debra,
It seems we are both unhappy now.The Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission has a different opinion regarding your assertion about the realtor's liability here.
It's the vendor who is liable for the breach of contract that contained a clear title transfer clause, not your wording exactly, but to that effect.Your choosing to prioritize your rating and payment over my satisfaction is certainly something I didn't expect.About unfairness, your lawyer client discourse should be bold, articulate and highly visible in the advertisement and it should be disclaimed in the first correspondence.I've learnt something about online legal services and the site you're associated with. I'm sure you are a good and proper lawyer. My last question is, should I pay for dissatisfied service?Thanks for your time though.Fkutarna