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Mastermind for June 20th. Chattels and Fixtures in Good Working Order and Status Certificate Delivery

Okay, we had one of our biggest Masterminds of the year today. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it was everything to do with the great learning and camaraderie that exists at my office and absolutely nothing to do with the fact that it’s beautifully cool inside. Anyway if you missed Mastermind you missed some great discussions on chattels and fixtures in good working order and condominium status certificates.

So, you sold a home and you have included in your offer a clause that says the seller warrants that all fixtures and chattels will be in good working order upon closing. A week before closing your clients go for a visit and decide to pull one of the roller blinds down in the kitchen. The only problem is that it won’t go back up. It seems like it is broken. So being the good agent that you are, you call the listing agent and let them know, as nicely as you can, that the blind is broken and would they please have the seller fix it before closing. The seller responds, through their agent, that you can go jump in the lake. That blind was broken when they bought the home three years ago. Naturally we got into a debate about what “good working order” means. It seems everyone had a different opinion. The blind is meant to keep out the sun, and it certainly does a good job at doing that, even if you have to hand-roll it up every time. So what is the expectation of working order? How do you define “working”? For instance a slow draining sink still technically works but is it in good working order? That depends. So how can you protect your client? Is it fair to walk through the house or condo and video every square inch? Is it your job to make sure every door handle works or are you better off explaining to a buyer that they are buying a “used” home that may have quirks and quarks to it? Someone in the group summed it up nicely with the phrase  “welcome to home ownership”. 

Next up…Status certificates. One of my agents asked what to do about the fact that he ordered a status certificate 10 days ago and he didn’t think it was going to arrive in time. Naturally the first thing that pops into our heads is to extend the condition but did you know that if a management company doesn’t deliver a status certificate in the allotted time it is deemed that, 1. There is no default in the payment of condo fees 2. There has been no increase in condo fees since the existing budget in place at that time and 3. There has been no special assessment since the date of the budget.  So what if it turns out that there IS a problem? The understanding is that the management company would be responsible. Check out section 76(5) of the soon to be outdated Condominium Act. I want to thank David Feld for the quick responses to our questions. You may not know this but most status certificates are available on-line now. Check out Conduit for more details.

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