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Statement of Critical Dates
What is a Statement of Critical Dates?
Buying pre-construction is an exciting process that can last anywhere between 2 to 4 years, so it is extremely important for you to know the critical dates as it pertains to your condo unit. As a buyer, you may have your own special way of staying organized through calendars and planners, but when it comes to builders, they help purchasers stay organized through a document called “Statement of Critical Dates”. For purchasers of new condo units, these are the dates you can expect to take occupancy of your unit. Why so many possible occupancy dates, you ask? It's because it is typical for there to be unavoidable delays in the delivery of your unit so developers are legally required to provide you with a timeline that reflects anticipated delays. Thus, the Statement of Critical Dates is an important feature found in the Tarion Home Warranty Addendum which accompanies your purchase agreement.
In the addendum, expect to also find the Delayed Occupancy Warranty in accordance with the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act. Important dates listed here are, First Tentative Occupancy Date, Final Tentative Occupancy Date, Firm Occupancy Date, Delayed Occupancy Date and Outside Occupancy Date. These dates are designed to protect you, the buyer, and to create transparency between both parties.
On the Statement of Critical Dates form, you will also find two additional timelines. One is called the “Notice Period for an Occupancy Delay”, and the other is called the “Purchaser’s Termination Period”. It is essential to read the details of these dates carefully so that you are prepared for any changes to your occupancy timeline, which may entitle you to Delayed Occupancy Compensation. At GTA-Homes’, we’re here to advise you on the appropriate conditions that should be included in your agreement to protect you. However, we always advise our clients to seek advice from a lawyer with respect to the purchase agreement, the addendum and the Delayed Occupancy Warranty. Even if you are a seasoned investor who has been investing in real estate for a long time, you need to stay vigilant about the rules. This is because the rules go through modifications each year.
Well…What Are the Critical Dates?
First Tentative Occupancy Date is the date that the builder anticipates the condominium unit will be completed and ready to move-in, as agreed upon by you and the builder. Your builder can set one or more Tentative Occupancy dates.
A Final Tentative Occupancy Date can subsequently be set by the builder by giving proper written notice within the 90-day time period. The builder can extend the Occupancy Date one more time for up to 120 days by setting a Firm Occupancy Date.
The builder must set a Firm Occupancy Date within 90-days before the existing Tentative Occupancy date if the former date mentioned cannot be met. The Firm Occupancy Date cannot occur after the Outside Occupancy Date.
Delayed Occupancy Date is common in the event where the builder has set a Firm Occupancy Date but is unable to meet that deadline. A Delayed Occupancy Date means that Delayed Occupancy Compensation is payable to you.
The Outside Occupancy Date is the latest date that your builder agreed to provide you with occupancy of your condominium unit. You and your builder agree upon this date at the time of signing the purchase agreement. Your builder may extend the occupancy date multiple times without paying compensation to you. However, you must be given 90 days notice for each extension.
Notice Period for an Occupancy Delay requires written notice but does not require the purchaser’s consent. This notice must be provided to the purchaser at least 90 days before the First Tentative Occupancy Date or else the First Tentative Occupancy date automatically becomes the Firm Occupancy Date.
Purchaser’s Termination Period is the only opportunity for a purchaser to terminate the transaction after the 10-Day Cooling Period offered at the time of purchase. In the event where the condominium unit is not complete by the Outside Occupancy Date, then the purchaser can terminate the transaction during a period of 30 days thereafter (the Purchaser’s Termination Period) unless extended by a mutual agreement. If you, the purchaser, terminated the transaction during the Purchaser’s Termination Period, then you are entitled to Delayed Occupancy Compensation and a full refund of all deposits paid plus interest.
It is also important to note that if you agree to change any of the dates, other critical dates may changes as well so updating your calendar with new deadlines is common practise.
Am I Compensated If My Pre-Construction Condo Unit is Delayed?
In Ontario, new condo owners are protected from occupancy delays through Tarion’s Delayed Occupancy Warranty. You can find this warranty in your addendum, along with your Statement of Critical Dates, which clearly indicated the date your builder expects to finish your unit and the latest possible date for permitted extensions of that date. Although you and your builder had agreed to a date by which you could move-in, there are various reasons and unforeseen circumstances that may cause your pre-construction condo unit to have unavoidable delays. Your new home warranty’s occupancy coverage ensures that you are compensated if your builder does not provide sufficient advance notice of an unavoidable delay or if the completion of your home is delayed beyond a certain date.
By Ontario regulations, if there is an unavoidable delay for occupancy, then you may claim up to $7,500 ($150 per day) in occupancy compensation. If you find yourself faced with a delayed move-in date, be sure to read through your signed agreement to see what guidelines were initially set out. If you feel you do not fully understand, be sure to contact your lawyer to help you figure out what you are entitled to.
The process of submitting a claim will require you to approach your point of contact with the builder first. By law, builders are required to provide purchasers with a New Home Tarion Warranty and are also required to provide compensation for an unavoidable delay if you are entitled to it. In the event where the builder does not pay, your next step is to make a Tarion Warranty claim. You can submit a Delayed Closing/Occupancy Claim Form to Tarion within one year of the date you take possession of your new unit.
Tarion’s Statement of Critical Dates and Delayed Occupancy Warranty for condominiums was established in 2008, for the sole purpose of bringing greater clarity and disclosure to the consumer concern of unavoidable delays in construction. Today, this mandatory legislature has given purchasers more confidence and assurance that they are protected throughout the process of building their dream home or income property. If you have any questions about any of the dates discussed, don’t hesitate to connect with us. We love what we do, and we love talking about it!
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