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6 Documents you should review when purchasing a pre-construction property
6 Documents you should review when purchasing a pre-construction property

Purchasing a pre-construction condo, whether for living or investment, is a significant and complex process.

Updated over a week ago

Purchasing a pre-construction condo, whether for living or investment, is a significant and complex process. It often involves more steps and paperwork than buying a resale condo. However, with proper guidance, this process can be streamlined.

What You'll Learn:

What is the Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS)?

When you embark on purchasing a pre-construction condo, the first crucial document you'll encounter is the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Often referred to as the Purchase Agreement, this document is foundational in defining the terms of your purchase.

Key Aspects of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale:

  1. Comprehensive Details: It includes vital details about the condo unit, such as its features, finishes, and the total purchase price.

  2. Legal Significance: This agreement is a legally binding contract between you, the buyer, and the developer, outlining both parties' rights and obligations.

  3. Buyer's and Developer's Rights and Responsibilities: The document details your responsibilities as a buyer and the developer's obligations, ensuring clarity in the transaction.

  4. Importance of Legal Review: Given its importance and complexity, it’s essential to review this document thoroughly with your pre-construction lawyer before signing. Your lawyer will scrutinize it for any potential issues, especially in the clauses, to safeguard your interests.

  5. Role of Your Lawyer: You don't need to analyze every part of the agreement yourself. Your lawyer will conduct a detailed review and then explain it to you, ensuring you fully understand your rights and responsibilities.

In summary, the Agreement of Purchase and Sale is the bedrock of your pre-construction condo purchase, outlining the legal framework of your agreement with the developer. It’s essential for you to understand this document thoroughly, with the aid of your lawyer, to ensure a secure and informed investment.

Understanding the HCRA Information for Buyers Regarding Potential Termination of Purchase Agreements

Effective Date: January 2020

As part of the documentation process for buying a pre-construction condominium, the Home Construction Regulatory Authority (HCRA) mandates an information sheet. This sheet, required since January 2020, is to be attached to the front of your Purchase Agreement. As a buyer, you are also required to sign this document, acknowledging that you have read and received it.

Key Components of the HCRA Information Sheet:

  1. Risk Outline: The sheet details the inherent risks in purchasing a pre-construction condo, including the possibility that the project might not reach completion.

  2. Termination Clauses: It specifies conditions under which a developer might cancel the project.

  3. Project Status Details: The document provides updates on the condo's development status, including zoning approvals, sales milestones for construction financing, and the current stage of construction.

  4. Cooling-Off Period: It informs buyers about the 10-day cooling-off period, as per the Condominium Act, allowing purchasers to cancel their agreement within this timeframe.

  5. Occupancy Information: The expected date for when buyers can take occupancy is also included.

Importance of Legal Review:

Given the detailed and critical nature of these conditions, we, as Platinum Agents, advise that all received documents, including the HCRA Information Sheet, should be reviewed by a lawyer experienced in pre-construction condominium transactions. This ensures you are fully informed about the risks and conditions associated with your purchase.

Action for Buyers:

  • Review the HCRA Information Sheet carefully.

  • Acknowledge receipt and understanding by signing the document.

  • Consult with a specialized lawyer to understand the implications of the information provided.


Understanding the contents of the HCRA Information Sheet is crucial for any buyer in the pre-construction condo market. It provides essential insights into the risks and conditions of your purchase agreement, helping you make an informed decision.

Tarion Addendum Overview for Pre-Construction Condo Purchases

Effective Date: Updated as of February 2021

Purpose and Updates:

The Tarion Addendum is an essential document attached to your Purchase Agreement when buying a pre-construction condo. This addendum aligns with the Home Construction Regulatory Authority (HCRA) Information Sheet. The 2021 update primarily reflects the role of HCRA as the new regulator, with minor adjustments rather than significant changes.

Key Features of the Tarion Addendum:

  1. Occupancy Date Information: It includes a Statement of Critical Dates, providing significant dates such as the first tentative occupancy date, subsequent tentative dates, the final tentative date, the firm occupancy date, and the outside occupancy date.

  2. Critical Dates Management: The addendum offers guidance on setting and modifying these crucial dates, mandating developers to make reasonable efforts to complete construction promptly.

  3. Developer's Notice Requirement: If there’s a need to extend tentative occupancy dates, developers must give a 90-day written notice to the buyer.

  4. Early Termination Conditions: It outlines conditions under which early termination of the Purchase Agreement might occur.

  5. Delayed Occupancy Compensation: This section details the buyer's eligibility for compensation if occupancy is delayed past the Firm Occupancy Date, or if the buyer chooses to terminate the agreement due to such delays.

Additional Elements of the Addendum:

  • Advises buyers on their rights and obligations under the New Home Warranties and Protection Plan.

  • Clarifies expected occupancy dates through a Statement of Critical Dates.

  • Limits the developer’s ability to use Early Termination Conditions.

  • Provides updates on development approvals and construction status, highlighting potential delay risks.

  • Details restrictions and procedures for handling delays.

  • Offers compensation details for buyers in case of delays occurring on or after the Firm Occupancy Date.

  • Sets an Outside Occupancy Date, allowing buyers to terminate the agreement if exceeded.

  • Includes summary sheets for closing costs and adjustments.


The Tarion Addendum is a vital document that offers comprehensive information about occupancy dates, developer obligations, and buyer rights, especially in scenarios of delayed occupancy. It is important for buyers to review this addendum thoroughly, ideally with legal assistance, to fully understand its implications in their pre-construction condo purchase.

Overview of the Tarion Warranty Information Sheet for New Condominium Units

The Tarion Warranty Information Sheet is an important document provided to purchasers of new condominium units. It offers a comprehensive overview of the warranties and protections associated with your new condominium. This warranty, provided by your developer, is backed by Tarion, ensuring you receive the coverage you're entitled to under the developer's warranty.

Key Elements of the Warranty Information Sheet:

  1. Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI): Before occupancy, your builder must conduct a PDI. This inspection is crucial as it allows you to identify any damages, missing items, incomplete works, or malfunctions in your unit.

  2. Deposit Protection: According to the Condominium Act, all payments, including deposits and payments for upgrades and extras, received by the developer, must be held in trust. If the developer cancels your Purchase Agreement, you are entitled to a full refund of your deposit within 10 days.

  3. Delayed Occupancy Coverage: The developer is responsible for ensuring that your unit is ready by the specified date in the Purchase Agreement or an appropriately extended date. Failure to meet these deadlines makes you eligible for Delayed Occupancy Coverage.

  4. Warranty Coverage: As a homeowner in Ontario, you are entitled to warranty protection plans for one year, two years, and seven years from Tarion. This sheet details the extent of coverage for each period.

  5. Additional Warranty Matters: The information sheet also covers other warranty-related topics, including construction performance guidelines, warranty exclusions, and common elements warranty.

Recommended Action:

It's crucial to thoroughly read through this information sheet. For any queries or clarifications, you should consult with your lawyer or a platinum agent experienced in condominium transactions.


The Tarion Warranty Information Sheet is an essential resource for understanding the range of protections and warranties that come with your new condominium unit. It is designed to ensure you are well-informed and protected throughout the various stages of your condominium

Overview of the Disclosure Statement and Condominium Documents

The Disclosure Statement is a crucial document that developers are required to provide to buyers purchasing a condo directly from them or through their representatives, like a lawyer. It's essential to understand that your Agreement of Purchase and Sale becomes legally binding only after you receive the Disclosure Statement along with a copy of the Condo Buyer’s Guide from the developer.

Contents of the Disclosure Statement:

  1. Condo Corporation Documents: The statement includes a copy of the current or proposed declaration, by-laws, and rules governing the condo corporation.

  2. Developer Agreements: It summarizes the agreements the developer will enter into prior to the turnover meeting, including those related to condo management services.

  3. Budget Statement: The document provides a copy of the budget statement for the first year after the condo corporation is registered.

Importance of Legal Review:

  • Budget Analysis: It is crucial to review this document with a pre-construction lawyer to understand how the first-year budget was formulated and to identify any overlooked costs by the developer.

  • Financial Health Assessment: This review helps in assessing the financial standing of the condominium corporation and in estimating potential future increases in maintenance fees.

Recommended Action:

  • Review the Disclosure Statement thoroughly with a legal expert in pre-construction condominiums.

  • Ensure you understand all aspects, especially the financial implications, of the condominium corporation.


The Disclosure Statement is a vital document in the condo buying process, offering transparency and critical information about the condominium corporation. A thorough review of this document is essential to make an informed decision and to understand future financial commitments, such as maintenance fees.

Overview of Ontario’s Residential Condominium Buyers’ Guide

The Residential Condominium Buyers’ Guide is a crucial resource for anyone interested in or currently involved in condo ownership and purchasing in Ontario. Following Section 72 of the Condo Act, as of January 1, 2021, it is mandatory for developers to provide this guide to buyers of pre-construction or new condominium units.

Content Overview of the Condo Guide:

This comprehensive guide, spanning 30 pages, is divided into four main sections:

  1. The Condo Purchasing Process: It provides detailed information on the steps and considerations involved in purchasing a condominium.

  2. Moving into a Pre-Construction Condo Unit: This section offers guidance on what to expect and how to navigate the process of moving into a newly constructed condo.

  3. Condominium Living: It covers various aspects of day-to-day living in a condominium, including the responsibilities and community dynamics.

  4. Resources for Resolving Issues: The guide includes information on resources and avenues for addressing and resolving any issues related to condominium living.

Target Audience:

  • Individuals interested in purchasing a pre-construction condominium.

  • Recent buyers of a condo unit.

  • Long-time condominium owners.


Ontario’s Residential Condominium Buyers’ Guide is an invaluable tool for anyone involved in the condo market, whether as a potential buyer, a new owner, or an established resident. It offers a wealth of information covering every stage of the condo buying and living experience, ensuring that individuals are well-informed and prepared for condominium ownership in Ontario.

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