The boost to maintenance fees could be enough to trigger ‘material change’ provisions in contracts – and send buyers running for the exits

Next year at this time, the Ontario government – the same government that still maintains rent controls – will raise monthly maintenance fees for all condominium owners by between 5 per cent and 8 per cent.

Renters will face rent hikes based on operating costs for their buildings. Those increases will vary but could be in the $25-a-month range for a downtown one-bedroom suite.

Owners of older condos may face an even greater hike to top up their building’s reserve fund if major work such as replacing a roof is slated for the near future.

At the same time, developers of projects with suites already sold but not yet occupied are scurrying to their lawyers. Their concern is an 8-per-cent hike in monthly maintenance fees may trigger the “material change” clause in purchase agreements and allow buyers to back out of signed deals.

Read the full article by Terrence Belford “It’s coming: HST may scuttle condo deal” in the Globe and Mail (July 3, 2009).

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