New rules to protect condo buyers
CALGARY The NDP government is beefing up protections for buyers of new condominiums in Alberta.
In a news conference in Calgary Thursday, Service Alberta Minister Stephanie McLean unveiled the first regulations under revamped condominium legislation passed in 2014.
Under the new rules, condo developers will be required to provide more information — such as floor plans — in the contract for potential buyers, give a realistic estimate of condo fees to avoid “fee shock,” and provide a final movein date that would allow buyers to have the option to renegotiate or cancel if it wasn’t met.
The regulations — most of which will come into effect on Jan. 1, with the remainder to follow next April — also allow the government to investigate breaches of the act and issue fines to developers when necessary.
“We want Albertans to feel confident in making an investment with builders,” said McLean.
The provisions announced Thursday only apply to newly built or converted condominiums.
The government is running consultations until Nov. 10 on changes focused on improving condo living.
McLean said the new rules will put Alberta at the forefront of provinces in regulating condos and are timely as Alberta moves out of recession and the housing market heats up.
Terry Gibson, of the Condo Owners Society of Alberta, said there are more than 440,000 condominiums in the province, housing about one-fifth of Alberta’s population.
He said it is important to bring condo legislation up to date and ensure condo owners have the same level of protection for their property as they do for other investments.