Prov­ince mak­ing moves to pro­tect condo buy­ers

StarMetro Calgary - - CALGARY - Brodie Thomas Metro | Calgary

Al­ber­tans shop­ping for con­dos will soon have greater le­gal pro­tec­tion.

The provin­cial gov­ern­ment is chang­ing reg­u­la­tions that would place more onus on devel­op­ers to be clear about de­tails of con­do­mini­ums, and give home­buy­ers the op­tion to back away from sales if those stan­dards aren’t met.

“Al­ber­tans de­serve to be pro­tected when mak­ing a big pur­chase like a home or in­vest­ment prop­erty,” said Stephanie MacLean, Min­is­ter of Ser­vice Al­berta.

“To­day, we have taken the first steps to­ward re­as­sur­ing Al­ber­tans that their in­vest­ments are prop­erly looked after, so they can feel con­fi­dent when in­vest­ing in the condo mar­ket.”

Most of the rules will come into ef­fect on Jan. 1 of 2018 although some will not be in place un­til April 1.

Once in place, Devel­op­ers will have to give more re­al­is­tic es­ti­mates of what con­do­minium fees will be to pre­vent “fee shock,” and builders will have to stick by move-in dates, or else be ready to re­fund buy­ers’ de­posits.

Jade Ma­hon of Part­ners Devel­op­ment Group said the changes will ben­e­fit builders and buy­ers,

“As con­sumers look to pur­chase homes, hav­ing rules that en­hance their con­fi­dence and se­cu­rity will re­sult in in­creased par­tic­i­pa­tion in the mar­ket­place,” she said.

How­ever, the Al­berta Lib­er­als took aim at the NDP for pro­claim­ing sev­eral sec­tions of the Con­do­minium Prop­erty Act with­out re­leas­ing the draft reg­u­la­tions for public in­put.

“There are many unan­swered ques­tions,” said David Swann, MLA for Calgary-Moun­tain View. “The gov­ern­ment needs to be up­front with Al­ber­tans and put every­thing it is plan­ning on the table for dis­cus­sion be­fore mov­ing ahead.”

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