Three Condominium Conundrums (Part 2 of 3)

Podcast Episode 11: “Condominium Conundrums 2/3 – Caveat on my Condominium Title.”

In this episode, Barry tells a tale of failure to pay a special assessment, which allows the Condominium Corporation to file a caveat against your title. If you don’t pay, the next step is what amounts to a foreclosure. Plus, you will pay both party’s legal fees…

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Caveat on my Condominium Title.

This is the text of an e-mail I got from a member:

“Hi Barry. I have a question I hoped I could get a quick answer on. I have an outstanding special assessment on a condominium unit and I am overdue on paying that special assessment. Money is a little short right now and I am trying to find enough to pay the assessment but haven’t done so yet. The lawyers for the condo board sent me a letter and said they have already filed a caveat on the property. The letter says that they will start foreclosure proceedings shortly unless I pay the special assessment and all their legal fees and costs which are already $800! I thought only a bank could foreclose on the property? I am paying the mortgage, so does the Condominium Corporation have the power to do that? I don’t mind paying penalties and still have the caveat in place until it is paid, but I will need to take other action if the foreclosure is imminent. Can you please let me know your quick thoughts?”

Here’s what I told them:

  1. Banks can foreclose on mortgages.
  2. Condominium Corporations can foreclose on caveats.

Well, it’s not exactly like a normal mortgage foreclosure, but in the end it’s near enough that you don’t care about the difference.

If you ignore the legal action launched by the Condominium Corporation, the end result will be that they can sell your property to pay the costs claimed and collect all of their legal fees and other expenses for launching the court action. If that isn’t just like a foreclosure, I don’t know what is. And, they can do this if you are one month behind on your condominium fees. It’s a very powerful tool, probably the sharpest arrow in the Condominium Corporation quiver.

Lessons Learned:

  1.  Failure to pay condo fees and assessments may result in a caveat on your title.
  2. Legal action on the caveat is like a foreclosure.
  3.  When the Condo Corp. wins, you will pay their claim plus huge legal fees


Mortgages, foreclosure, caveats, and corporations; of my! Contact Barry now for expert legal counsel on all things Alberta condo.

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