What you need to know about interim occupancy
After looking at floorplans and picking out finishes for your new condominium unit, what you really want to know is when you can move in?
Did you know that even when you get permission to move in there is a good chance that you actually do not own your property yet?
Interim occupancy is the period of time between when you get the keys to your new condominium unit (when you can move in) and when you officially take title (when you own your home). The move-in date is set by your builder, with permission by your local municipality, once your unit is declared fit for occupancy. This is the start of your interim occupancy period, which can last anywhere from a few months to much longer as the builder completes the rest of the units and common elements in your condominium building.
The interim occupancy period comes to an end once the builder has completed the condominium building and the condominium corporation is registered with the land registry office. It is at this time your builder will set your final closing date for you to take full ownership.
It’s in the best interest of the builder to get you into your new home and transfer ownership to you as soon as possible, but there can be delays that can affect you.
A Buyer who moves into thier new home must be aware of the interim occupancy start date along with verifying that the utilties such as heating, electricity and water are in working order.
What some Buyers do not realize is that at this point you will be living in a construction zone. The lobby and hallways are usually left incomplete until the last residents moved in, and amenities such as the gym and other common areas are usually not ready for use.
Interim Occupancy Fees
Another surprise for some Buyer may be the interim occupancy fees. Since Buyers do not own thier new home yet, mortgage payments do not be begin, however occupancy fees must be paid to the Builder starting on your occupancy date.
If you more in or not and your interim occupancy period begins, you must pay your builder a monthly occupancy fee. The fee, as determined by the Condominium Act, covers three things: the interest on the unpaid balance of the purchase price of your condominium unit; municipal taxes estimated for your unit; and common expenses to keep the building running.
Your Warranty begins
You may not fully own your new home during the interim occupancy period, but you are still protected by Tarion’s one, two and seven year warranties. All of the warranties begin as soon as you are granted occupancy of your unit. However, it is important to note that the warranty on the common elements of your building won’t start until the condominium corporation is registered.
To ensure your warranties proceed as they should, fill out your first warranty form within the first 30 days of occupancy.
Once the building is constructed, the builder will register it with the local land registry office and begin transferring titles to each new unit owner. To complete the transfer, you will need to pay the balance remaining on your final purchase price in addition to any adjustments (e.g., municipal charges). When you do, you will receive the title to your new home, your mortgage will be registered on your title and your interim occupancy agreement will finally end. At that point your home is finally yours to keep.
The interim occupancy period and the final closing date are important dates for you to know about, and understanding what they mean will make for a less stressful move into your new home.