A while ago I ran across an interesting problem with a condominium title. A four story, 16 Unit condominium building was constructed some time ago in the SW. The four Units on each floor of the building, while similar in characteristics, are of different sizes.

When the building was constructed, the surveyor’s drawings showed that the Units were numbered starting at #1, to the right of the elevator door, and then #2, to the right of Unit #1, etc. The Land Titles Office adopted that numbering regime.

When the City numbered the Units for the purpose of giving them a municipal address, they numbered by moving to the left, opposite to the numbering at the Land Titles Office.

Can you see it coming?

Yes, when realtors sold the Units, they followed the municipal addresses. When the lawyers bought, mortgaged and sold the Units over the years they followed the Land Titles numbering.

My job was to fix the mess that had arisen. There were mortgages, caveats, liens and other charges improperly filed on two of the four units on each floor. Consents needed to be created and signed by each of the parties interested, their mortgagees, caveators and holders of other interests in those properties. After each of those parties had agreed there were a number of applications to the Court to deal with the mechanics of correcting the issue. The costs ran into the thousands of dollars.

If anyone had asked just a few simple questions each time a Unit was being bought and sold, the problem would not have occurred. Ask your lawyer to pull a copy of the Condominium Plan and the Plansheet. Ensure you have diligently completed your research before purchasing your future condo home.