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Liens on Condos

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Can my condominium corporation file a LIEN on my unit?

The answer is YES.

If a unit owner fails to contribute to the common expenses or reserve fund, the condominium corporation can file a lien against the owner’s unit and its share in the common elements.

The condominium corporation has to file this lien within three months after the default, and they can also charge the interest owing on the unpaid condo fees and the legal costs incurred by the corporation in collecting or attempting to collect the unpaid amount – including the costs associated with registering the lien and its discharge.


What is a lien?

A lien is a legal document sent to unit owners who have failed to pay what they owe the condominium corporation for common elements and gives the condominium corporation the ability to keep possession of the property until the debt owed by that person is discharged.

Prior to the lien being filed, the condominium corporation must give at least a seven-day written notice to the unit owner that a lien will be filed. If the owner does not clear up the arrears in that time, then the lien will be filed on their unit. The lien will stay on the unit until it is paid by the unit owner.

If the unit owner sells his or her unit, the arrears will be reflected on the status certificate and then collected from the seller through the sale proceeds.

For more details, see the Condominium Act, section 162(1).


by Audrey Harder, General Manager, Property Management