What legislation and regulations govern condominiums in Saskatchewan?
Do provincial legislation and/or regulations require that developers of new condominiums provide a new home warranty to buyers?
No, but there are several new home warranty programs in Saskatchewan to which many developers belong. An example is the New Home Warranty Program of Saskatchewan.
Taxes & Additional Costs
What provincial and federal taxes do condominium buyers pay on their units?
Provincial tax: There is no provincial sales tax on new or re-sale condominiums.
Federal tax: Buyers pay Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the price of new units.
If you are purchasing a re-sale condo, GST will apply to your purchase if:
- You are buying the unit from someone who acquired and used the unit primarily (more than 50 percent) for business purposes (unless this was to earn long-term rental income);
- You are buying the unit from someone who has claimed input tax credits for improvements to the unit; or
- The unit has been substantially renovated. To find out what qualifies as a substantial renovation, see Substantial Renovations and the GST/HST New Housing Rebate, Canada Revenue Agency.
Be sure to enquire about the above before putting an offer on a re-sale condominium.
Are there any GST/HST rebate programs for condominium buyers?
Yes. Like other homebuyers, purchasers of condominiums can apply for a GST/HST New Housing Rebate. This rebate reduces the GST and the federal part of the HST on a declining scale, depending on the purchase price of your new home. For eligibility information, see GST/HST New Housing Rebate, Canada Revenue Agency.
Are buyers of new and re-sale condominiums responsible for any charges levied by the Province?
Yes, there is a provincial fee to transfer property based on the property’s value. The fee is 0.3 percent of the property’s value (assuming the property is valued at $8,800.01 or more). For a list of fees, see Land Titles Fees.
Reserve Fund Requirements
Do provincial legislation/regulations require that all condominiums in Saskatchewan have a reserve fund?
Yes. The only exception is when:
- A condominium’s units are owned by the same owner (which can be an individual, partnership or corporation); and
- Its units are rented (or offered for rent) to tenants who don’t plan to buy them.
If the owner of the units ever intends to sell a unit, this exemption no longer applies. As well, the owner may not sell any of the rented units until a reserve fund study is completed and a report is prepared and made available to purchasers.
The amount of the fund is determined by a reserve fund study. A reserve fund study and an accompanying written report must be conducted by a qualified person, such as an engineer or Certified Reserve Planner, every 5 years; however, a condominium is not required to conduct a reserve fund study and an accompanying written report if:
- It has fewer than 12 units; or
- All of its units are owned by the same owner (which can be an individual, partnership or corporation) and the units are rented (or offered for rent) to tenants who don’t plan to buy them.
How is a new condominium corporation registered?
Prior to registration, a surveyor surveys the parcel of land on which the developer is building and submits a plan to the Controller of Surveys at Information Services Corporation (ISC). The Controller of Surveys ensures that the plan complies with the requirements for the condo plan, one of which is at least one parking space designated for each residential unit. (Condominium plans must be in accordance with The Condominium Property Act and what the municipality dictates.)
Once the plan has been approved, the developer’s lawyer prepares the condo corporation’s bylaws or chooses to adopt the bylaws in The Condominium Property Regulations. The lawyer then requests that the Land Titles Registry raise titles to the individual units and parking spaces, as applicable, shown on the approved plan. Titles remain in the name of the developer until they are sold.
Finally, the condominium’s bylaws are registered with the Corporate Registry and the condominium corporation is created.
Sale of Units
What rules does the developer have to follow when selling units?
A developer must provide certain documents and information to purchasers.
What documents is the developer obliged to provide to a buyer?
A developer must provide the buyer with a copy or description of the following documents:
- a purchase agreement;
- the bylaws or proposed bylaws of the corporation and of any sector (a sector is a subset of owners who govern themselves independently);
- any management agreement or proposed management agreement, including the name and contact information for the property manager;
- any recreational agreement or proposed recreational agreement;
- in the case of a unit sold for residential purposes, any mortgage that affects, or proposed mortgage that may affect, the title to a unit or proposed unit;
- any lease or transfer or proposed lease or transfer of common property;
- a statement that specifies:
- the number and type of parking spaces and other exclusive use areas that are included in the purchase price;
- whether there is to be any additional monthly charge for the use of the parking space or other exclusive use area;
- the number and type of parking units that are included in the purchase price; and
- whether there are additional parking spaces available or additional parking units for sale;
- the condominium plan if one exists;
- prior to issuance of titles pursuant to the condominium plan, the proposed condominium plan with a reasonably specific description of the units and common facilities and common property;
- a statement that indicates the number or proportion of the units that, as of the date of the purchase agreement, are:
- occupied by tenants; or
- designated for occupancy by tenants rather than for sale to owners;
- Any plans or agreements that establish a short-term (less than 30 days) rental management pool for units within the corporation;
- a statement that indicates whether a caretaker’s suite is included;
- a statement that identifies all services units shown on the condominium plan and indicates the intended use for each of the services units;
- a statement that:
- indicates whether any of the units are designed for non-residential use and, if so, the number of units and the unit factors that are allocated for non-residential use; and
- contains any other additional prescribed information concerning units designed for non-residential use;
- in the case of a bare land unit, a reasonably specific description of any buildings and common facilities that the developer intends to construct on the land;
- a copy of The Condominium Property Act and The Condominium Property Regulations;
- a statement that indicates the dates when contributions to the common expenses fund and the reserve fund will commence;
- any security (such as a bond)obtained by the developer as required by The Condominium Property Act and the amount of the security, its terms and its purposes or a statement that security is not required or has not yet been obtained;
- a statement that indicates how the developer is allocating or disposing of extra parking spaces;
- a statement that indicates whether the unit has been converted from a previous use as an apartment, tenement, flat or other purpose (conversion unit);
- a copy of the reserve fund study for a condominium plan that creates conversion units;
- a copy of the developer’s declaration or developer’s reservation, if one is required by The Condominium Property Act;
- a statement specifying any parts of the common property, common facilities or services units, if any, that the unit owner is not entitled to use;
- if the construction of the common property, common facilities and services units is not yet complete, a detailed list of the expected attributes of those facilities and a proposed schedule of the construction and completion of any unfinished common property, common facilities and services units;
- in the case of a completed unit, a copy of the final inspection report by the local authority detailing compliance with zoning requirements and building and fire code requirements; and
- any additional documents or information prescribed by the Condominium Property Regulations.
A buyer who purchases a unit in a condominium where not all of the units and common facilities have been completed has a 10-day “cooling off” period. This period starts on:
- the date the buyer receives all of the documents the developer is required to provide; or
- the date the purchase agreement was signed, whichever comes sooner.
What documents must a condominium corporation provide a purchaser of a re-sale unit?
Upon request, the condominium corporation must provide the purchaser with an estoppel certificate. The estoppel certificate covers key things prospective buyers need to know, including:
- Whether the seller of the unit has paid his or her condo fees to date;
- The amount of common expense and reserve fund contributions levied on the unit;
- The corporation’s insurance coverage;
- If there is a funding plan based on recommendations in the condo’s reserve fund study; and
- Any outstanding judgments or lawsuits against the condominium corporation.
Estimating Operating Costs
Are there legislation/regulations that stipulate(s) what happens if a developer has inaccurately estimated the operational costs of a condo?
Rules for Initial Reserve Fund Savings
Is the developer of a new condominium obligated to put aside reserves as soon as the condominium is registered?
No. All owners must contribute to reserves once the condominium corporation is registered. The developer would only contribute to the reserves if the developer still owns units.
Does the Province require a condominium to impose any bylaws and rules?
The Act requires that a condominium set bylaws. If the developer doesn’t create the condominium’s bylaws at registration, a set of default bylaws, as outlined in the Regulations, comes into effect. Default bylaws are a general guideline and don’t cover all policies, such as whether or not pets are permitted, move-in and move-out fees and balcony restrictions, so it is recommended that condominiums develop their own.
The Act does not require a condominium corporation to set rules, though many condo corporations have their own rules to facilitate their bylaws.
Does condominium legislation authorize the condominium corporation to borrow money?
Yes, subject to the corporation’s bylaws.
Can a condominium corporation place a lien on an individual unit?
A condominium can place a lien on an individual unit when an owner is remiss in contributing to the common expenses fund or the reserve fund. The lien can be enforced the same way as a mortgage.
Elections & Meetings
What are the requirements for electing the board of directors and for its meetings?
The bylaws of each condominium corporation dictate how the board of directors is elected and how its meetings are conducted.
Each condo corporation must have an annual general meeting of owners, held not more than 15 months after the last annual general meeting. At that meeting, the board of directors must provide an annual report that includes financial statements for the corporation
When the board receives a written request from owners or their designates who are entitled to vote (and who represent at least 25 percent of the total unit factors), it must call a general meeting within 45 days and prepare an agenda for the meeting.
Changing the Governing Documents
How does a condominium corporation change its governing documents?
Owners can change a condominium’s bylaws by passing a special resolution at a properly convened meeting. At least two-thirds of eligible voters must vote for the change, either in person, in writing or by proxy.
Owners can change a condominium’s plan by a 100 percent vote (or an 80 percent vote if certain requirements are met). For details, see Section 14 of The Condominium Property Act (PDF).
Can an owner stop paying condominium fees if he/she is unhappy with the condominium’s board of directors and/or property management?
Rules About Special Assessments
Do provincial legislation/regulations have rules regarding special assessments? If so, what are they?
The legislation does not refer to “special assessments,” per se. However, if a condo corporation has a shortfall in its common expense or reserve fund, or if unexpected events occur (such as a rise in the common expenses), the corporation can collect extra funds by passing a new bylaw.
Expanding the Scope of the Condominium's Assets and Services
What about additional recreational facilities/services? Could a condominium corporation buy a golf course, for example? Could it change the services an owner expects to receive?
A condominium corporation can change the services it provides by passing or amending a bylaw, provided the change is not to the condominium plan or a unit.
If the addition of new recreational facilities involves purchasing land, at least 80 percent of owners must vote in favour of the purchase. As well, individuals who don’t agree must have the opportunity to dispute the purchase (which amounts to a change to the condominium plan) in court.
Owners can choose to transfer or lease common property and must have a unanimous resolution to do so. They can also reduce the amount of common facilities or property if at least 80 percent of owners vote in favour of the change. Individuals who don’t agree must have the opportunity to dispute the reduction in court.
The corporation can allow an owner to have exclusive use over part of the common property or a service unit (such as a suite that has been used to accommodate overnight guests) if at least two-thirds of owners vote in favour of this.
Other Important Things About Buying a Condominium in Saskatchewan
Do provincial legislation/regulations govern renting or leasing a condominium unit?
Yes. If an owner plans to rent their unit, they must notify the condo corporation in writing that they plan to do so and provide an address where they can be reached. The corporation may require the owner to pay a security deposit in an amount equal to the amount permitted by The Residential Tenancies Act. Damages caused by a tenant in excess of the amount of the security deposit is the responsibility of the owner up to the deductible limit of the corporation’s insurance policy.
The owner must also give the name of the tenant, in writing, to the corporation within 20 days of the start of the tenancy. Similarly, when the tenancy ends, the owner must notify the corporation in writing within 20 days.
For information on landlords’ and tenants’ rights and responsibilities in Saskatchewan, see Your Guide to Renting a Home, Provincial Fact Sheet — Saskatchewan.
What other constraints do provincial legislation/regulations put on condominium corporations, their boards of directors, bylaws and management?
Condominium corporations cannot pass bylaws that limit owners’ ability to transfer or lease their units. An owner has the same transfer and lease rights as someone who owns a home in fee simple and cannot be prevented from transferring his or her unit to a specific group of people (such as individuals under the age of 55).
Condominium corporations must maintain insurance against major perils, and other perils as required by bylaw or directed by its board of directors, on behalf of the corporation and its unit owners for damage to corporation property, including damage to individual units. Coverage for individual units need not include damage to unimproved bare land units or improvements made by owners to their own units. If the corporation’s insurance policy is subject to a deductible clause, the portion of a loss that is excluded from coverage is a common expense. This expense may be charged to an owner for damages caused by the owner or other person residing in the owner’s unit.
Is there a process for handling disputes or complaints?
Parties may agree in writing to resolve their disputes through arbitration under Saskatchewan’s Arbitration Act. A corporation may bring proceedings under Saskatchewan’s Small Claims Act for violation of the corporation’s bylaws where the penalty does not exceed $500.00. Other disputes may be resolved through application to the courts.
Canadian Condominium Institute, South Saskatchewan Chapter
An independent organization that deals exclusively with condominium issues and represents all participants in the condominium community.
Canadian Condominium Institute, Northern Saskatchewan Chapter
An independent organization that deals exclusively with condominium issues and represents all participants in the condominium community.
Information Services Corporation
A private sector business organization that has been designated as the service provider for the administration of land titles, survey and personal property registries and other related services on behalf of the Government of Saskatchewan.
Office of Public Registry Administration
The Government office with legal oversight of land and property registries and of the Information Services Corporation (ISC), (above), and point of contact for the consumer protection provisions under the Condominium Property Act,including posting and release of security.
1110 – 1874 Scarth Street
Regina, SK S4P 4B3
Main Telephone: 306-798-1079