Probably more often than not in today’s new home builds – but understanding your rights as a purchaser and the responsibilities of your developer are key to determining whether you should apply for compensation from your builder.
Our team is well versed in occupancy legislation and will help you receive the money you are entitled to in the case of Occupancy Delays.
“Many of our clients come to us not knowing if they qualify, but they are frustrated with the delays they have experienced with their builder. Condominium developers are notorious for pushing the envelope when it comes to meeting occupancy dates. Purchasers have rights and the more you know, the more power you have and it might just mean up to $7,500 back in your pocket. That’s something worth investigating.” – Mark Purdy
They Delay. They Should Pay.
You have the right to occupancy of your new home based on the dates confirmed by your builder, either in the Purchase Agreement, or within the letter(s) provided, within an accepted period of time prior to occupancy. If that occupancy is delayed and sufficient notice is not provided, the purchaser may qualify for compensation up to $7,500.
- Occupancy is made available after the Firm Occupancy Date.
- The builder failed to provide sufficient notice when changing the Tentative Occupancy Dates or notify you of unavoidable delays.
- The builder missed the Outside Occupancy Date.
- You exercised your right to terminate the purchase agreement due to delay.
You must file for occupancy compensation within 1 year of occupancy, or you lose the right to claim.
- Your builder is responsible for providing you, the purchaser, with written notice of any delay in occupancy with a minimum of 90 days written notice. Provided they meet this minimum of 90 days’ notice they can change the tentative occupancy date as often as they like, provided they don’t go beyond the Outside Occupancy Date.
- Once a Firm Occupancy Date is set the builder must meet this date unless an unavoidable delay occurs.
- The delay in case of an Unavoidable Delay may not be longer in duration than the actual length of the delay. For example, if they are delayed by 10 business days due to a worker’s strike, your builder may not delay by more than 10
Understanding Your Purchase Agreement
Don’t get caught in a war of words. Understanding your PURCHASE AGREEMENT is key to ensuring you know your rights and the responsibilities of your builder. Let’s look at the most common terms you might see:
A written document in which the purchaser agrees to buy certain real estate and the seller agrees to sell under stated terms and conditions. This is the offer-to-purchase document that makes up the core of a real estate transaction.
STATEMENT OF CRITICAL DATES
This is an agreement of all key dates for occupancy and purchaser termination. This is in place to protect your rights as a purchaser.
FIRM OCCUPANCY DATE
The completion and move-in date that you and your builder agreed upon. If this date is not met, your builder must set a Delayed Occupancy Date and you are entitled to delayed occupancy compensation.
DELAYED OCCUPANCY DATE
A new date, which has been provided by the builder. If a delayed occupancy date is set, you are eligible for occupancy compensation.
FIRST TENTATIVE OCCUPANCY DATE
The builder’s best guess as to the estimated time of occupancy. This date will either by confirmed or extended as building progresses
OUTSIDE OCCUPANCY DATE
This is the latest date that your builder agreed to provide you with occupancy of your condominium unit or home. This is decided upon signing of the purchase agreement as is included in the Statement of Critical Dates.
Builders are protected against delays that are considered unavoidable., such as natural disasters, workers’ strike, fire, etc… If there are unavoidable circumstances, there is a provision that allows the builder to negotiate an extended occupancy date by mutual consent.
If your home is not complete and move-in ready by the Outside Occupancy Date, you, as a purchaser, have a 30-day period in which to terminate the agreement. You are still eligible for occupancy compensation even if you terminate the deal.